Posts Tagged ‘Bible Stories’

Cartoon by Pamela Sutter

This portrait of J.C. lazing on a sunny afternoon is the latest from our friend Pamela Sutter, author and illustrator of May the Farce Be With You: A Lighthearted Look at Why God Does Not Exist

May the Farce be with You

We put up our 1,000th post a week ago. We’re now looking through everything we’ve posted, and are putting up “best of” lists in our most popular categories.

This is the fifth of our first-1,000 “best of” lists. We’ve already posted the Science Fiction, MusicInterviews, and Addictions lists, and will shortly be putting up other “best ofs” in several other categories, including Anarchism, Atheism, Economics, Politics, Religion, Science, and Skepticism.

Humor is by far our most heavily populated category, with 365 posts over the last three years. We found it difficult to pick the funniest ones, but we consider these relative few among the best.

Best Humor Posts

Bible Tales for Ages 18 and Up, by G. Richard Bozarth, front cover

In 1947, Dr. Sebaceous Piafraus discovered the Terminally Ill Sea Scrolls in the same month the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. The Dead Sea Scrolls became internationally famous, but the Terminally Ill Sea Scrolls were consigned to obscurity, along with their discoverer. Dr. Piafraus, who endured decades of ego-bruising neglect, provides translations of well known Old Testament stories, which he insists are the most authentic versions of the stories because the Jewish end-times cult that created the Scrolls claimed that they were. These stories are more fully developed than in the Old Testament and are humorous, though some parts are appalling, because Bible stories often are appalling.

For a large pdf sample, click here.

Bible Tales for Ages 18 and Up, by G. Richard Bozarth, front coverBible Tales for Ages 18 and Up, by G. Richard Bozarth,  is a collection of translations by Dr. Sebaceous Piafraus from the unjustly neglected Terminally Ill Sea Scrolls that reveals the appalling realities of many Bible stories. This is a portion of the “Exodus Scroll.”



Moses always felt very nervous when Yahweh showed up. What man could know what mood the supreme being would be in? Moses sure didn’t.

“Do you think it’s Yahweh?” Aaron whispered, his beautiful voice full of fear.

“I hope so. We’re in deep road apples if Yahweh doesn’t show up pretty soon.”

The rock rolled up to the two men and stopped five cubits from them. “Hi, guys,” the rock said pleasantly.

Not at all surprised by a talking rock, Moses asked cautiously, “Are you Yahweh? If you ain’t Yahweh, get your pagan buns movin’ on down the road. Nobody wants you here.”

“Not to worry, guys,” the rock said reassuringly. “I’m Yahweh, but not exactly, you see.”

Moses and Aaron exchanged perplexed looks. This definitely was not Yahweh’s usual awesome booming style. “No, I don’t see,” Moses replied suspiciously.

“I’m Jesus Christ.”

“What the Sheol? I never heard of no Jesus Christ! You’re some damn pagan god tryin’ to fake me out, ain’t you? It won’t work, puke. You best be rollin’ your buns on to some other place. My god’s the king here and nobody’s lookin’ for a replacement. There’s plenty of pagans around who’ll be glad to worship you, whoever you are, not that I want to know. We’re Yahweh’s chosen people and that settles it as far as you’re concerned.”

The rock laughed amiably. “Now, take it easy, Moses. I am who I am. Really. Trust me. I’m here to take care of the water problem, and to give you a little hint about what could happen if the Hebrews blow their gig as my chosen people.”

Moses looked perplexed. Aaron looked even more confused. Moses said, “Look, if you’re Yahweh, then what? We should call you Jesus Christ now? I mean, whatever name you want, that’s the name we’ll use. Yahweh, Jesus Christ, you name it — uh, I mean, name yourself.”

“No, I’m Jesus Christ, the son of Yahweh, meaning myself, but I’m still a distinct person as Jesus Christ and also simultaneously a distinct person as Yahweh, but the sons of Israel will call me Yahweh for as long as they’re Hebrews. I don’t even really have to be Jesus Christ again, but I will if you make me.”

