Eric, the God of Pub Games is an extremely Ancient Deity. He is known to predate the founding of the Olympic Games in 776 BCE. He was the patron deity of the earlier and now forgotten Olympub Games. The date that the Olympub games were founded is now lost to antiquity, but they may have begun the first time the Mesopotamians gathered and competed to throw a loop of string over a stick whilst consuming dangerous quantities of proto-ale. The religion spread rapidly, and the first temple to Eric was built as a simple circle of tall, dark, rectangular standing stones, each bearing a pattern of white dots, stood on their ends. This design was soon copied many times across the ancient world in what seems to have been a kind of domino effect.
The worship of Eric centres around developing the mind, body and character through the playing of social games of skill and chance. These are also believed to bond communities, families and friends together through communal worship. Some detractors say that the religion of Eric is a load of Bulls Hit, but his faithful will tell you he’s okey.
Eric’s modern places of worship are less like Temples and more like Saloons. The interior décor of the temple trends heavily towards dark green leather, baize and wood panelling. It is divided into 9 different chapels, each dedicated to one of the 9 Sacred Sports; darts, pool, billiards, poker, cribbage, skittles, dice, ring toss and shove ha’penny. His temples often have quirky colloquial names such as “The Ham and Cheese”, “The Shuffle and Board” and “The Curly Cue”. Outside the main structure is an over spill marquee for special festivals. It is in the shape of two large adjoined circus tents. This structure is known as the “double top”. Every temple also has a small crowd of bored children sat outside on some broken swings. Each one forlornly clutches a bottle of Vimto with a straw and a bag of crisps.
The Chapel of Darts is great, smashing and super. However, it can be a risky place to enter. Some people see the flying projectiles inside and immediately do a 180 and leave. Competitions are held here and even if you are not successful in these, they will still give you a chance to look at what you could have won. If you do succeed… …well bully for you! Those worshippers who are “Knowers” rather than “Throwers” come to try and overcome their “Projectile Dysfunction” through therapy and prayer. Treatments at the temple can be expensive, so most only resort to it when they are in the throws of despair. The Chapel of Darts also contains a confessional where one can gain spiritual solace and atonement by divulging ones darty secrets. If you are travelling to visit the Chapel of Darts, it is best to avoid cheap flights. Don’t worry about your return journey, as you will always, at least, leave with your bus fare home… …or a speed boat. Which will be handy for making your way back to Wolverhapton.
The Chapel of Pool is perhaps the tensest place in the temple. Here worshippers stare one another out to see who will break first. The corridor to the chapel has a lengthy line of 50p’s laid along it’s length. Anyone arriving and arbitrarily deciding that “winner stays on” will be forced to eat a hundred cubes of blue chalk. The Chapel of Pool is particularly popular with younger members of the faith. They often study there in hopes of being professional pool players when they grow up. Until they realise they can’t have it both ways. Worshippers are welcome to stay all day, but are asked to pop outside if they need to pot a brown or get the urge to sink the pink.
The Priests and Priestesses of Eric organise and arbitrate all the games within the temple. They each have 4 suits of vestments, two red and two black, which each have their own symbolism. The High Priestess is renowned for her stern and unemotional visage. However much you are tempted, you are advised not to poke her face to see if it’s real.
Thank you to Adam Broadhurst for suggesting Eric.
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