Conversation in a bar

God walks into a bar. Says to the barkeep, “Whiskey please.”

The bartender turns to God and says, “Can’t serve booze on Sunday.”

“Who came up with that dumb idea?” God wants to know.

The barkeep says, “I think You did.”

“What do you mean I did?” God has about had it with the guy behind the bar.

“Isn’t it one of the Big Ten? Something about remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy.”

“Oh, that one. Maybe My way of keeping the Sabbath day holy is to have a drink. What do you think about that?”

The bartender ain’t giving an inch. “You can drink all you want. Just do it in somebody else’s place. I ain’t about to lose my license. Even if You are the Almighty.”

“Look, if I say it’s okay, it’s okay. Why do you think I came up with the 613 laws in Leviticus?”

“Don’t know,” the bartender says.

“Technicalities. I put enough ifs, ands and buts in there that you can drive a camel through that sucker, if you’re a liking to. Now give Me that drink.”

“No can do,” the bartender says firmly. “And if You keep pestering me, I am calling the cops.”

“You would call the cops on God?” the Almighty asks. He is getting very frustrated.

“Darn tooting I would.”

“Well, I’ll be—” God says.

“Hey. No taking the Lord’s Name in vain.”

“I was just going to say son of a bitch,” God says.

“And none of that either,” the bartender says. “This is a family establishment.”

“Did anybody ever tell you that you’re acting like a lawyer?”

“I’d take that as a compliment. I have a Doctor of Jurisprudence. I just can’t practice at the bar in this state.”

“What do you think you’re doing here? Practicing at the bar.” God laughs.

“Oh, get off it.”

“Look,” God says. “I’ve had a long week and this is my only day off.”

“At least, you get a day off. I haven’t had a day off in a month of Sundays. Trying to pay off my Student loans.”

“Well, it was one heaven of a week,” God gets going. “If you know what I mean. Monday I made the heavens and the earth and separated the dark from the light. Tuesday, I had to get the water where I wanted it. It was all over the place. Thought I would never get the Pacific to play along and shape up. Wednesday, I started growing plants and trees and stuff. That was hard to pull off since I do not have the best of green thumbs. Along comes Thursday and that’s when I give everybody a starry night. Friday, birds and fishes. Then Saturday, it was the animals. I should have left well-enough alone and stopped there. But no, I had to go and screw everything up. And I was having such a good time too.”

By this time, the bartender is leaning on the bar, looking into God’s sky blues, listening. He asks, “What’d you do?”

“I made a man.”

“You didn’t?” The bartender is taken aback.

“I did. Worst mistake of My life. First thing the guy starts off, asking questions. Like I have all the answers.”

“You don’t?”

“I most assuredly do not,” God says emphatically.

“Thought they taught you all the answers in God School.”

“They do,” God says. “But I CLEPed out. I figured I already had all the answers so I just tested and they gave Me My diploma. Little did I know.”

“I see what You mean. Don’t take the easy way out. That’s always been my motto.”

“Before I know, the guy goes on a naming spree. Can you imagine calling a thing a dog and not a wolf. How he can tell the two apart I will never know. I was happy just calling them thing-a-majigs and whatchamacallits. And you want to know the worst part?”

“What’s that?” The excitement is killing the bartender metaphorically speaking.

“He wanted a wife.”

“He didn’t.” Barkeep can’t believe his ears. “Why would he want to go and do a dumb fool thing like that?”

“Beats me,” God says, shaking his head.

“So what did You do?”

“Figured he wanted her that bad, he should get what he deserved. I gave him what he wanted. Lilith. She was nice. I should get First Prize for that creation. You know what happened next?”

“Haven’t a clue.” The bartender is in suspense.

“The dumb ass goes and cheats on her. Some girl from Eden name of Eve. Lilith was royally pissed. I had to give her a divorce. I offered marriage counseling. But she wasn’t having none of that. So it was a divorce. He didn’t sign a pre-nup either,” God smiles. “I must say I am kind of proud of her. She took him to the cleaners. Then I had a good talking with Adam. Told him that he was in big trouble if he did it again. Breaking one of the Big Ten. Adultery. Can you imagine?’

“I can’t.” The bartender shakes his head at the gall of the guy. “I been with the same woman for thirty years now and we have the best of marriages. Oh, sure. She gets on my nerves and I get on her nerves from time to time. That’s to be expected. That’s why I go off on my hunting trips and she goes on one of them Napa Valley Wine Tours.”

