Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Wait--Come Back! The Bible...It's a COOKBOOK!

Just want to keep things rolling. Here's some more Bible as Literature homework. Hey, don't give me that sour face. Remember, I got an 'A' in the class. Today's selection will be my redaction of the Flood story. I wrote this in a week, and haven't taken time to really polish and revise, because it's just homework. But I like it, even though it'slonger than the bible version.


Let’s Just Call it a Learning Experience
And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. Genesis 6:6

It was a sight I wish I could just put out of my mind. But there he was, in all his celestial glory, digging through the refuse for something. Hanging over the dumpster (which would later become India), sandals dangling off the bend of his toes, robes hiked up just enough to expose well-developed God-calves, Yahweh rifled through the garbage looking for some lost scrap, muttering obscenities while casting off crumpled wads of paper and chicken bones. “Where is it? Somebody’s gonna pay for this! Where the fuck is it?” Finally, he had found it, and clutching his prize with one hand, he eased himself off the dumpster with the other.

Yahweh held up a briefcase-sized box, its edges bent and greasy, turning it over to examine both sides. MATTEL® EARTH in a BOX MODEL KIT, boasted the big red letters across the top. For ages 3 to 800; some assembly required. Yahweh had always been good with his hands, and had a knack for sculpture and pottery. He just assumed the creation of a world would be a cinch.

Yahweh shook the box, opened it and reached in, “There’s got to be a frickin’ warranty in here…” then dumped the leftover pieces onto the ground. The extra bits that tumbled out of the box included the Antidote Tree, and a bush that would grow Always Correct Behavior berries. Yahweh headed back into the mansion with the tattered box, certain he’d discover that the kit had been recalled by Mattel.

“Mr. Yahweh, did you install the Always Correct Behavior bush, as per the instructions?” Mattel’s phone rep asked.

“Mess up the perfect arrangement of my garden, for what, two people? Look lady, I happen to know a thing or two about landscape design. The bush and the other tree would have upset the symmetry and cluttered the space.. It just wouldn’t have worked. And I’m God. G-O-D, God. I think I can keep two little teeny-tiny humans in line, thank you very much.”

“Uh, sir, what other tree?”

Yahweh mumbled his answer.

“Sir, I’m sorry, I didn’t hear which tree...”

“The Antidote tree. What’s the big deal?”

“Well, Mr. Yahweh, didn’t you read the hazard statement about the Tree of Life and the Knowledge of Good and Evil Tree? The part that said Harmful if swallowed?”

“Yeah, I read it. I thought it was a choking hazard, so I made the humans adults. With teeth and everything.” His voice trailed off as he looked downward, tracing circles on the table.
The Mattel rep sighed into the phone. “Sir, I’m sorry. I can’t help you. How many humans are there now?”

“Oh, I don’t know. A lot.” God’s voice graveled with disgust. “Can I have my money back?”
“Our Earth in a Box kit isn’t faulty, sir. I can send you a catalogue. Maybe you’d like to pick another kit—an easier model—"

“That’s enough lady. I know when I’m being insulted. You’ll being hearing from my lawyer!”
Yahweh slammed the receiver down.

“Just as soon as I invent them.”

So God was up to his eyeballs with bratty, maggoty humans. “Be fruitful and multiply…” he mused, “oy vey, what was I thinking?” Sitting for a long while, crestfallen, Yahweh cradled his gentle, aged faced in his palms, his long, white cat-whiskers sticking out at the sides. A visit to his studio might heighten his mood, he thought. Yahweh strolled through the room where he had formed his best pieces. Ashtrays, mugs, vases. He picked up a shallow bowl—brick colored and expertly glazed, stroking the smooth lip, turning it over to admire his handiwork. Glaze of Glory by Yahweh, read the signature on the bottom. His chest collapsed in a heavy sigh as he placed the bowl back on the shelf. Dejected, at a loss for a solution, God shuffled back to his office.

“Time to check the God-cam.” Yahweh slumped into his swivel chair, and linked up to the streaming video of Earth. “OK, what are you wretched creatures up to today…and just as I suspected: NO GOOD!”

The sight on God’s beloved Earth sickened Him. Smoke floated up from razed encampments, women scooped children into their arms, running from marauding Nephilim, hurdling the dead and dying as they went. Earth’s atmosphere had become tainted with greed, rancor and lust. A web of paranoia entangled God’s human charges.
“This was supposed to be paradise…” his voice trailed off. “you’ve ruined it. Can you even remember how beautiful it was? You’ve destroyed it! Yahweh forced himself to witness the awful spectacle, hoping that the people would come to their senses. But they didn’t. He’d been watching for years, and humanity’s appetite for evil seemed boundless. Yahweh massaged his temples for relief. “This is so not working out.”

Sitting straighter in his chair, God picked up the mic and turned the ethercom on. “Attention Baal-Mart shoppers. YOU have UTTERLY, and DESPICABLY made a refugee camp out of my Paradise! I paid 24.99 plus shipping for that paradise, assembled it MYSELF, using most of the parts, and now you’ve trashed the place and I can’t find the WARRANTY!”

Chaos ensued, uninterrupted until thunder startled everyone as God tapped the mic, “Hello? Is this thing on?” God cleared his throat and continued. “Do you people even know who I am? Do you know what I’m capable of?” One by one, people tilted their heads heavenward, like dominoes. But they removed their hands from their ears too soon. A horrible, shrill screech tore across the heavens, forcing them to their knees. “Oops, Feedback. Sorry.” God adjusted the volume and moved the mic away from the receiver.

