Friday, March 31, 2006

Genesis


Sinai, 1358 BC. A Monday. 9 a.m. sharp.

God: Good morning, Moses, are you ready to get started?

Moses: Yes, Lord.

God: Okay, great. Well. Let’s see…where to start?

Moses: Might I suggest at the beginning?

God: Yeah…I suppose that makes sense. In the beginning, I created the heavens and the earth.

Moses: Just like that?

God: Well, actually there was this explosion of dust and gas that spread out in all directions and some of it clumped together in certain areas and started rotating around the sun because of the laws of gravity –

Moses: The laws of gravity? What are those? More rules to follow?

God: Oh, don’t worry about gravity. No, no, you already obey the laws of gravity, don’t you fret about that. It’s…eh…it’s complicated. You know, we’ll put it in Leviticus with the other laws, if there’s room.

Moses: Okay.

God: Where was I?

Moses: The beginning.

God: Right. Anyway, one of these clumps of dust became the earth, and it spins around the sun.

Moses: You mean the sun spins around the earth.

God: Are you questioning me?

Moses: No, no, Lord, of course not. It’s just…well, I mean, I can see the sun moving around the earth.

God: It’s an illusion, trust me, it’s the other way around.

Moses: The people aren’t going to believe it. If I try to tell them the earth rotates around the sun, how are they going to take anything else I write down seriously?

God: Hmm. You have a point. Well, you know what, let’s just not mention it for now. Eventually they’ll figure it out.

Moses: Okay.

God: Read back to me what we’ve got so far.

Moses: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

God: What? I hear a thought coming.

Moses: Oh, no, nothing Lord.

God: Moses, it’s God. Don’t lie to me.

Moses: Well…it’s just, um, forgive me, Lord, I’m not sure this is the most inspired beginning to your Book. I mean…”In the beginning…”…it’s just kind of, blah.

God: I see your point. But you know, I’m actually planning on using a lot of symbolism and metaphor in this thing, so starting out kind of simple and blunt may not be such a bad idea.

Moses: Hmm…

God: Okay, we’ll leave it for now and change it later if we get a better idea.

Moses: Okay.

God: Right, so…we’ve got the heavens and the earth.

Moses: Check.

God: I kind of left it there for a few billion years.

Moses: What?

God: Well, for a time I just left it this boring hunk of rock hurtling through space. It was dark…eventually I formed some oceans…

Moses: No, I mean, what was that number you said? Billions? I think you made that up.

God: No, trust me, it was a few billion years.

Moses: How many is a billion?

God: A thousand million.

Moses: I can’t even begin to comprehend that…

God: Eh, leave it out. Not much was happening, and we have a lot to cover.

Moses: Okay. So…the earth was without form and void, and it was dark, and you were just kind of hanging out?

God: Yeah, I basically hovered over the waters thinking about what to do.

Moses: For several thousands of millions of years?

God: Yeah.

Moses: Wow, you are patient.

God: Yes, I am. This plan I’m working on is really complicated, it took me a while to work it out. The time actually flew by. But I got tired of it being dark all the time, so I created light. But I still liked darkness, I thought it was kind of romantic and mysterious and relaxing, so I kept both.

Moses: (writing)…and the darkness He called…Night.

God: Right. Now then, for my plan to start working, I needed land in addition to water, so I gathered up the oceans and land appeared.

Moses: Okay. That’s easy. Is that all?

God: Yup. Well, I mean, first there was just this one continent? But that got kind of boring, just one continent, so I broke it up and moved some stuff around.

Moses: When was that?

God: You know what, it’s irrelevant, let’s move on.

Moses: You’re the boss.

God: And don’t you forget it.

Moses: So now the continents are the way you like?

God: Eh, for the time being. I still make little changes now and then, nudge things here, shift this. I can’t decide whether to keep California or not. Don’t write that.

Moses: (erasing) Yes, Lord.

God: So then I had this dry land, but that was not very interesting either, so I got started on the landscaping. You know, plants and stuff. I wanted my living creatures to be somewhere interesting and beautiful. I really put a lot of thought into it…and I got a great discount on the plants, since I ordered in bulk, doing a whole planet and everything.

