Hey kids! It’s time for another visit to Bible Story Land. This month we’re going to spend a little time aboard the legendary ark with none other than Noah himself. As we pan in for a closer look it’s apparent from the body language (visible even through Noah’s loose fitting smock) that the famous Jewish sailor is stressed.

“He just expects too much. I’m only one person. Why can’t Abraham or his lazy son Isaac help out a little at least with the insects and fish.”
Noah scowled and kicked at a slop bucket at the edge of the galley.
“I can hear everything you’re saying,” said the Creator who’s first impulse was to keep the lid on the operation. “It’s not so bad. Look at all those others who don’t have enough sense to come in out of the rain. You’re the fortunate son.”
Noah frowned in the general direction of the clouds and spat as he coerced the last of the four-legged herd animals aboard his boat.
“Where in heaven’s name did he get this tub? Gopherwood and teak, heh? He acts like it’s all some sort of mysterious prophesy. I think they’re all nuts up there.”
“Watch it, Noah,” whispered the Creator. “There are fish in the sea that would like to make a light lunch of your skinny bones. They’d eat you shadow and all at the first chance. Teak and gopherwood were in ready supply over in the Sumerian yacht club plus they float better than steel, which has yet to be invented.”
“How is it you know so much?”
“You forget who you’re dealing with. I’ve been around,” said the Creator, “since before Adam and Eve met the snake, before Methuselah was a boy. What’s in the box, Noah?”
“Oh, just some of my favorite CDs. I thought I’d bring them along to calm the primates on the voyage.”
“Sorry, Noah. No CDs. They haven’t been produced either. You’ll have to stick to LPs or maybe those eight-tracks I bought you last Christmas. Now get back to work you old goldbrick. I’ve got to write some psalms about traveling into the valley of death, which seems quite appropriate with all this rain. Will it ever stop?
Noah sat down on the deck. He checked the master list.
“Oxen, water buffalo, gazelle, wildebeest, deer, elk, moose…All accounted for,” he smiled. “Now I’ve got to figure out how to get the cats aboard and limited to the starboard side. They seem docile enough but sooner or later I’m bound to run out of the canned cat food and they’ll be eye balling the zebras and the antelope.”
As the day progressed Noah grew tired of the tedious tasks before him. He petitioned the Creator for some help and in moments a sleepy fellow named Job showed up driving flocks of assorted poultry and a few hesitant primates.
“Ahoy, Noah,” shouted Job. “Monkeys and ducks, apes and turkeys, baboons and sage hens…all accounted for!”
“Put them to the left of the giraffes and watch out for the cats. When you’ve finished call me. We’ve got to get a couple a bears and two turtle doves before it gets dark. I’ll be in my quarters sleeping.”
Noah whined his way to his cramped cabin, pulled the covers over his head, remarked to himself about the stink on board and drifted off to sleep. He dreamed he was a sea captain charting a course for the sun. He was accompanied by six beautiful maidens, casks of aged wine and one of those chefs from the cruise lines. When he woke up he imagined he was enjoying a mango. Job stood before him.
“Ready for bear, sir?” asked Job.
“What are you doing in my cabin, you idiot. Get out! screamed Noah at the slow-witted Job. Get off my ship you simpleton!”
Job quickly departed leaving Noah to his own devices.
“I ask for help and he sends me a moron…”
“I heard that,” said the Creator. “You are one testy Biblical character, Noah. Instead of appreciating the situation you complain. I ought to throw you in the drink right now, but I’ll give you another chance. What ever happened to the concept of the happy warrior?”
“I’m 600 years old according to the Bible,” quipped Noah. “Couldn’t you have found someone younger to run your nautical circus?”
“It painenth me that I have made them,” muttered the Creator.
“I heard that,” spouted Noah.
“Where are the bears?” asked the Creator. “We simply must have bears…and what do you know of the birds and bees?”
“Real funny, Boss. You sit up there cracking jokes while this whole experiment of yours goes to hell in a handcart.”
“At least I gave you people the wheel, and what do you do? You build gambling casinos and make pizzas with the circular concept. I just don’t know where I went wrong. I think it was in the Garden. Nonetheless the mammals and other creatures have been nothing but good. They follow me accord and flow with the natural law while you people squawk. They don’t need fancy houses and ox carts. They’re happy in the be fruitful and multiply arena. Somebody hits the nail on the head down the road with all the talk about God’s second mistake.”