Aaron said, “Huh? If you’re Jesus Christ now, why wouldn’t you be Jesus Christ always? I mean, you’re eternal and all that, right?”

“I know it’s confusing, but, trust me, this is how it might be if it has to be, and that depends on you keeping the faith and obeying all the laws I’ll be giving you pretty soon.”

That confused Aaron even more. He asked, “So, like, you’re your son while you’re also your father, but not right now, just sometime later?”

The rock chuckled, “Close. Let me explain it again. I’m the Son of God, but I’m also my father, meaning I’m also God the Father. So I’m both Yahweh and Jesus Christ. I’m also the Holy Ghost, but I won’t get into that for now. Just keep in mind that I’m one god, not three gods. At the moment, I’m predominantly Jesus Christ, but also simultaneously Yahweh and the Holy Ghost, because in all things I am who I am and the unity of my trinity isn’t to be questioned, at least not by my true believers.”

Aaron struggled mightily to comprehend, then thought he had it. He grinned as he said, “Of course! Jesus Christ is just an alias!”

“No, doofus, I’m here before you as Jesus Christ, a complete and entire person. Did you not pay attention?” the annoyed deity demanded.

Aaron’s mind was blown. He just stared stupidly. Moses wasn’t much closer to understanding, even though he was a much better theologian than his brother. Diplomatically he asked, “Could you say it in simpler terms?”

“OK, one more time. This is as simple as it gets. Ready? The Father (that’s me when I’m Yahweh, which I always am, but not necessarily predominantly) isn’t created or begotten. The Son (that’s also me, and what I am predominantly now while still being entirely the other two) is begotten without participation by the Holy Ghost, but the Father didn’t make or create the Son. The Holy Ghost (the third person I am while simultaneously being only one deity, but I won’t be predominantly that person now, since it wouldn’t help you figure this out) isn’t made or created or begotten by the Father or the Son, but proceeds from both. The Father is one Person, the Son is one Person, and the Holy Ghost is one Person. But the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost make only one God. I strongly advise not muddling the Persons, and don’t even try to divide the Substance. That means I am who I am no matter who I am predominantly at any given moment. Three Persons are one God and one God is three Persons, all equally eternal, and none is not even the tiniest fraction of a second older than the others. Now, isn’t that simple?”

Moses’ and Aaron’s heads spun wildly. Neither was able to comprehend the plain, clear explanation of the triune glory of the god of the Hebrews, the one true god, who was the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost simultaneously and also individually predominantly whenever he felt he had to be predominantly one of the three.

Aaron looked as if he wanted to go to his tent and lie down for a long time. Moses pulled his beard, squinted, mumbled, thought mightily, but finally had to ask, “Uh, you mean you begot yourself without existing before yourself? I mean, you’re your father, but you didn’t exist before the part of you that sired the other part of you?”

Then his over-extended brain produced a sudden new idea that made much more sense, and he looked at the rock suspiciously as he charged, “You gotta be some damn devious pagan deity tryin’ to fool us!”

An awesome voice boomed from the rock, “You fool! You’ll never figure it out. Maybe no Hebrew will ever figure it out. Well, I’m here to warn you that, if the Hebrews don’t want to have to figure it out, or suffer the consequences of failing to figure it out, they better keep all the laws that I’ll be giving to you and they damn sure better never ever convert to other gods or goddesses! If they fail me, I will give them for enemies peoples who haven’t even heard of me yet — who aren’t even nations yet.