Moses: Good for you.

God: So okay, we got the plants, and also there was the beginning of animal life.

Moses: Was that before or after?

God: Yes.

Moses: What?

God: I mean, well, the two processes were rather simultaneous, but for now let’s just say I did the landscaping and gardening first and then started on the animals.

Moses: Okay. So, was man your first animal?

God: Goodness, no. No, man didn’t come for several billion years.

Moses: You keep using this number. I’ve never heard anyone else say a “billion.”

God: I’m not making it up. There’s even a trillion…actually the numbers keep going.

Moses: A trillion? Is this going to be in Numbers?

God: No no, that will be genealogical stuff. You know, math is necessary but kind of boring, I don’t really want much of it in my book. Can we not worry about the numbers?

Moses: You don’t think people will want to know how long this took you?

God: Let’s just say a week.

Moses: That’s a lot of work for one week.

God: It was a lot of work for several billion years.

Moses: I’m just saying…

God: I know, I know. You know what? It honestly doesn’t matter how long it took me, the point is, I did it.

Moses: Fine, a week it is.

God: Okay, so, getting back to this. Anyway, life began in the oceans with single-celled organisms.

Moses: What’s a cell?

God: Oh, a cell is the basic building block of life. Everything that lives, whether it’s a plant or an animal, is made up of cells. Cells contain your DNA.

Moses: My what?

God: DNA…it’s an abbreviation for Deoxyribonucleic acid.

Moses: How do you spell that?

God: D-e-o…you know, never mind. This doesn’t need to be in the book, people can figure this stuff out on their own. The Bible is going to be for the stuff that only I can tell them. People don’t need me to explain the natural world, I’ve left a lot of clues as to how I did it, and I’ve given them imaginative, inquisitive minds capable of memory and analysis to sort through all this stuff. It will give humans something to do for a few million years.

Moses: But what if people actually then start insisting you did all this in a week?

God: Look, you’re the one, when it came to the earth moving around the sun, who argued that we shouldn’t include anything here that people aren’t ready to understand. The smart ones will recognize that we kept this brief to get on to the important stuff.

Moses: (skeptically) Okay…

God: Moses, I know, I thought about this a long time. But I was convinced that it was essential for me to endow humans with free will. That means I have to remain somewhat mysterious and ambiguous to them. I want them to believe in me because they choose to believe in me; if I become a concrete reality and explain to you now exactly how I did everything, then I become an incontrovertible fact, which would negate the necessity of the choice to believe in me. One does not choose to believe in rocks or trees or pigeons; you’d be crazy to question their reality. I insist people question my reality; that’s the only way they’ll find my truth.

Moses: Okay, how do you want me to write that?

God: Moses, you’re not listening. I don’t want you to write it.

Moses: Okay. I get it. So…if this is taking place over the course of a week – not really a week, but a metaphorical week –

God: Yes.

Moses: -- then, where are we?

God: Umm…there you go with math again. You know, I gave mathematics rules so that once I’d figured it out I’d just be done with it. Some things change; not math. Anyway, so, creating the earth and day and night, that’s day 1, creating the oceans and separating them from the sky was day 2, then dry land and the landscaping were day 3, and the stars and the moon were day 4 –

Moses: Oh yeah, I’d meant to ask you, we skipped those. What are stars, anyway?

God: You know, let’s just not get into that right now. They’re pretty, that’s all you need to know for a few thousand years. So life began on Day 5.

Moses: With the single orgasms.

God: Umm…actually you’re not wrong, but for now just put “single celled organisms.” No, scratch that…we’ll get off track if I have to explain cells and DNA and mitosis –

Moses: Mitosis?

God: Another time, Moses. Life started in the oceans, so let’s just keep it simple and say I did the fish first. I mean, it’s basically true, from a certain point of view.

Moses: Okay.

God: So, yeah, let’s put fish, birds, cattle and creeping things all on Day 5.

Moses: You don’t want to list all the different kinds of animals?

