copyright © 2002 Michael Rothschild

"Rando the Mando"

by Mike Rothschild

Lights up, the Greek God RANDO stands stage center, wearing a white toga. He mimes filling out a job application.

Name: Rando

Address: Mount Olympus, Thessaly, Greece.

Former occupation: Greek God of Puddings.

Describe in 25 words why you are qualified for a job at Barnes and Noble:

He stops and looks at the audience.

This is ridiculous. I was a minor Greek God, and I’ve been reduced to looking for seasonal employment at a chain bookstore. It used to be so different. We were untouchable, now I’m a shnook. And it’s all because of Jesus.

Before Christianity replaced us, we Olympians ruled the universe. We made your crops grow, controlled the sun and the underworld, started wars for the hell of it and slew the Titans. And Zeus was our king. We had month long toga parties, or we’d all turn into animals and have orgies. How many mortals have had sex with a python, a mule and a sea anemone on the same night? I was only the God of Puddings, but Zeus loved my butterscotch. He called me "Rando the Mando". I don’t know what a Mando is, but that’s not the point. Men feared us, kings left burnt offerings in our names, and women begged to bear our Olympus children. It was an amazing time to be a god. And I was there.

Then Jesus was born, and it all changed. Now there was one God to take care of everything, instead of dozens of specialty gods. Jesus was perfect. He didn’t seduce women or smite people, and Christians never let you forget it. People didn’t fear us anymore. Zeus would throw lightning bolts at churches and it was the will of Jesus. But when Jesus turned water into wine, nobody said it was Zeus at work! Christianity was everywhere, growing like a holy virus. I used to jerk off to Aphrodite every night. Who can jerk off to the Virgin Mary? And those friggin missionaries! Did the natives of Blah Blah Island really need to hear the Good News? They were harmlessly worshipping their Tiki god, then the missionaries came, with malaria and rifles and slot machines. We never had to make people believe in us. They just did.

But Olympians were old news and it hit Zeus hard. He’d wander the mountain drunk, seducing everyone. The other gods just beat each other up. Sysiphus blew out his back rolling the boulder uphill and sued us for workman’s comp. And Aphrodite, the most beautiful woman in history? She’s let herself go so badly dogs run away from her. It was terrible. Most of the time we just sat around. Or we played Scrabble or Boggle, or Scroggle. We made that up when the other games got boring. As we became less important, so did I. Why pray to the God of Puddings when you can just buy Jell-O?

My sex life was gone too. The only reason I ever got laid was because I was an Olympian, and now that men didn’t fear us, women didn’t respect us. I haven’t had sex in 700 years. I tell myself I don’t miss it, but that’s obviously bullshit. One day, I tried to talk to Zeus, and as he stumbled past me with some gorgeous brunette, I realized I had become as useless as him

One day, Apollo came into my office, high on something, and said "Randy, you’ve done a great job, but there’s no room in the budget for a Pudding God. We need you off the mountain by five" And that was it. Some guy who died on a cross and didn’t have the decency to stay dead had cost me my godhood. I lost it. Trashed my office and smote everyone in sight. They barred me from Olympus. But that’s ok. It’s a shit hole now.

I’m doing better these days. I got a little place of my own. I spend a lot of time filling out online surveys, to test new and exciting products. And I’m writing a screenplay, but who isn’t? I don’t even blame Jesus. He was a good man, he just has a few fucked up people worshiping him. But so did we. I don’t see the other gods much. Hermes was in town for a plasterers convention, but I didn’t call him. I don’t want to be reminded of the good times. They seem so distant, so far away. We’re not gods anymore, just mortals.

Anyway, I should finish this application. Jesus put me out of a job, and now I’m working for his birthday. I even still write the old Olympus address on applications. Force of habit I guess. Once a god, always a god.

He goes back to the application.

Do you feel punctuality is very important, somewhat important, not important?


OK, I blame Jesus a little.

Lights out.


"Rando the Mando" debuted December 20, 2002, performed by Michael Rothschild.

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