God has reacted angrily to accusations that the cloud of volcanic ash covering Europe and disrupting air travel is His fault.
'It's so unfair,' the ageless deity complained. 'I hear this all the time - it's an Act of God. It's lazy thinking, pure and simple.'
The Eyjafjallajökull volcano, named accidentally when a geologist left his laptop alone with a cat in the room, has been erupting since March 20th. It has become worse in recent days, shutting down airspace across Europe and leading to many thousands of insurance claims. The Act of God clause is being invoked to refuse payment in many of these cases.
But the beleaguered deity hit back yesterday.
'It makes no sense. These are explosions from deep within the dark centre of the earth, where heat is so intense the rocks have melted, forming lava. It's this superheated rock which is bursting out of the earth, melting ice with fire, and throwing huge plumes of dark ash into the sky. Now think about that for a moment? Does it sound like an Act of Myself? Or does it sound like an act of my arch enemy, Satan?'
'Satan', He went on to argue, lives in the deep, dark recesses of a fiery hell. 'This is clearly his work, not mine, and I find it deeply offensive that people have assumed Me to be the culprit. Yet again. There is a real danger if these false accusations don't stop, I will become angry. Then you'll all be sorry.'
Satan was not available for comment, as he is busy with the UK elections, but Mammon, speaking on his behalf said, 'This is just more hot air and bluster from a discredited deity. There is no proof whatsoever that Satan was involved: God has heaped blame onto us for millennia, from everything through original sin up to Simon Cowell. It's about time the beardy old sod took some responsibility.'
Neither of the ancient beings could say how long the eruption, and the disruption of air travel is likely to last.