This week’s exciting activity project is to spruce up your mud idol. It is probably languishing, neglected, matted with dust and cobwebs and harried by bats, up in your attic, so before reading on you had better go and fetch it.
Mission accomplished? Excellent. Now, the first thing to do is to count the nails frenziedly driven into the idol when you were in a state of trance. You will want to ensure that none are missing, but in order to recall the exact number of nails you hammered into the idol while chanting mesmeric gibberish, you will have to go back into a trance. Prepare a tisane of boiling milk and leaves and twigs and buds, and sprinkle it with icing sugar and eggy fragments. Play a tape recording of wild winds howling across the remote tarputa, and glug the potion in one go. Try not to vomit, yet. If all goes well, your brain should become bedizened and hallucinatory within a few minutes, and the magic number of nails will pop into your head. Write it down on a scrap of paper, turn off the tape recorder, and go for a long and strenuous hike to clear the fug inside your bonce.
When you return, refreshed, count the nails to ensure they match the number you scribbled down. If any nails are missing, spiritual panic would be an understandable response, but it is important that you remain absolutely calm. You will have to forget about any idea of sprucing up your mud idol, and instead concentrate on burying it, deep in the earth, and preferably in a lead-lined casket, as soon as possible. When you have done that, using a special spade, you must try to find the missing nail or nails. Until you do so, your soul will remain in the utmost peril. If and when you find them, place them in a bath of the most powerful acid legally available in your village. If, on the other hand, you cannot track them down, get on your knees and pray. Pray like the clappers. It will be your only hope.
Still, we must not be pessimistic. The likelihood is that your mud idol will still have driven into it the original number of nails, and you will be able to spruce it up in due accordance with this week’s exciting activity project guidelines. You may wish to listen to the tape recording of the wild winds howling across the remote tarputa as you do so.
Get a duster and a rag and some proprietary polish – I recommend Brian Eno’s Sparkly Rub-A-Dub-Dub Foam-Based Besmearing Agent®. Use the duster vigorously to remove all traces of filth and muck from both the mud idol and its piercing nails, then give it a good polish with the rag. There! It is all spruced up, and you can place it on your windowsill or mantelpiece and bow down to it in fear and trembling, until the cows come home.
NB : The idol pictured is for illustrative purposes only, and is not actually made from impacted mud. It was created some years ago as a talismanic fetish object by Mr Key’s younger son. He’s a proper caution.