“These peoples will speak languages the Hebrews will have to learn and one day there’ll be Hebrews who can’t speak Hebrew and don’t want to! The worst of the Hebrews’ enemies will be seriously mean religious bigots who won’t respect the old or pity the young if they don’t worship as they do. These enemies will eat the best of the Hebrews’ cattle and crops and mercilessly exploit the Hebrews’ labor until the Hebrews can’t remember when they were prosperous. The peoples I empower will leave the Hebrews with just enough to survive and eventually the enemies will terminate the Hebrew nation. The war will put all the Hebrew towns under siege until the strongest walls collapse. The Promised Land will become the possession of the peoples I now bless. They will own all the towns that I will be giving you at the end of the Exodus. Those who survive will live all their lives wishing the Hebrews had never been liberated from slavery in Egypt.

“If the Hebrews do not obey the laws I’ll be giving you to write down, they can forget about the blessings of prosperity and increasing national importance. It will be my delight to inflict ruin and insignificance on them. They will be exiled from the Promised Land and I’ll disperse them all over the earth to live as humble minorities in nations they’ve never heard of yet, and the nations that will be the worst for them will be those that worship me in all my triune glory. They’ll live in fear every day from birth to the grave, centuries and centuries of fear, among peoples who believe in my multiple Personhood and despise the Hebrews for clinging to the single-Person monotheism I will have discarded. The laws that will require the Hebrews to despise pagans, heretics, apostates, and humanists, if they wish to serve me and be spared the consequences of making me real peckish, will be interpreted by my Trinity worshippers as commandments that require them to despise the Hebrews. Among these nations there’ll be times when the Hebrews will think the worst is over, then I’ll lay some more heavy hand on them. Those who manage to survive will go on living night and day in fear. Even if I allow some Hebrews to prosper, never will I give them the comfort of security. Centuries and centuries of the heavy hand, that is what’s going to happen to your descendants if you make me come again as Jesus Christ. The body count will increase as each new tragedy crushes your descendants like you will crush the pagans when I bring you to the Promised Land.

“But it doesn’t have to be that way. This is a warning. I don’t have to be a three-person deity on the earth. In fact, when I’m done here you and all Hebrews will continue to experience me as the one-person deity the Hebrews have worshipped for as long as I have been among them. But fail me and humans on the earth will only experience me as a three-person god. I will walk among the Hebrews as Jesus Christ again, except I’ll be in a human body instead of a boulder. I’ll offer them a new way to find salvation, but it won’t be their traditional way and it will be hard for them to accept. Woe to them if they do not! If the day comes when I again let humans experience me as the Trinity, that day will be the beginning of when the Hebrews remember being slaves in Egypt as like having been in a paradise.”

That awesomely booming voice removed all his doubts. Moses knew the voice of Yahweh by now! His joy was so tremendous that he paid not the slightest attention to the awful prophecy given to him. He didn’t care about what name Yahweh wanted to be called or how many persons Yahweh said he was. He had more pressing problems, and they needed a miracle or two right now. Some other time maybe it would be nice to try to comprehend what this Trinity stuff was all about. At the moment he had a rebellious people dying of thirst and a hostile army approaching. But more than that, he again had the only shoulder he could cry on.

Moses unburdened himself to Yahweh. “Where have you been? Why are you tormenting your slave? Why do you view me so unfavorably that you load the weight of this entire nation on me? Did I conceive these losers and give them birth, entitling you to order me, ‘Carry them on your chest like a foster father carrying a suckling infant, to the land I swore to give their ancestors’? I’m more like a wet nurse with a spoiled brat hanging on her nipple like he wants to bite it off!

“I was as good as a prince in Egypt. I had it easy. I could’ve skated through life and not even got bruised, but no, I had to care about these people. I had to give it all up because I felt guilty I didn’t share their ordeals. Then I found peace and happiness in Midian, but you came along. ‘I’ve seen the way the Egyptians oppress my chosen people,’ you said, ‘so I’m sending you to pharaoh so you can lead my nation the Israelites out of Egypt.’ What’s my reward? Stranded out here in the middle of nowhere, no water to drink, hostile troops marching on us, and all these bitchin’ an’ moanin’ losers about ready to stone me!

