He has hovered around in the background for a few years as a very minor deity. Now current events have thrust Loadin’ Skypefather into the theological limelight. He looks set to be a major player in the modern international pantheon for some time to come. A boon to mankind, helping us to reduce direct social contact. This year even Santa Claus is thinking of using a Virtual Presents Device.
Loadin’ Skypefather is the god of virtual communication that enables you to stay connected with your family and colleagues. This is considered by many to be a marvel of the modern age, and by others to be a real step back in human development. The critics argue that video calling destroys 90% the fun of working from home. As it forces you to brush your hair and be properly dressed (at least from the waist up). The first time non-believers see themselves on screen, they realise why Hollywood spends millions on hair, make up and lighting. What few people know is that, unless you have offered the correct prayers to the Skypefather, your webcam will be infested with a psychic filter that makes your face look like a smashed thumb and any breathing near the microphone sound like an punctured accordion being played by a two year old.
Loadin’ Skypefather has no designated temples or meeting places. Instead each worshipper will have a small shrine in their own home. This takes the form of a dedicated clean and tidy area amid the usual chaos. This provides a socially acceptable backdrop for video calls that won’t invite judgement on their living arrangements. This space is used for dialling into Video Conference Prayer Meetings, which is this sect’s preferred modem of worship.
There is an awkward initial stage to every prayer meeting, when only two worshippers have joined the call and are waiting for everyone else to join. They will invariably be the two members of the group who know each other least well, and they will be forced to make excruciatingly awkward small-talk until the others dial in. The prayer meeting formally begins with each worshipper reciting the traditional greeting, “Can everybody see me?” as they dial in. Next, the weather in each worshipper’s location will be discussed. One person will then interrupt by joining the meeting late. At which point, the congregation will chorus “Who just joined?” and the whole start of the ritual must be repeated.
One worshipper will be designated to take notes of the prayer meeting. They do this in the traditional manner, by typing with lump hammers on a keyboard full of crisps. When the first worshipper to leave signs off at the end of the meeting, the whole congregation will chorus, “Byeeeeeeee!” so loudly that everyone’s speakers distort.
Should you chose to join one of their virtual meetings, you should be aware that there are certain sins that, if committed, will get you booted off the call. These sins include; eating or drinking without muting your microphone, looking at your own image on the screen rather than the camera, sitting under the air conditioner and being the only one to get a word in edgewise. Sinners will be punished by Loadin’ Skypefather making them question absolutely everything about themselves. Particularly, “Do I really sound like that?”
A few of the Skypefather’s early adopters have now ascended to full priesthood. You may be forgiven for thinking they have taken a vow of silence. In truth, they have just accidentally left their mute function on. The high priest Monty Zoomer once tried to videocall the Skypefather himself, in the hope of receiving some words of wisdom. Unfortunately, all he said was, “Oh hello. I’ll get your mother.” before vanishing off screen.
Loadin’ Skypefather has a divine nemesis, the demon Feedbacchus. Feebacchus is a mythical prankster who lives in the ethernet and makes the audio drop out on the ——— words in every ——–. He also enjoys tormenting the righteous followers of Skypefather by whistling loudly in their ears until their brains explode. Although this sounds scary, he is not really a major threat, as Feebacchus can be defeated simply by turning him down.
The young are somehow mystically drawn to the majesty of Loadin’ Skypefather. When someone makes an important video call, any small children in the house will be lured into the field of view to see what’s going on. Animals are similarly entranced. Cats, particularly, will be overcome with an urge to flop down between the caller and the camera and start performing some anal grooming.
In addition to the virtual prayer meetings, Loadin’ Skypefather worshippers will engage in a ritual known as “Video Calling the Parents”, which is practised at least once a week. This ritual begins with an obligatory preliminary ordinary phone call, to provide tech support. This will often take longer than the actual rite itself. It is traditional for the parents of Loadin’ Skypefather’s followers to carefully write down the entire video call invitation link in their address book, so they can use it again next time. This whole shebang may all sound like a lot of hassle, but it’s worth it just to see
their faces light up right up their noses.
May Loadin’ Skypefather watch over you, as you remotely watch over your loved ones.
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