It was Thursday 4 April, Children's Day in Taiwan, and therefore an appropriate day (mum thought, wrongly) to take little Jonnie shopping for his first god.
As they entered the store, Godz-R-Us, with its rows upon rows of shelves piled high with glittering gods of all shapes and sizes, Jonnie seemed anxious.
"Oh don't be such a Nervous Nellie," said mum, "when I was your age, and grampa got sick and couldn't work any more, and we couldn't afford to buy new gods for me and uncle Harry and uncle Barry -- we all had to share a dirty old god that we stole from Ned Flanders' garbage, who lived next door.
"This is a special day for you, sweetie, so relax and take your time and choose one you really really like. And then we can go home and have some lunch and you can worship your little goddie, get to know him a bit better..."
Up and down the aisles they walked, hand in hand, looking at all the lovely pretty little gods, and some not so pretty, and not so little, and some very expensive. Jonnie just could not make up his mind, they all looked so nice, well most of them, well some of them.
Mum started getting a little impatient.
"What kind of god would you like, sweetie? Wrathful? Self-righteous? All Powerful? All Knowing?"
Jonnie didn't respond.
"Or how about that one over there, Jehovah the Jealous? Or that one, Quetzalcoatl the Feathered Serpent, look at that cute little axe in his hand! Or that one, Tlaloc," she said, pointing to a goggle-eyed blue being with fangs.
Still no reply from Jonnie. His lower lip quivered as if ze was about to cry.
"They all look so angry Mum," said Jonnie, "can't I get a doggie instead?"
"Oh don't be such a silly sausage," said Mum. "That's the whole idea of gods. If they're not angry and fierce then you wouldn't do what they say now would you, and everyone would be bad."
"But mum, if I have to have a god, why can’t I have one that'll be nice, and won't boss me around, and will be my best friend?"