“Where am I to find water for all these crybabies? We’re so weakened by thirst I probably couldn’t field a thousand men fit for battle. I can’t hump this load by myself, you know, and I ain’t the one who dreamed up this whole exodus thing! If all you’re going to do is dump road apples on me, kill me now and save my people the trouble! I thought I was your number one boy, but you never told me I’d be in misery like this!”

Yahweh said to Moses, “One thing the Hebrews are good at is bitching and moaning.”

“Tell me about it!”

“Well, relax, I know your problems and you know I have solutions to them all. First off, don’t sweat the Amalekites. You’ll kick their buns when the time comes because I’m with you. It’ll be good practice for the buns-kicking you’ll have to do in Canaan before you actually own the place. The water problem’s no problem. Stand by for another reason to worship none other than me. Now, Moses, just whack me with your staff.”

Moses did this, and promptly a steam of yellowish water flowed out of the point of impact. At Yahweh’s bidding, the brothers drank. The liquid was rather warm, but they were too thirsty to complain.

Aaron praised, “Ahhhh, profoundly delicate, slightly fruity, yet not without solid body, but at the same time decidedly spiritual.”

“Yeah, and it tastes good too,” Moses added.

“Hey, I am who I am,” Yahweh bragged. “My road apples don’t stink and my pee tastes like wine.”

Aaron immediately turned green and fell to his knees vomiting. Moses looked on in disgust, saying, “You wuss! I’m ashamed we’re related! I can’t believe I felt sorry for your sad buns and got you put on as my executive officer!”

Aaron recovered and begged Yahweh to forgive him. Yahweh said, “Forget about it! You’re only human. Let’s get on into the camp and let everybody drink up until they’re feeling fat, dumb, and happy again.”

Moses suggested, “Maybe we should let ‘em think it’s just water.”

“I can live with that.”

Bible Tales for Ages 18 and Up, by G. Richard Bozarth, front coverBible Tales for Ages 18 and Up, by G. Richard Bozarth, is  a collection of tales from the unjustly neglected Terminally Ill Sea Scrolls that reveals the appalling truth behind many Bible stories. This is the introductory portion of the “Exodus Scroll.”



YAHWEH SAID, “Listen up, troops.” When the gathered archangels and all the rest of the angels were paying full attention, he went on. “OK, some things are going to change on the earth. First, the Hebrews are now my special herd. When you take R&R in the flesh, you will not mess with the Hebrews unless I tell you to, and then you’ll do it the way I tell you to. There’re more than enough peoples on the earth for you to mess with, so I don’t want to hear any bitching and moaning.”

“Won’t be none of my troops doing that, sir,” Michael promised sternly, then gave a quick, hard-ass look at the vast formation of angels assembled before them to receive the Word.

“Fine. OK, some new duty assignments. Gabriel, you’re going be my messenger when I don’t feel like going down there myself.”

“Glad to serve, sir,” Gabriel replied gung-holy.

“You, smart ass, you’re my boy for the petty miracles I’m tired of working to keep the road apples believing in me. Also, I want you to start tempting them to sin.”

Satan laughed. “Yeah, like any of them need extra temptation! Sin is about the only thing they’ve got a natural talent for. Well, add being fruitful and multiplying. They definitely are into obeying that commandment!”

“We’ll see if we can’t get them to obey a few more of them,” Yahweh said. “You still have temptation duty.”

“No problem, big boss. I like messing with their heads.”

“Sir, speaking of being fruitful and multiplying,” Raphael said, “I’m about to run out of souls again. I’ll need a few million more and in a hurry; the ensoulment detail is running low.”

“That’s hard to believe with all the wars, famines, plagues, and other disasters culling the herd just about daily.”

“Yes sir, they’re dying all over the place, but they’re still increasing in population, and that means more souls.”

“What a pain in the buns! Yeah, OK, I’ll whip up another batch ASAP.”