“Anyway, in case you weren’t aware, I can see everything you do. And do you know why? Because I’m God. G-O-D. God. See, there’s a camera on you all the time. I’m watching you every minute of every day. Except when I’m watching the Coed cam, but the point is, I know what you’re up to, and I am much, much, unhappy about it. Now clean this place up, pronto-like. Over and out.”
The occasion called for knuckle cracking, God thought as he leaned back, swiveling his chair back and forth. He turned off the monitor, and closed his eyes. “I’m too old for this.”

Days passed and Yahweh’s warning went unheeded. He did His best to tune the whole mess out. Turning his music up to the max volume, He would sit at his pottery wheel for days at a time. Despite the troubling Earth crisis, He hadn’t lost his touch with a lump of clay. Yahweh had spent so much time at the wheel lately, that his hands had become dry and chapped. Cleaned up and aloe lotion applied, Yahweh drug himself into his office.

“OK…I don’t need to see the Earth cam. I don’t want to. I don’t care what’s happening on Earth. How about a nice, relaxing game of Free Cell… that’s a jolly good idea.” Warmed up with a half hour’s worth of Free Cell games, Yahweh was ready for a few rounds of expert level Minesweeper. This gave him an idea.

He had barely started his Google search when an ethermail popped up. Yahweh loved ethermail. A few humans still bothered to keep in touch with the Divine One, and he answered every one of their missives. This reciprocation of trust and respect was the only thing that kept God from inventing lawyers right away to sue Mattel. He clicked on the praying hands icon.

Dear Yahweh,
Just wanted to thank you for this meal and for all you have provided. Thank you also for the continued good health of my family and myself. Hope all is well with you.


“Awww. What a good guy that Noah. He’s done such a good job with those boys of his, too.” Yahweh’s affection for Noah, and Noah’s affection for him soothed his heart like a balm. Yahweh’s Hallmark moment was cut short as he glanced up to the words He’d just typed in his browser: OBLITERATE HUMANKI—. He needed a plan B, and Noah would have to be party to this scheme. God sidled up to his drawing board, rulers, pencils, compass and protractor at the ready. Two or three days went by, and aborted sketches covered the office floor, moldering coffee cups cluttered his desk, while rolls of adding machine tape draped over the side of His desk like holiday streamers. Yahweh’s fingers blackened with pencil lead matched the dark rings under his bloodshot eyes—the solution had to be near. He ethermailed Noah the minute His plan was finalized.

Dear Noah,
Sorry it’s been so long since I contacted you last, I’ve been like super busy with a project and stuff. I’d like you to be involved. OK here’s the deal: I need you to build an ark out of Cypress wood, covering both the inside and out with pitch. It’s gotta be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high (see attachment that includes sketch). Don’t forget to put a roof on it, and a door on the side. It should have three decks: a promenade deck, a lido deck and one just for shuffleboard and canasta.

Once you’ve built the ark, you’ll need to gather two of every animal—one male and one female—bird, bug—everything, onto the ark. OK, two of everything except for gophers. You’ll just need one Gopher, one cruise director, a doctor and a bartender named Isaac.
Here’s what I’m going to do. In a week, I’m going to hose everything down. I mean like Super-Soaker hose. So once you and your family are safely aboard the ark, with two of every kind of animal etc., I’m going to turn the Earth into a giant Maytag without the spin-dry setting. Over and out.


Noah complied and had the ark ready for passengers before the week was up. Mated pairs of all Earth’s creatures were coaxed onto the vessel, and checked and double checked against the manifest. This Love Boat, exciting and new, was ready for launch. “Let ‘er rip, Lord!” Noah trusted that his family would survive the flood, and felt honored to be given the responsibility of co-creation once the waters had receded. Careful attention had been paid to all of God’s instructions, and Noah was determined to make this plan work. A loud rumbling could be heard outside the ark. Then screaming. The ark pitched forward and back, then rocked from side to side. “Hang on everybody!” Soon Noah’s vessel was in motion, buffeted by massive waves, and the doomed inhabitants of Earth, now lifeless flotsam rotting on the water’s surface.

Forty days and nights passed, as Yahweh promised, and Noah and family couldn’t wait to get their land legs again. Little by little, the waters receded, until finally the dove test proved positive—land ahoy! “Whoohoo!” Noah pumped his fist into the air. “Folks, let’s set up camp and have ourselves a barbeque! Isaac, the occasion calls for a celebratory ferment. What do you have behind that bar?”

“The same thing I’ve had for two months. Wine.” Isaac deadpanned, uncorking a bottle.

“Can you put an umbrella in it?”


Noah and family disembarked on Mount Ararat, a little wobbly, maybe from the journey, maybe from the wine, but thrilled to be on land again. After they had unloaded the ark and set up camp, they offered a goat to Yahweh, its pleasing scent signaled victory and a new start. “Mmmm, barbeque…” God’s mouth watered as he looked for his frisbee. Noah heard the clip-clop of sandals in the distance, when his hungry Guest appeared. “Lord, thank you for sparing my family. The goat is my humble offering. I wish I had a thousand goats to give you.”
Yahweh, in his usual good-natured way, slapped his belly and said “As long as there’s potato salad somewhere, I’m a happy camper!”

Yahweh walked up to Noah and high-fived him saying “You are one righteous dude.”
Cindy St. Onge


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