God and the Naked Lady Channel by Colin Cotterill

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They were sitting in a circle playing cards. They were big old aunties and overweight nieces and it could have been a family reunion if it weren’t for the fact they were dressed (barely) in transparent halter-necks and large underwear that highlighted their bulges. They appeared to be having a good time but I don’t speak German so I lost a lot of their jokes. They were apparently playing strip poker because one by one they removed their garments until each of them was naked. It wasn’t a pretty sight. It occurred to me I’d chanced upon the on-demand porn channel and they’d bill me for 1000 Euros the next morning, but no. It was, like CNN and the cartoons, just a channel that you surfed your way through on the hotel TV. I wondered whether perhaps this was another development of my religious experience in Munich. Whether just by looking at the newsreader I might be able to convince her to remove her clothing. I imagined it was what God might do as a hobby when running the Universe got a bit slack. And, you see, in Munich, I had become God.

Somewhere in the bible, probably the beginning, there was a line that went something like, “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God”. I was there in the beginning and it was me who wrote that first word. Before me there was no Dr. Siri and no series and no book tours and absolutely no reason for five hundred people to turn up at the city mortuary lecture theatre with photos of me and autograph books and cameras. There would have been no interview with the city coroner, no movie star sitting beside me reading a German version of my words, no morgue dolly with police tape to lie on, no after-show dinner with actresses and directors and beautiful publicists. I had created this universe so I was God.

I’d had no clue of my forthcoming omnipotence as I sat on the veranda with my empty notebook, my budget pack of blue biros, my glass of cheap red box wine and my pack of sleeping dogs. ‘The Word’ extended to two or three then the Sentence then the Paragraph and a year later there was the Book with my name on it. The Book did reasonably well but did not make me wealthy nor change my life greatly. I received emails from Texas and Western Samoa and Milton Keynes but these were isolated outbreaks of Dr. Siri fever. No communes sprouted out of this sporadic enthusiasm. But somewhere in Germany seeds of wonder Germinated into a flowery patch of addiction and Dr. Siri cultivated his own cult. And like William Shatner arriving at the Star Trek convention, we were mobbed by adoring fans and our heads grew large to a point where we could no longer get into the hotel room through the door and had to be inserted via the French windows.

Last night my movie star and his entourage of beautiful starlets and God moved on to Stuttgardt, another corner of My universe where Dr. Siri fans crammed into a small windowless bookshop and the sweaty scent of adoration pervaded. German crime writers sat at our feet and offered us wine and roasted boar. Tonight our road show moves on to Hanover followed by Hamburg. Hamburg airport is currently closed due to another Icelandic volcano (Iceland’s only known export) but I figure that if I can denude women on television, what is a cloud of volcanic ash to stand in the way of Me?

For those you concerned that God may be affected by this in a negative way, rest assured that God is a humble deity and will continue to associate with the little people. May I be with you.

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