“Sir,” Raphael continued nervously, “I hate to keep bringing this up, but morale in Limbo’s about as low as it can get. Those souls’re about bored senseless. We have to give them something to do.”

Yahweh growled, “They can sit around and be glad I don’t create a lake of fire and brimstone to cook their sorry buns for the rest of eternity. What do they want? Streets paved with gold and harps to play?”

“Well sir, I guess a lot of them would like that, but most of them want their bodies back. They don’t think it’s fair we angels have bodies and they don’t. Also they want bodies so they can be sexually active like they were on the earth. I guess that’d be the number one activity they’d like in Limbo.”

“Nope,” Yahweh said decisively. “There’s no nooky in Heaven and that policy won’t be changing. Nooky causes enough problems on the earth. I don’t want any of that in Heaven. Tell them they’re souls now and that means they don’t have bodies because they don’t need bodies to live in Heaven. Bodies! They didn’t have very high standards of personal hygiene on the earth, so I doubt they’d do better in Heaven.”

Satan added, “If you gave the souls bodies and let them have nooky, big boss, you would have a revolt of the angels on your hands if you didn’t let us have nooky in Heaven, too. That would mean making half of us male and the other half female. Or maybe you could make us both! Double the fun. Just thinking about it makes we want to try it out on my next R&R! Are you sure you won’t reconsider, boss?”

“Nobody I command will ever revolt for any reason!” Michael declared harshly before Yahweh could respond.

“Just kidding, Mike,” Satan replied, sounding more like he was teasing than apologizing.

“A revolt would be amusing,” Yahweh chuckled. “I could uncreate you all in less time than any of you could flap your wings once. It would take one seriously doofus angel to think a revolt against me would stand a chance. Do we have any angels that doofus, Mike?”

“Not in my command, sir!”

“I know that’s a fact. As for your idea, smart ass, the answer is still no. You all get enough nooky when you’re on R&R.”

Hoping to get back to the original issue, Raphael asked, “What about the ones that want to assemble before your throne and worship you for the rest of eternity? Would that be OK, sir?”

“No way!” Yahweh declared with awesome, booming finality. “Been there, done that. It sucked.”

The harassed archangel looked as unhappy as he felt. Riding herd on the souls was more like eternal damnation than anything he would call Heaven. “Well, sir, there’s also the ones who were really sincerely pious and worshipped you as faithfully as humanly possible. These souls’re real upset about Hebrew sinners and everybody who never worshipped you or even never heard of you getting the same reward in Heaven they do. They don’t feel that’s just. They want you to punish them in some way.”

Yahweh replied patiently, “All the souls that worshipped all the ding-a-ling gods and goddesses all of you have pretended to be, and the ones that were too rational to believe in any of them, including me, are being punished. They’ll be embarrassed about being wrong for all eternity and suffer just as long as the souls that worshipped me are gloating about being right. I think that’s punishment enough.
Raphael wasn’t happy. “What should I tell the souls that don’t think that punishment is harsh enough, sir?”

Yahweh gave Raphael an annoyed look. “Tell the maggots this: justice is what I say it is! When do humans stop being so frigging human? If they weren’t such pukes, they would realize they all got punished enough just by being human? Don’t they make each other miserable enough in Limbo by endlessly telling each other the same stupid stories about themselves that they bored people with when they were alive? Tell them if they don’t like being immortal my way, I can uncreate souls as easily as I create them. We’ll see how bored and unhappy they are after that!”

“Yes, sir,” Raphael said without enthusiasm.

“I’ve got an idea, boss,” Satan said.

“You’ve always got an idea, smart ass,” Yahweh replied irritably.

