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Spiritual Hot Air

I've been doing some research into ancient civilizations and I've turned up a cracker, check this...

"Muddlehead the stupid" lived long, long ago (probably before breakfast) and was the earthbound spiritual leader and founder of the little known Midd Leeastern magical totalitarian theocracy known as I-slap whose worshippers followed "Allan the Bowelless".
Bowelless in this context is not, as you may have assumed, as we would understand the word to mean "Ruthless in competition" but caries the more literal meaning of "without a bowel." This may seem crude but it is based on a single line in ancient I-slap scroll, which loosely translated from its original Aramayuck means "The creator is perfect, devoid of decay."
It has been posited that followers, known as Muddlems, originally chose to take it to mean that their god has no bowels rather than the alternative which would be to believe their god was full of shit. However, this interpretation has been widely denied and recently discredited, largely by Muddlems I hasten to add.

Muddlehead's manifesto, the I-slap theocratic doctrine is known as "The Queer'n Sword" which is a centuries old conflation of the original "The Queer One's Word" and not as some have incorrectly suggested "because it's the book which allows the I-slapist priests (I-mumbles) to do queer things." Also, "Queer" in this sense carries its original meaning from the Aramayuck word "Asspyrut", which directly translated means "Beyond the usual or expected."
Under Queer'n law it was a sin for Muddlems to know anything about science or how the things really work; all anyone knew was what they were told by the I-mumbles, as one of their highest commandments bears out.
Questions are of the Bowel. So Allan wills it, so shall it be.

The main doctrine upon which Muddlehead founded the faith seems, by all accounts (even Jock in the pub says so) to be the parable of the tent.

In The Queer'n Sword it is written
"Centuries ago, the great god of all magic, Allan the Bowelless, carried Muddlehead the stupid into the clouds slung under a giant cloth."
After an extremely, long and, frankly, boring story where Muddlehead displays various acts of gross stupidity, he finds himself alone and optionless in the desert. He finally makes what the scripture relates as his "first not stupid act" He turned to Allan the bowelless, offering "ALL the life giving air in my tent to be burnt on the fire as sacrifice to you, the supreme god of magic", if Allan would help him escaped his pursuers.
"And the great god Allan was pleased that Muddlehead (Allan Luv His Bumbling Ass) had shown faith in magic and the great god of magic lifted Muddlehead (Allan Luv His Bumbling Ass) and his tent into the clouds, with the great Prophet Muddlehead (Allan Luv His Bumbling Ass) still sitting comfortably cross legged on his mother's fine rug, supported by what only moments before were his tent's tie ropes.
And to this day, those who gather a sufficient offering of cloth above a fire of suitable reverence and, whilst all the while facing east, repeat the sacrificial prayer 'Their snow play slycombe, their snow play slycombe, their snow play slycombe' for 31.4 minutes, shall be granted the miracle of flight.
Beware thee well though.
NEVER attempt the miracle of flight without the prayer for you will be sure and fall to your death and your soul will be consumed in the great and powerful Allan's Bowels for all eternity. As it always is, so say it. So praise be to Allan the Bowelless, the great god of all magic and great long blessings upon his Prophet Muddlehead (Allan luv his Bumbling ass)"

For more than half a millennium, thousands upon thousands of tourist and business flights arrived and departed from hundreds of I-slap centres and Muddlem tentples all across the globe and Muddlehead's civilization grew rich and powerful from the prayer flight taxes. All things come to an end however, and Muddlehead's empire faired no better as an account by the Roman Historian Marcus Onamap, a contemporary of Herodotus, very succinctly depicts.
"One day a poor but happy young chap, Simon Entist, living in a clifftop shanty town south of the Muddlehead's main northern European summer palace, was taking pleasure in watching the birds glide and soar above the waves, then darting back and forth to their nests high above. He wondered "Why are the birds allowed to fly without the incantation?" He suddenly couldn't see why Allan's "chosen people" needed to pray in order to fly, when birds did not. He thought to just leap out and flap but thought better of it and asked his family, friends and I-mumble.
Their opinions, which ranged from "birds can't speak" to "birds are much lighter than us", all seemed fairly reasonable but Si just couldn't put the question to rest.
Eventually Si decided he was going to do it, he was going to try to fly without the prayers.
He was successful but his un-logged flight was detected on Praydar.
It clearly proved that prayer was not necessary and led to Si's arrest.
There were protests, small at first but as word spread about Si's blasphemous but successful flight, citizens started to refuse to pay, initially the departure lounge prayer tax and then the full flight prayer tax itself.
Eventually, rioting turned into civil war and a century later the once great civilization founded by Muddlehead the Stupid fell into memory; brought to it's knees by Si Entist, a small boy with an inquiring mind."

If you'd been born and educated under Muddlehead the stupid's regime,
would you think to question how "Hot Prayer Balloons" work?

A hot air balloonImage via Wikipedia

Interested in what happened next? Read, Ancient Utopian Nightmare. It's not really a sequal more like a snapshot of a possible future, extrapolated from this story.

This is one of the Too Many Questions

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