Bin Dei is the God of those befuddled days between whichever great midwinter festival you celebrate and New Year’s Eve. The time of the chronic background hangover, when you are full to bursting with chocolate and fine fromage and haven’t got a clue what day it is. He is the deity who renders the words “weekday” and “weekend” meaningless. He is said to have originated in ancient Rome sometime between Dies Natalis Solis Invicti and Kalends.
Although there are regional variations, for many the great annual festival of Bin Dei or “Crimbo Limbo” commences on December the 27th. During this period followers will consume only turkey curry, satsumas and cheese. Normal routines and rules of self-restraint are suspended, and a great deal of alcohol is often consumed. Throughout the period they will also harbour a nagging background anxiety about whether this was one of the days when they were meant to be at work. His festival ends at dawn on January 2nd with a shrill alarm and a horrible reality shock.
Bin Dei is glad to take your unwanted items and receive them as precious offerings. Offerings are usually collected weekly by a team of Collections Priests. However, only the correct kinds of offerings will be accepted on each collection day, and even then they must be presented at the kerbside in the correctly coloured “Offering Bin”. Confusingly, the colours of the offering bins and what kind of offerings should be placed within them vary wildly by area. For example, your black lidded bin full of tin cans and glass will be gladly accepted in Rotherham, but would be rejected out of hand just a few miles away in Barnsley! Regardless of which part of the world you live in. The lid of the offering bin must close fully.
The sacred text or “Offering Collection Schedule” of Bin Dei is delivered to every household annually. However, by some malevolent magic, it always somehow vanishes before it becomes current. Even if you bloody well nailed it to the kitchen noticeboard. Fortunately, a Lay Brother of Bin Dei resides on almost every residential street in the country. They alone know on which day the offerings should be left out, which kinds of offerings should be made, and in which colour bin. Their principal sacred duty is to put their offering out early, so that everyone else can copy them.
The current High Priestess of Bin Dei is Miss Collette Shun. Her principal role is to handle complaints about the services that the priesthood deliver. Her standard response is tell callers to leave their offering out for an additional collection (which never happens) and she files their call in the paper recycling centre. In her eyes, sinners who miss leaving out their offering to Bin Dei at the correct time must do their proper penance by making a pilgrimage to “The Tip”. This is not, usually a pleasant experience and those who undergo this ritual cleansing often feel pretty down in the dumps about it. Followers of Bin Dei believe that they must complete this arduous journey or else in the afterlife they will be eternally suffocated under old wrapping paper, cardboard boxes, wine bottles, old turkey carcasses and left over sprouts. (Although, there is a rumour that one can wriggle out of this by making a small thoughtful gift (or even just a thank you card) to your noble team of Collections Priests in the run up to Bin Dei’s festival each year. This small gesture will mean you are a lot less likely to return home later in the year to find that your entire offering has been rejected due to a single stray piece of plastic in the glass bin – which has obviously been put there by a passer-by as you don’t use K-Y Jelly).
The temple of Bin Dei has huge imposing gates, through which a fleet of hundreds of offering collections trucks roll daily. Inside, the main buildings are carpeted with a thick layer of brown pine needles, walnut shells and satsuma peel. There a numerous temple cats who run around the place chasing discarded Ferrero Rocher wrappers. All the clocks within the temple have either stopped, or have no hands. All the calendars in the temple are for next year, this year’s calendars having been accidentally prematurely discarded.
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