Satan chuckled, then said, “Look, their problem is simple. They’re still all too human even if they’re only souls now. They need something to take their minds off the dreariness of being human. So what I’ve come up with is team sports. You give them bodies again, but no genitals; they won’t even care about not having them. After they get bodies, take the most athletic of them and divide them up into teams that play against each other. Everybody else can be spectators. Each team will represent groups of spectators, so they’ll all get fired up like they do about war down on earth. I tell you, they’ll spend all eternity wrapped up in the games and won’t even care about not getting nooky in Heaven. You won’t be hearing any bitching and moaning in Limbo. It’ll be all prayers for you to help their team to win. Trust me on this one, big boss.”

“Not a bad idea, smart ass,” Yahweh agreed. “What game will they play?”

“I’ve thought up several. You see, each different sport will have a season so they rotate. That way the groups with a lousy team in one sport can always hope they’ll have a champion team in one of the other sports. Each team will have players, coaches, other kinds of supporting personnel, and cheerleaders. There’ll be playoffs after the regular seasons and championship games. Think about it. They’re just as human, all too human, as they were on the earth and they’ll have bodies again that’ll let them get physical with each other, so there’ll probably be fan riots at almost every game. Boss, if I’m right, Limbo could become as entertaining as the earth!”

“Sounds perfect. You and Raphael work out the details after this meeting.”

“Sir, what’s with the major change in policy?” Uriel asked to get the conversation off the souls in Limbo. He didn’t like the souls being in Heaven even though they were confined to Limbo. When he looked at Limbo, all he saw was a slum that tarnished the glory and purity of Heaven.

“I’m through being Mr. Nice Guy. If the Hebrews want be my chosen people, they’re going have to earn the privilege from now on. I’m going to toughen the discipline. I’ve got laws for them that’ll make the laws they’ve got now look like weak-kneed humanism. If it amuses me more than it amuses them, then they should remember this proverb: ‘A wise chosen people love their God’s heavy hand, because the human who loves the heavy hand loves the lessons it teaches, therefore only stupid humans who don’t want to be my chosen people hate my heavy hand.’”
“Outstanding, sir!” Michael exclaimed. “They’ve been a bunch of pukes for too long. It’s about time they got their heads and buns wired together.”

“Yes, I’m going to make them lean and mean, and, if I have to kick buns and take names until they get that way, it’ll hurt them more than it hurts me, and that’s a promise! And, if that doesn’t work, I’ll pick another herd to be my chosen people, then woe to the Hebrews.”

“Way to go, sir!” Michael cheered.

“I’ve got a great idea about how to do that if you want to go that way, boss” Satan said immediately.

“OK, let’s see if you can give me two good ideas in a row.”

Satan grinned wickedly. “This will really mess with their heads, boss. You go down there in the flesh yourself, only you tell them you’re actually your son, but you’re also your father. It’ll blow their minds when they figure out you’re telling them you’re a two-person deity. Then you say you’re not changing the laws you’re going to give to the Hebrews, but you do it anyway. You give them new commandments and emphasize certain of the old ones in a way that gives them new importance and new meaning so it’s obvious you are changing the laws after all. You also tell them the world is going to end soon, but it won’t. You say a few mystic things so they can make themselves believe ‘soon’ doesn’t really mean soon. It’ll be the funniest damn eschatological show you’ve ever seen. And, oh yeah, don’t exactly say you’ve dropped the Hebrews as the chosen people, but leave the door open to all races and ethnic groups so anybody who believes the new preaching can become one of the chosen people without being orthodox Hebrew or even Hebrew, which will make the orthodox Hebrews go bonkers. You know how much fun humans are when they’re trying to eliminate heresy.”

Yahweh grinned. “Not bad, smart ass, not bad.”

Gabriel said, “If you want to get them really into this, sir, you’ll have to come on like you’re three persons, not two. They’re really into number mysticism. Three is what you’ll need to pretend to be if you want to really sell the multiple-personality product.”

“Hmmm, good point. Who should the third person be?”

