In ancient time the Goddess Gloop would lurk beneath the still surface of woodland pools. She lay in wait for beautiful youths to pause and gaze at their image upon the water as they passed. Gloop would raise her own face to where their reflection should be and maliciously mouth the words, “I could look better”. This encounter would drive those who saw her to a frenzied pursuit of aesthetic perfection and everlasting juvenescence. Throughout history she has driven the normally sane to extreme actions, such as painting their faces with white lead, taking arsenic pills to make their hair lustrous or dabbing the deadly Belladonna into their eyes. The dark irony is that (like many envious deities) she makes foolish mortals desperately desire what they already have, and then destroy the object in their pursuit to attain it. It may be this is a celestial caution against vanity and hubris, or it may be that this particular goddess is just a jealous cow.
The sect of Gloop run her temple, where they offer a wide range of beauty treatments and formulate a plethora of potions and lotions. These are sold to the faithful at prices which reflect the devotion of the acolyte, rather than the cost of the ingredients. The priesthood of Gloop must have no formal therapeutic or medical training. In fact anyone who has studied science after the age of 16 is barred from joining the sect of Gloop. (Only technically, because they have never had to enforce the rule in reality due to a complete lack of applications.) In order to give themselves credibility, the priests and priestesses bore lots of holes into the soles of their shoes. This allows them to legitimately describe themselves as “Holy Heelers”. They also eschew underwire bras and sunblock, making the older members of the priesthood recognisable by their scorched complexions, saggy boobs and decorative melanomas. The high priestess of Gloop is Miss Fanny Chandler, who is assisted in her duties by her deputy Miss Jade Eigg.
Gloop has millions of minor temples around the world, all regulated and supplied by her principle temple, located in the heart of scenic Gwynedd. As you enter this temple you will walk between two gushing springs. The first, which you will pass on your right, is the Fountain of Youth. (The other is the Fountain of Musical Youth, which you will pass to the left hand side.) Only the High Priestess (who must maintain a glowing image at all times) is permitted to take the waters of the actual Fountain of Youth. The sect of Gloop never allow its waters to be used for the beautification of the masses. They are far too permanently effective. They would make one sale per person, and that would be it. Instead, they use the waters of the Fountain of Yoof, which are only mildly effective and require constant reapplication, ensuring a healthy sales forecast. The Fountain of Yoof is located at the bottom of the temple garden, about two meters below the latrines. The temple gardens also house numerous thriving hives. Visitors to the temple will often gently catch a passing bee and tenderly cup it in their hand for a moment. Doing this is thought to make one’s baby-blues more sparkly and alluring, because beauty is in the eye of the bee holder. (Though most outsiders think they are just trying to get deliberately stung for some reason). The gardens are also home to Gloop’s herd of sacred cows, known as the “Deet Oxen”. Their milk is used in several of the temple’s treatments for its purgative qualities.
The interior of the temple is lit by thousands of luxury candles which, for some reason, give the sanctuary a distinctly Piscean aroma. At the centre sits a large altar, formed to look like an ornate vanity unit, complete with a large guilt mirror above. The accoutrements and unguents of the beauty ritual are displayed upon it. (Also a phial of nails, which is thought to be there due to an ancient spelling error, but it has now become traditional.) There are no clocks in the temple, because time is a crap beautician. Leading from the main nave are multiple offshoot chapels where specialist rituals are performed. Such as the Tabernacle of Tweezers, the Sanctum of Seaweed Wraps, the Chancel of Colonic Irrigation and the Apse of Anal Bleaching. Lastly, there are the workshops, where the priesthood secretly blend their hallowed balms and elixirs. These famously include teas and foods made from a rare and only mildly toxic fungus. Most people who try them find these fungi to be foul tasting at first, but I am told if you give them time, they’ll grow on you.
The goddess is said to reproduce by laying distinctive mottled green eggs. Her priests sell these for extortionate prices, with the promise that they will enhance one’s sexual wellbeing if inserted into your minkey-moo. However, this is a devilishly cunning ploy to turn the credulous into hapless hosts that incubate her spawn. The faith of Gloop does seem to be somewhat obsessed with the well-being of the hoo-hahs of their female congregation, and will go to great lengths to encourage everyone to have a buff muff. They often pressure devotees to take part in regular rituals which involve steam cleaning the pink frilly curtains. This is to ensure a ready supply of suitable surrogates.
Gloop’s sacred text is called, “The 10 Beauty Secrets Cosmetic Surgeons Don’t Want You To Know”. In order to read this scripture, one must first undergo a gruelling ritual of clicking on approximately one hundred online adverts whilst being force fed cookies. Though I have never been through the ritual myself, I have it on good authority that the prosaic enlightenment the text contained was really not worth the effort.
As they wish to preserve a graceful, unblemished, swan-like neck, followers of Gloop live in abject fear of vampires. To this end they usually wear a “Vampire Repellent Spray” which is somehow scented with gemstones. Maybe the vampires can smell rubies, onyx and tourmaline with superhuman undead olfactory perception. However, this is the only Gloop product for which there is significant evidence that it is effective. In the last 12 years there have been no confirmed vampire attacks on the followers of Gloop.
Gloop herself is especially comely, even for a deity. The secret of her beauty is said to be that she sleeps every night on a gargantuan pile of cash.
Please note: All deities are fictional, and any resemblance to actresses who are divorced from reality or members of Coldplay is purely co-incidental.
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