With the practices of most religions now protected by employment law, druids are the latest group seeking equal rites in the workplace.
Although little is known about the origins of druids, they have steadily made up their religion after watching Lord of the Rings and other Christopher Lee films. They now have a huge following amongst credulous office workers, keen to fill their empty lives with tales of magic and bloodshed. "It's the first religion that really appealed to me", explained Merlin Pendrake, a slightly lazy blue-belt in druidry. "It's a great excuse not to shave, and come to work in your bedsheets. And it's so poorly documented, you can make it up as you're going along."
To many suburban druids, working in a 21st century office gives plenty of opportunities for a druid to be offended. Gandalf Trollsbane, a 43 year-old website counsellor, has started a vigorous campaign of tweets and posts on Warhammer forums to highlight his awkward beliefs. "I noticed that some religions get to take Friday off, or wear very specific hats. Fortunately, druidism allows me to make all sorts of outlandish demands."
"Ever since I watched The Wicker Man, I've dreamed of having a vaguely mythical name, and hurting animals. Not pandas or anything, just mundane animals like chickens, or the more bland members of the swan family. But the woman from HR is oppressing me, she reckons my contract can't be altared."
Trollsbane has to worship in secret at the moment, arranging PCs in the server room to look like Stonehenge. "I've also been smuggling in cheap hamsters. If I feel stressed, or someone offends Mother Earth by printing out an email, I get a nice juicy one out of my robes and pop it under the desk. Literally, using my thumbs. It's a bit messy. I should be allowed to use the shredder in this day and age."