Because of the special place that the number two has in our religion, Paahlmism honors through idleness all hours of the day and days of the month containing the number two. (See creation story
.) Regardless of this fact, our religious services are not held on a specific day of the week or hour of the day. Instead, they are convened whenever a group of us is looking for an excuse to goof off. A recent Spiritual Polling Council of the Universe survey found that, based on our attendance at services, Paahlmists are the most religious people in the world.
Services are led by a priest or priestess who is referred to as The Exalted Coconut. This is a temporary position, with the holder changing at each service. The Exalted Coconut is selected through a rousing game of tag conducted before the sacred rituals begin. The person who is "it" when we all agree that we've become bored with the game assumes the title of Exalted Coconut, but only if the winner is of the right gender.
Because Paalmism is neither patriarchal nor matriarchal and it demands non-discrimination, the Exalted Coconut position must strictly alternate between males and females. If someone of the wrong sex wins the game of tag then, after a short nap, we play another round. We keep replaying the game until we come up with an acceptably gendered Exalted Coconut.
"Why not prevent the need for rematches by restricting each game to people of the proper gender," you ask. Our games of tag strictly adhere to the tenet of our faith that demands inclusiveness because we enjoy playing tag much more than we enjoy attending services, so shut the hell up and mind your own damn business!
It is our belief that the Exalted Coconut has a direct line of communication to Paahlm, our God, unless, of course, Paahlm is napping at the time.
Paahlmist services are brief. The Exalted Coconut opens by saying "Oh Paahlm, you are the greatest, most munificent and most physically attractive God of all time and all place — and we are not just saying that to get on your good side. Honest. Although, if it will
get us on your good side, we wouldn't particularly mind that." The congregation then responds with, "May Its husk never rot." We repeat this liturgy 12 times.
The Exalted Coconut concludes the service by cracking open a coconut, pouring the milk into an old, beat-up tin chalice and cutting the meat into strips that are placed on a paper plate. We then line up to take a sip of the milk from the chalice and receive a strip of the meat to eat. We believe that the milk is the blood of Paahlm and the meat is Its flesh. Nobody remembers how that belief began, but we think it was started by a former prime minister who was looking for a way to get us to stop whining so much about having little more than coconuts to eat.
The sipping from the communal cup and eating of the shared coconut meat is followed by a round of vaccines and antibiotics to ward off the inevitable infections that would otherwise be epidemic as a result of our unsanitary rites. This concludes the service. We then go home to engage in the national pastime, napping.
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