AND ON THE FIFTH DAY the Lord said unto Noah, he said: “Noah. There’s an almighty great flood coming, so you’ve got to learn how to build a seriously whacking great ark, and build it double-quick, coz the flood’s coming in just two Sabbaths time.”
And Noah replied, “stack me, that’s cutting it a bit ruddy fine, God, old boy. Could you not have warned me sooner?”
And the Lord replied, “I’ve only just realized it, myself. I’ve got a lot on my plate, already.”
“Well,” said Noah, “seeing as you are the all-powerful, god-all-mighty, maker-of-mankind, couldn’t you just rearrange it all a little more conveniently, Lord-of-all? I mean, you’re giving me a dreadfully hard time here – and I’m only a mortal, you know. After all, you could probably build it a lot more quickly than me, anyway. I bet all you gotta do is snap your fingers and go ‘hey presto’ eh?”
“Hah!” God shakes his head sadly. “Noah, Noah. You’ll never learn anything for yourself or be able to appreciate the true value of things if I go doing you favours like that all the time, my boy. Besides, I’ve got an incredibly busy load on and other schedules to keep, already.”
“Favours? When? You haven’t done me one frigging favour yet since I’ve known you, you stingy old divinity. All you do is bring me bad news and tricky tasks. Stuff you, God! You’re starting to really hack me off!”
“Fair enough, matey. I’ll return just before the flood to see how you’ve got on. Oh, by the way, did I mention that you need to round up two of every animal in existence, a mating pair to be precise, to take on the journey with you?”
“What? You’re surely joking!”
“No, I’m not, old fruit. And make sure you’ve got enough food and barrels of fresh water on board the ark to feed the animals with – it’s gonna be forty days and forty nights before it stops raining and the flood abates.”
Noah waved a hand about in exasperation. “Oh, just – just – bog off, God. Before I say something I’ll regret. All I am to you is a bloody skivvy.”
“Well, so long as you’ve got all the facts, Noah, me lad. Toodle-oo. See you in a bit, matey.”
“Hold on,” said Noah. Too late, God had already bogged off in a showy puff of smoke, just like in the special effects in the movies.
“Bugger!” Noah was curious as to why a whacking great flood was coming and why he was the poor grunt lumbered with building a sodding great ark.
He rang God on his mobile, but all he got was the message service with the smugly dulcet tones of an angel crooning irritatingly that: ‘The Almighty’ was not available at the moment.
“Ah! Shove off, then! Dozy pea-brained bimbo! Or was that a man?
Half those bloody angels, if not all of them are men – of the mincing tart variety, admittedly. They only do the job coz they get a free pair of wings and a halo. Frigging pooftahs!”
“Bah!” Noah did not wait for the tone or leave a message. He was too pissed off. He went straight down the pub and sank his teeth into a cool tankard of unleavened ale.
“Ah. That’s right kosher, that! The dog’s bollocks, already!”
Half an hour later Noah was on his third or fourth pint, though he wasn’t quite sure which as he’d had a couple of double-whiskies, a gin and a brandy too, so he was rather sloshed and a bit startled when his mobile suddenly started throbbing and bleeping in a pocket of his robe.
“Yesh,” he slurred when he’d finally managed to fish it out.
“You rang,” said God.
“Diddle eye? Er – uh – yesh, thash kwhy right,” Noah replied. “Hi diddle, diddle eye?”
“Are you inebriated?” God rumbled, in a very disapproving tone. “I hope you are not driving!”
“Look. Wad eye wannid ta arshk ya, Godalmighty, ol lud – wash, woy ish thish flaming great flood coming, any-hic-way and – ?”
“Because I am not at all pleased with the way mankind has turned out, Noah. So I’m starting all over again, with just you, your wife and family, and two of each animal and plant species. Which reminds me, you’ll need a potted sample of each plant species on the ark as well, including all the trees and ornamental shrubs and cereals.”
“Mein Gott! Thish ish utter Madnessh! It’sh ferry unfair, Luddy-oh! You created mankind. Why should they all haff to suffer for your mishtakes? There are people who’ve shaved like mad to pay for exorbitant mortgages on houshes that are jus gonna get washed clean away in your shelfish great frigging flood, you – you lurex-robed, shiny-haloed megalomaniac!”
“Just because I create something, does not mean that I have complete control over how it develops – which is why you are down the pub getting blotto when I’d rather you keep your head clear for the task ahead.”
“Head? Clear? If I didn’t get smashed out of my head at thish ferry moment, I’d go out of my sweet frigging mind!”
“Come now with the theatrics, already, Noah, my boy. You should be pleased and proud that you have been chosen to repopulate the world.”
“Bu-urp! Come off it, Goddyballs! What utter shite! The only sucker available to propitiate a disgruntled and fickle deity, you mean. Besides, I don’t want the rest of humanity wiped out – some of ‘em are my mates. And who’s gonna do all the things I can’t do, like making and servicing cars and mobiles, computers and TV sets and growing food and – and all the things that keep us going? No! If you’re sho clever, Mister Almighty, build the frigging ark yourself! After what I’ve heard, I really don’t care if I go down with the rest of the world.”
Noah switched off his mobile and dropped it in the ice bucket. He belched prodigiously, fondled his shekels and ordered another pint.