“One of these days I am going to have to try one of them tours myself. I hear those California wines can compete with any of the Frenches.”

“I wouldn’t know about that,” the bartender says. “I’m not much for wine. Give me a brewski and I’m a happy man.”

“I’m not much of a connoisseur myself,” God says. “Other than turning water into wine occasionally. If you’re ever up for trying wine, the Cana Wine Tasters Association have a great weekend in the fall every year. They do the place up real nice. You and your lady would enjoy it. Give you a chance for a second honeymoon.”

“Maybe I’ll take you up on that,” the bartender says. He’d been thinking second honeymoon lately. Something special for their anniversary.

“Anyway back to the Garden of Eden,” God says. “I get the guy and this Eve fixed up and married and I am off taking a nap. Nothing like a good siesta to get the energy back up. I wake up and find out the two of them have gone and done it.”

“What’d they do?” the bartender wanted to know.

“They ate one of my apples. After all the work I put in on that apple tree, they just pluck one off the branches and take a big bite. I would have let them have one if they had asked nicely. But no, they had to go and take.”

The bartender was amazed. “Ain’t that the way with some. Take, take, take.”

“So I up and kicked their butts out of Eden. After all I have done for them. Now they’re on their own. Good riddance.”

“Good riddance.” The bartender can’t believe what happened. “You have had a tough week. You still want that drink?”

“You’re going to bend the rules for Moi?” God asks.

“After what you’ve been through.” The bartender reaches for a bottle of Johnny Red  behind the bar and pours a glass for God. He passes it over to the Man Upstairs.

God smiles. Then pulls out a badge and says, “I’m closing you down. No booze on Sunday means no booze on Sunday.”

“But-but-but.”

“No buts about it, Lucifer,” God says. “I’ve been trying to close this Purgatory Bar of yours down for millennia and finally I get to do it.”

God pushes the bartender out the front door, then padlocks the joint. He turns to Lucifer and says, “And you can tell that brother of yours, Beelzebub, I am going to close him down too. I am sick and tired of folks being sent off to his place every time they ask for directions. I ask them what happened and they say somebody directed them and said, ‘Go to Hell.’ I’m telling you his Hell Bar and Grill is going the way of the dinosaurs if I have anything to say about it.”

With that, God got in His new Mercedes and drove off, a huge smile on his face. It had indeed been a good Sabbath.

God’s Day Off

Sunday is God’s day off. I know what you’re thinking. Saturday is the Seventh Day, and the Big Guy gets the seventh day off. I’m here to to tell you that is so Old School. Just check most calendars. The week starts with Monday. Not Sunday. Sunday is now the seventh day and that’s God’s day for R and R. It’s in the Good Book, you know.

Come Sunday, He’s really tired. Running the universe is one thing. Easy peasy. Answering prayers, well, that’s a totally different thing. You’ve heard the saying, “You can please none of the people all the time, some of the people some of the time, and all the people none of the time.” That’s prayers for you. Like Ringo sings, “It just don’t come easy.” And like a recent president used to say, “It’s hard.”

But God does His best to keep the whole thing rolling. I would say that He does a darn good job of it. Oh, sure. He gets help from all those angels. But you know what they say? The buck stops here. God keeps hearing that, and it’s about to piss Him off. He’s got patience up the wazoo but enough is enough.

So it’s not too much to ask that the Big Guy get one day a week off. He’s been thinking about a vacation but He’s having a rough time training someone to do the work while He’s gone. He would let Jesus run the show when He’s gone. The thing is Jesus is off trying to save another planet. Been sending emails back to Heaven saying that He’s finally found a race more stubborn than human beings.

Holy Spirit don’t have the time either. She’s been in a scuffle with a bunch of rebellious angels. Can’t break away for the time being. God tried out Moses but he kept dropping things. And King David has this thing going with some angel named Bathsheba. He can’t spare the time either. Buddha just refuses. He says he’s definitely not in the god business.

So, for the time being, all God’s getting off is His Sundays. It gives Him a chance to sleep late. Have breakfast in bed, served on a golden platter by Mrs. G herself. She keeps telling Him to lay off the bacon. He’s told His people no bacon. So why not Him? He tells her, “There’s an exception to every rule. And since I make the rules, I can make the exceptions.” She would have pushed the subject but she decided she had better not. He’s pretty good with those thunderbolts.

