Zeus sat in the conference room, stressed as always, as Idioma entered. It had been sometime since Idioma had been summoned to the top of Mt. Olympus with the King of Gods.
“Have a seat, Idioma,” said Zeus. Idioma obliged her supervisor who then added, “Idioma, you are the God of Idioms. You know that, right?”
“Yes, of course, sir,” replied a sunken Idioma. Idioma could tell she was about to get Zeus’s preferred method of conversing with sub-Gods which was the old “Zeus talks to you like you’re an enormous idiot routine.” She’d endured it before and it seemed like Zeus was going to be laying it on pretty thick here.
“And, Idioma, being that you are the God of Idioms, surely you know what an idiom is?”
Using all her self-control, Idioma avoided rolling her eyes and replied, “Yes, of course. It’s an expression or saying,” while simultaneously thinking, “No shit, Sherlock. Now, that’s an idiom.”
“Sorry for the basic questions but I just want to be clear that you understand the purview of what you are supposed to control on Earth. You know, I’ve been doing this for thousands of years. I started before there was fire, did you know that?”
“Not specifically, but I could’ve assumed that.”
“Pre-wheel was a good era. Easy, simple.”
“You’re a pretty recent sub-God appointment. I’ve had to appoint so many sub-Gods in the last century or so. It’s taken some getting used to and I have to know that sub-Gods can run their purview of Earth.”
“Boy, I tell you Idioma, this business has changed. There’s just so much to manage now. Those in the Earthly realm think there’s one God with a long white beard running everything. They don’t seem to understand that the ancient Greeks were right about how Earth runs.”
“To be fair, you do have a long white beard.”
“You know that I mean. When myself and a handful of Gods started this whole Earth thing, we never knew it would turn into this. It’s expanded so much. I used to know every God’s name, but now my assistant has to give me flashcards.”
“Wow, that’s really something,” said Idioma, feigning interest in Zeus’s tired gripes.
“The expansion has been insane. Do you know there’s now a God of Fast Casual Restaurants? I just made up a dumb-sounding ‘Greek god’ name and now there’s a Chipotlea. Have you ever heard of such an obviously stupid God name?”
“Well, it communicates what it needs to communicate,” replied Idioma diplomatically, noting to herself that her own name was pretty much just as stupid as Chipotlea.
“I suppose. But, now, the world changes so fast a request has been put in for a sub-God of Sriracha sauce. Come on! A non-spreadable condiment with its own God? Hummuseus I felt comfortable appointing as a sub-God. Hummus is spreadable and thick. Anyway, being King of Gods involves dealing with a lot of stuff you never anticipated.”
“I can only imagine,” said Idioma, not putting an ounce of energy into imagining Zeus’s “problem.”
“And, that gets me to my point. Those on Earth are incorrectly using the word ‘literally’ far too often. I’m constantly hearing humans says it’s their biggest pet peeve. Even the talking animal movies are doing it. Did you see Llama Llama Ding Dong 4: Llama in Da’ House?”
“No, I must’ve missed it,” replied Idioma wondering to herself why and how the King of Gods had spent time watching the most recent LLDD offering.
“Well, in this one, Llama Llama Ding Dong is constantly using the word literally wrong throughout the entire film.”
“And, the teenage girls… uh, don’t get me started. If you’re at a Taylor Swift concert you’re more likely to hear the word literally used improperly than you are to hear a pop-crossover hit.”
“I get it,” said Idioma perfunctorily in response to Zeus’s lame attempt at humor. After all, it had been Zeus himself who’d decided that Taylor Swift should try her hand at pop music and here he was trying to be clever about it.
“Good, then nip this in the bud. I hate micro-managing, but you know what we did last decade to end annoying slang? We came up with ‘whatevs.’ Maybe just come up with new slang that overtakes the word literally until the new slang itself gets too annoying.”
“Okay, I’ll take that tact,” replied Idioma, noting that that’s pretty much how slang cycles in and out. Idioma wondered if Zeus was an idiot or just beyond belief patronizing.
“Good. I expect it to be handled. Next, I’ll see you for your quarterly review.”
“Yes, Zeus. Thank you.”
“Thank you, too. Have a good day.”
Idioma left the conference room and spiraled through some hallways and cubicle areas until she hit the reception area where she spotted her old acquaintance Cargus, the God of Cargo Shorts.
“Hey, how’s it hanging, Idioma?” asked Cargus, who spoke in a laid-back vernacular one would expect from the deity in charge of cargo shorts. Cargus wore flip-flops, and, of course, cargo shorts and whenever he entered a room a hit song by the band Smashmouth would play.
“Alright. Zeus was unhappy. What else do you expect? What’re you in for?”
“Old Navy’s got a sale this weekend and Zeus wants to bore me with a strategy sesh. I’m, like, literally already asleep.”
And, with that, Idioma said her farewell because she knew she had a long day ahead of her.
Being a God unfortunately entailed the thankless drudgery of most jobs. Idioma soothed her anxiety by telling herself that maybe someday she could start her own planet and be her own boss.
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