God: No, if I do it here, then I have to do it again a few pages later when we get to Noah and the flood when he put two of everything on the boat.

Moses: Two of every living creature on one boat? It must have been huge!

God: Three hundred cubits.

Moses: (whistles)

God: We’re getting ahead of ourselves. So on Day 6 I created Man, and then on Day 7 I just lay on the couch in my boxers watching Bette Davis movies on AMC. But you are, Blanche! You are in that chair! (laughs)

Moses: What? Who are Bette and Blanche, and what’s a movie?

God: I’ll show you when you get to heaven.

Moses: Boy, you're worse than my mother! It was always, "You'll understand when you're an adult." Now it's, "You'll understand when you're dead."

God: You know what? Let’s take a break now. I think that’s pretty much the first chapter. Let’s get some coffee,

Moses: Fine with me. My hand’s cramping, anyway.

God: Sorry.

Moses: It’s okay, I don’t mind. Are you sure you don’t want to have more detail in this chapter?

God: It’s tempting, really, but I don’t think we have time. I mean, if I were going to explain DNA and evolution – did you know that you are descended from monkeys?

Moses: Right, and my grandfather was Sammy Davis, Jr.

God: Actually he’s your great, great, great, great, great, great…well, this involves math, forget that. No, I’m serious. Moses, I wouldn’t lie to you. I might not tell you the whole truth of everything, for now, but I never lie.

Moses: Yes, Lord.

God: Anyway, we can’t get distracted by details right now. There’s a time and a place for details. Like my tabernacle, I know just how I want it.

Moses: Maybe we can do that this afternoon.

God: I’ll think about it; right now I think we should go in chronological order. Anyway, the tabernacle, it’s going to be great. My designer and I settled on blue, purple and scarlet for the curtains.

Moses: Oooh!

God: Yeah, I think it will be nice. At first I thought that might be a bit ostentatious, but she said, “You’re God, if you can’t have an ostentatious curtain in your temple, who can?” and you know, I couldn’t really argue that point.

Moses: At least she didn’t suggest chartreuse with red sequins or something.

God: No no, I would have smote her.

Moses: Really?

God: No, Moses. Okay, let’s take 5, and I’ll meet you back here.

Moses: Okay.

12 comments:

Time said...

Keep going - it will be the biggest hit ever on Broadway

little-cicero said...

My GOD! You ARE the newest prophet! Did God play back the recording of this conversation for you? Oh your good. You could do better with something about the future creation of GW Bush and Pat Robertson, but other than that it's great. I'm linking to this without a doubt.

Nathan said...

The "Book of Andy" has a nice ring to it even if it does sound a little, well, um, gay ;) I may have read the bible if it had been written this way instead. Can you do this for every chapter?

Andy said...

Nathan, if you liked this, you might enjoy The Brick Testament, scenes from the Bible illustrated with Legos. It's absolutely fantastic.

Silus Grok said...

Very nice.

A home run!

Good fun for the whole family.

( Except the Fundies, who won't appreciate the humor. )

; )

Jade said...

This is hilarious! Andy's bible crib notes... LOL!

kr pdx said...

Snicker :). You've got a great radio serial play here. I bet, with the audiobook/iPod explosion, you could "make money when it goes to video" even if you find hardly any station to actually broadcast it. (All the college stations would, though :). )

Andy said...

I was thinking George Clooney for God and Jon Stewart for Moses.

little-cicero said...

I'll admit, before I found out that he was liberal, I probably would have seen Clooney as the closest thing in Hollywood to God, but I'd rather have conservatives play these roles.

How about Ron Silver as Moses and Mel Gibson as God?

Toby Keith can play the role of Daniel, and Merle Haggard can be Abraham.

Quinn said...

I'm totally on board if it involves Clooney and Stewart.

Jade said...

If you get Clooney and Stewart involved I'm coming out there too as the official "behind the scenes photographer". I'll do off camera candid shots... you know, like them hanging out at the crafts table, maybe I burst into their trailers while they're getting dressed...

Future Geek said...

You might be interested in this , a blog post about Mark Twain's take on creation and intelligent design.