‘I see old Crepitus somehow scammed an invite,’ scowled Priapus leaning conspiratorially on a Doric column at the edge of a magnificent god-filled pool.
His co-conspirator was Abundantia, and she was, as her name suggested, endowed with both bosom and curving hip. She expertly grabbed another goblet of wine from a passing slave. ‘I am surprised you noticed him Priapus, for you haven’t taken your eyes from my tits since we began our conversation. Perhaps you should be talking to Upis, the many breasted.’
‘I find more than two disconcerting. But why should Crepitus be here?’
‘Why should he not? He is, after all, a god, and this is a party for the gods; at least that’s what it said on my invitation.’
‘A God of Farts?’ It’s embarrassing.’
‘Well, he’s not particularly popular, if that makes you feel any better.’
‘Is he coming over here?’ asked Priapus in horror.
‘Don’t come over here.’
‘He is,’ smirked Abundantia.
‘Crepitus Ventris,’ smiled Priapus his tone merry but brittle. ‘How are you?’
‘Magnificent,’ said a smiling Crepitus. ‘And a magnificent party. Priapus, you’re looking huge as usual, and Abundantia, you swell in beauty every time I see you. Or is that Priapus swelling in beauty every time he sees you? Ha ha ha.’
‘Got any new followers, Crepitus?’ asked Priapus with one eyebrow raised in faux casualness.
‘Sadly no, it’s not the most glamorous of reputations I hold. Very few pray to the God of Flatulence before battle, or making love, or before anything really.’
‘Ah, shame,’ said Priapus.
‘But on the bright side, I have had news from on high, as they say.’
‘I am to join the pantheon,’ beamed Crepitus Ventris.
There was a moment’s stilted silence.
‘The pantheon?’ asked Priapus, unable to keep the incredulity out of his voice.
‘Yes, Zeus himself has asked that I join the major gods. I was quite astounded, and honored of course, magnificently honored. Ah, I see Sterquilinus, I must tell him the news. Excuse me.’
Crepitus Ventris bowed with a wrist flourish, farted, and took his leave.
Priapus waited till Crepitus was out of earshot. ‘There must be a mistake at head office,’ hissed Priapus under his breath. ‘They’re putting farts in the pantheon now?! I’m the God of Cock, for God’s sake! I should be in the pantheon, not some whining, minor deity!
‘Calm down Priapus,’ said Abundantia.
‘They’ve promoted farts over cocks! How can I stay calm?Abundantia had begun to regret engaging Priapus in conversation in such a public platform. ‘Gods are starting to look,’ she said, trying not to meet anyone’s eye. ‘Your rage is impotent, Priapus. Let it go.’
‘Not impotent,’ grunted Priapus and Abundantia noticed with horror his growing erection.
‘Control yourself,’ warned Abundantia but it was too late. A Vesuvian eruption splattered her breasts and face, blasted back off the Doric column behind her, and rained down on the assorted party relaxing in the pool. Some of the guests expressed their disgust at the salty precipitation and exited the pool, but the majority simply shrugged it off as an unexpectedly early start to the evening’s frivolities.
‘Sorry, sorry,’ apologized Priapus sheepishly.
Abundantia slapped him across the face.
‘If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times,’ she said. ‘Wait for me.’