“Something really freaky like a holy ghost,” Satan said immediately. “Most of them already believe their breath is their soul and souls can be ghosts, so it won’t be hard to sell them on the third person being a holy ghost. But don’t do it in their faces. It’ll be more fun if you put it out there in a way that doesn’t make it easy to believe, so there’ll be a big theological fight about it, which means there’s going to be lots of physical fights about it. This thing could entertain us for centuries!”

“I like it!” Yahweh said enthusiastically. “We’ll work out all the details if the Hebrews blow it. Hmmm, I’ll give them some hints about what could happen if they don’t start marching to the beat of my drum. I wouldn’t want them bitching and moaning about not getting any fair warnings if we kick off Operation Son of God.”

“How about briefing us on the new laws, sir,” Michael suggested.

“It’s the next subject, Mike.”

Yahweh told his angels the new laws would be revealed to Moses after the Exodus was under way. At this time Moses was still living happily as though he really was an authentic Egyptian prince. The pharaoh’s sister loved him like a son, and he was a favorite of the pharaoh even though he was a Hebrew. He was beginning to be troubled by the plight of the Hebrews in Egypt, but had not yet reached the point where his conscience would force him to give up his exalted lifestyle among those who exploited his people.

Yahweh said to the assembled angels, “These are the divine laws of the Uniform Code of Hebrew Justice” ……

Bible Tales for Ages 18 and Up, by G. Richard Bozarth, front cover

(Bible Tales for Ages 18 and Up, by G. Richard Bozarth, is going to the printer next week and will be available in August, 2014. Here’s an advance glimpse of the “Noah Scroll.”)

* * *

Noah went on grimly, “The Lord also wants us to take along the microbes—”

“What the Sheol is a microbe?” Shem demanded impatiently.

“Well, it seems all diseases are caused by little animals so small you can’t even see ’em. If we don’t take ’em along, well, then there’ll be no diseases after the Flood. The Lord said he created disease microbes because there’s nothing like a serious illness to make impious people remember our loving and forgiving Lord.”

“That’s definitely our Lord,” Ham laughed. “The Lord is virtuous and benevolent; his compassion never fails. He keeps us from becoming humanists.”

“Oh, bite me!” Shem snapped nastily.

“What does this all mean?” Mrs. Noah asked fearfully, for she could tell her husband was none too happy to be the bearer of this news. After 567 years of marriage, spouses get to know each other pretty well.

Noah sighed unhappily. What a burden it was sometimes being the holiest man on the earth! He reluctantly explained, “Well, it means we all have to become diseased. The Lord wants to ensure the repopulated earth also has . . .” — he scrunched up his brow as he struggled to remember it right — “smallpox, polio, encephalitis, influenza, pneumonia, meningitis, tapeworms, trichinosis . . .” on and on he went with dreadful and awful names until even Ham was pale and trembling.

When Noah got into the sexually transmitted diseases, Mrs. Shem burst into wretched tears. “I don’t want any STDs!” she wailed. “I’ve been a good girl all my life!I don’t deserve any STDs!”

“Now, now,” Noah said as soothingly as he could, “we must do the Lord’s will.”

“I’d rather drown with all the other millions of condemned species,” Japheth cried. “We’ll die anyway with all those diseases in us!”

“I second that emotion!” Ham exclaimed passionately.

The women didn’t say anything—just wept and wailed and gnashed their pretty, white teeth.

“Now, now, it isn’t all that bad!” Noah pleaded desperately. “A lot of the animals will carry a lot of the diseases, so it’s not like we’ll be carrying all of ’em. Remember, the Lord wants us to survive, so he’ll make sure the diseases won’t kill us.”

When that proved unmollifying, he tried religious exhortation: “Come and let us sing to the Lord. Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our liberation.”

“Happiness is trusting in the Lord,” Ham replied bitterly, and for once the rest of the family agreed with him.

Noah was totally distraught. The holiest family on earth was on the point of rebellion, perhaps even on the verge of straying after other deities, and he couldn’t think of a thing to do about it except cry out, “Lord, Lord, a little help here wouldn’t be such a bad idea!”

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