The great Pharaoh puts down his tennis racket and says,
"Call in my astrologers, magicians and priests. An answer must be found. The Gods must be appeased!"
"Oy," mutters the Queen. I told you to go with irrigation and agribusiness. But nooOOOoo. You want Sidney Omar and David Copperfield."
"Silence, woman!" commands Pharaoh.
She rolls her eyes and starts in.
"Remember Thebes? It's not bad enough that I wanted to go to Rio and you insisted on Thebes. But fine. We get there and the Sphinx goes, 'what walks on four legs in the morning, two in the afternoon, three in the evening, and grows weaker the more legs it has?'
"You said, ' a monster truck?' I've never been so mortified in my life."
"Do you have to tell that whole damned story over and--"
"So I had to jump in, before we became worm food, and answer for you. I mean, duh, hellooo, the answer is 'a man.' He crawls on all fours as a baby, walks on two legs as an adult, and rides in a golf cart after he retires."
Later, while walking Anubis, the Queen decides to drop in on her BFF, Doreen.
"Omg," exclaims Doreen. "You're letting that animal wear the ankh I gave you!"
"Oh, don't have kittens, Sugar. You know I love you. It was either that or chase his sulky butt through the Underworld in my new sandals."
"Can't have that. So how's His Highness?"
"Not so good since you stopped fucking him in the temple anteroom every Tuesday. Please start doing it again. He's become impossible ever since you cut him off."
Doreen stubs out her Virginia Slim, then looks back up, exhaling smoke luxuriously. "You knew?"
The Queen spreads her arms and croons, "I know everything! I'm the fuckin' Queen." Then she looks at her watch and clips Anubis' leash back on.
"Leaving already?" asks Doreen.
"Yeah. Bangles concert tonight. I'm going with Chris."
"The little number from the Nile croc exhibit? The one that talks into a microphone and winks at the wives? That Chris?"
"Well now. Robbing the cradle, what a scandal. If she's more than twenty-two, then I'm Joan Rivers."
"Bye Joan," says the Queen with an evil smile.
"Fuck you," says Doreen, and they both laugh.
That night the Queen does not return to the Palace.
All across the land, everything is quiet. Even the adders sleep.
The pyramids rest upon the burning sands like Buddhas.
Pharaoh broods and watches Leno.
Then, about three in the morning, there is a little rumble,
And a little drop.
By four, it is raining buckets.
Anubis, squeezed in between two pairs of smooth happy calves, sighs and rests his chin on his paws.
Egypt will last many thousands of years,
But this perfect moment
Will not come again.