Next He goes out for a game of golf. He’s a two under par player. He likes to tee off with the Archangel Gabriel and work on improving His score. Used to play with Michael but Michael has a tendency to take things way too serious. Satan tried to talk God into a game of touch football but Jehovah wasn’t having any of that. Golf’s the game for Him. ‘Doing it for the exercise,” He says. God has been trying to shed a few pounds lately. Wants to get down to his ideal weight of 188. Since He is not averse to a little wager on the side, He and Gabe have a running bet. The winner buys the other dinner.

And just to show that He’s a caring husband, God picks up a dozen red roses for the Mrs. on His way home. At the end of the day, He gets a good night’s sleep and He’s ready for a new week.

Now what does this mean for you and me? Means we have to keep the prayers to a minimum on that seventh day. God’s assistant, a guy named Mercury, has been known to put them in the spam folder. Then they get deleted at the end of the day. So a word to the wise.

If there is an emergency, you can always call the Heavenly 9-1-1. Not sure who you’ll get. But if Michael is on duty, talk nice to him. He’s been known to kick butt just because someone was in a rush. Be prepared to duck. He’s got a mean left hook.

Near 500 words: Post Number 1000

How about that. This is Post Number 1000 for me. Wow! Maybe I should take a bow or something.

That was a couple of bows but I deserve it, don’t you think?

“Just how are we going to get all those animals on board?” Noah asked God after he checked the roster for the ark. There were so many animals, and the ark was so small.

“That’s for me to know and you to find out,” the blue sky answered.

“Ah, c’mon. Don’t do this.”

“Do what?”

“You know?”

“Listen, Noah, you have a problem with how things are going, just speak up. I’m a reasonable God.”

Noah held his words in. He knew arguing with God was not going to get him anywhere. “Okay, here I go again. Just how are You going to get all those animals aboard this ark? Sir?”

“Now that’s better,” God said. Then He spoke the magic words, “Abracadabra supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

“Where did You come up with those two words?”

“Walt Disney,” God chuckled. “Man, could that guy make movies.”

“I think you’re thinking of open sesame,” Noah contradicted his Boss.

“I’m sorry but I’m using abracadabra. It rolls right off the tongue. And supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is from ‘Mary Poppins’.” Then God started singing a little “A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down.” “Man, I love that song.”

“Right,” Noah said, not wishing to contradict God. (But there was a little sarcasm in his voice.) He’d be wasting time. And he didn’t have time to waste. The sky was getting cloudy and it was definitely going to rain.

If he’d learned anything, he’d learned not to argue with God. He could argue with his neighbor. He could argue with his sons. He could argue with his wife. But never ever argue with God. It was just a waste of time and he wasn’t going to win anyway. There was nothing God liked more than a good argument.

“Okay,” Noah said. “When do I say this abracadabra supercalifragilisticexpialidocious?”

“Next Tuesday,” God said.

“Next Tuesday? But I thought—”

“Look. It’s going to take a little time to get all those animals to behave.”

“But You made the heavens and the earth in seven days.”

“What do you think I am?” God asked. “A miracle worker?”

“Well, yeah.”

“Making everything was easy. Saving stuff takes a little more time. After you humans got ahold of things, everything went to hell in a hand basket. Why do you think We’re having a flood?

“I need five days to calm all the animals down. Those elephants are not happy, being bossed around. You can get trampled if you’re not careful. Those lions, man, they bite. And have you tried to clean up all that poop? If I am to dam them up for forty days and forty nights, it’s going to take some time. And I gotta tell you. That dove better be on time after You take off for parts unknown. If the ark doesn’t have a timely landing, the overflow is going to make the flood look like that pond in your back yard.”

Noah sighed. “You’re right, God. And when You’re right, You’re right.”

“Darrn tooting. Now let’s practice.”

“Okay,” Noah said, happy to be back on God’s good side. “Abracadabra supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

“No, not that. This,” then God lit out with the song. “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.”

Noah followed, “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.”

Noah’s wife, Mrs. Noah, yelled from the kitchen window. “Would you guys shut up out there? Who do you think you are? Mary Poppins. For God’s sake, you’re no Julie Andrews.”

Next week Noah’s wife gives God a bit of nutritional advice.”You do know that sugar is bad for you.”

First Mornings

This is a creation story inspired by the Book of Genesis. It’s been done before by others. One of my favorites is James Weldon Johnson’s “The Creation”. I have posted another of my creation stories called “Mother Tao and Honorable Monkey“.