“There’s no need to be discourteous. We’re trying. It’s not like you gave us some paradise. It’s cold here in the winter and hot in the summer. Sometimes we have to eat leftovers and you expect us to perform senseless acts for your amusement. Who in his right mind would put all these animals on one little boat and expect the captain to…”
Oh shut up, Noah. You do nothing but crab. I don’t know how your wife puts up with you and your kids, well, how often do they voluntarily come by your hut? You’re just a chronic whiner and I’ve come to wonder if I can stand to have you survive the flood after all.”
“So what? What kind of life would it be, stuck on this tub, cleaning up after elephants and whales! You’re the smart guy. Why can’t you design some of these larger animals to hang it over the side at least. This place smells like a self-service zoo! I’d quit if I could find anything else that paid health insurance…”
“Don’t push it, Noah. Back to work,” said the Creator. “I’ve got another chapter to dictate and then a few hours tonight working on the index to my book.”
“One last thing, Boss. Why in the name of all that’s holy do you want this arc built in cubits? They had a field day at my expense down at Ur Lumber. Laughed so hard they fell off their stools…300 cubits by 50 cubits by 30 cubits. That’s not quite a cord either.”
“Just have faith, Noah and keep your trap shut. You’ve only got two days and there are still 300 species unaccounted for. I’d say you’ve got some work to do,” smiled the Creator. “I’ll be back after a figure out the part about David and Goliath. He was quite a giant you know but no match for David and his paint gun.”
“Paint gun?” frowned Noah. “If you can have a paint gun in the Old Testament why can’t I bring along a few measly CDs?”
“Because I’m God and you’re just another bad tempered speck on the hindquarters of mankind. You don’t even rate a hallow. Now quit grumbling and get back to work. I’m getting the terrible swift sword out if I hear another word.”
“Why don’t you use a slingshot,” asked Noah, frightened by the Creator and quickly changing the subject.
“What? What are you talking about now. I thought I told you…”
“For David’s weapon against Goliath. Use a slingshot and a stone. It’s a heavy concept and one from which theologians can draw eternal metaphor.”
“A stone? A slingshot? I don’t think so,” scowled the Creator. “You stick to cubits. I’ll do the thinking here.”
And with that the Creator disappeared leaving the crabby Noah to gather the rest of the critters. Surprisingly he succeeded. The Creator stayed out of the way only making his presence felt when Noah complained.
“Damn, you’re a pitiful excuse for a human,” said the Creator. “All you do is gripe. I’ve never seen such a miserable old fart as you, and what’s all the fuss about. I ask you load a few hundred animals on a boat. I’m not asking for a miracle, just a little cooperation and a half decent attitude. You ever heard the song Whistle While You Work? Maybe you should learn it. Crabby Noah, the sea captain…”
Finally the departure day arrived. The Creator showed up wearing a smart captain’s hat, carrying a large compass and a sea chest. Noah was there screaming at his sons and their wives, arguing with this own wife who insisted on bringing her poodle aboard. The Creator surveyed the situation, looked at his watch and took the wheel.
“Permission to come aboard, sir,” started Noah’s first son.
“Permission denied,” barked the Creator. “Your attitude is no better than the old man’s. I wouldn’t think of sailing around for forty years with your bawling. Your wives are worse. The whole family is a disgrace.”
“You can’t do that, sir,” yelled Noah. “You promised…”
“I promised what?” said the Creator. “I promised what?”
“Well I assumed…” said Noah.
“You assumed? You complained at every turn. By the way do you have your boarding pass?”
“Why, no,” answered the flustered Noah.
“Then I suggest you join the rest of the humans. I wish you good luck and hope you are strong swimmers. Now get off my ark before I have my apes throw you off. After things dry up I’ll try again. Sooner or later I’m bound to get it right.”
And the Creator, with his assorted crew floated off into the horizon leaving Noah crabbing on the shore.

Filed Under: Reflections on Disorder

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