The first morning God woke up. An alarm did not wake Him. His Mama did not roust Him out of bed. A boss for a job did not urge Him on to work. Being an entrepreneur, He was His own man. He just woke up. And He woke up bright and early and jumped out of bed.

After a morning shower, next came a look in the mirror. He winked and said, not to anybody in particular, “It’s a mighty fine morning.”

Since it was the First Morning, He wanted to look extra-special nice just in case. He gave his white beard a bit of a trim and combed the kinks out of His long white curls. He headed off to the closet and pulled out his Sunday best white robe, the one that matched His beard and hair. Then He slipped on a new pair of Birkenstocks.

“There’s nothing like a good breakfast to get the day going,” the Big Guy said to Himself. He made Himself a stack of pancakes so high they made the Tower of Babel look miniature. He laid the butter on heavy, threw a bushel or two of blueberries on the stack, and poured out the syrup like there was no tomorrow. He spooned up the pancakes small and bite sized and chewed thirty-three times with each bite. When He cleaned His plate, He swigged down the last of his coffee.

Now God was ready for that First Morning. He had a twinkle in His eye. When God has a twinkle in His eye, it’s going to be a really good day. He fluffed out a cloud and got on for a ride to check things out. Can you imagine how disappointed God felt when He saw there was nothing? And I mean nothing. That would never do.

Since God had never studied Theology or Filosophy, He wasn’t exactly sure what to do. It just didn’t seem right that all there was out there was a whirling ball of emptiness. He gave the matter some thought. At the end of that First Day, He had an idea. Fifteen minutes before sunset, He snapped his fingers. Lo and behold, heaven and earth appeared. To brighten things up, He gave His fingers a second snap and put some light on the situation.

He separated the light from the darkness. And that was that. He said, “Good job.” And He hadn’t even worked up a sweat. With a big smile on His face, He went home for a good night’s sleep.

The next morning, the Second Day, God woke up bright and early again. A good eight hours and He was ready for any challenges the Day might bring. He looked up and all He saw was infinite darkness in the way out there. “That will never do.” He snapped His fingers. Suddenly there was a sky.

And not just any sky. It was a sky bluer than blue. It was so blue it brought tears to God’s eyes. God sat down to admire that sky. If ever there was a sky, this was it.

God sighed a deep sigh. “That’s a mighty fine sky.” If there’d been anybody around, He would have said, “Have you ever seen such a sky?”

Most would have ended the Day right there and then, but not God. While He had been thinking Sky, another thought popped into His head. “Sea,” the thought said. Before you know it, there were oceans and oceans of water tickling His feet. Then He was off to home for a good steak, fries and a nice glass of Chianti. He thought about Merlot but it was Chianti because it was the Second Day.

Well, I guess you know what came next. Yes, the Third Day. God left the house with a big smile on His face. So He went to work. He parted the oceans. He parted the seas. He parted all sorts of water.

Up popped continents and islands and peninsulas and mountains and valleys. And he gardenized them. You heard me. He gardenized those pieces of real estate. He planted seeds and up popped the trees. He planted more seeds and there was grass. Savannas and savannas of it. Meadows and meadows of it.

He then decided a little color was needed. So He raised His palm and wallah. Roses and daisies and lilies and orchids and azaleas. Reds and purples and whites and blues scattered across the landscape. Millions of flowers. There were so many flowers God laughed and laughed and laughed, and more flowers appeared. When  the Day was done, God kicked back with a cold beer and thought, “It’s been a really fine day.”

Now you would think God might stop there. He didn’t. He had ambition. So, the Fourth Morning, He woke up bright and early, and He woke up with a smile on His face. He did a protein mix with His juicer. Chewed up an energy bar with His drink. And He put on His gravity-defying sandals. And out He went to do some interior decoration.

He grabbed the first magic carpet He saw. Like a flash, He took the sky by storm. He hurled stars by the thousands, splattering them all over the heavens and all the way back to the Big Bang. Then He made a circular motion with His hand. Those stars gathered into galaxies. Then He pulled one of those stars into both His hands, rubbed the hands together, and flung a giant ball of fire into the sky to be a sun.

He reached down to the earth below. He picked up some stones. Then He threw them into the sky one by one. The stones rippled across the sky the way stones ripple on water. Each stone landed exactly where God meant it to land. The stones became planets circling the sun or a moon spinning around a world.

Finally He reached down and grabbed up a mountain, rolled it up in his hands, and flung it out into the heavens to be a moon for the earth. This Fourth Day had been so good that He pulled out that bottle of scotch He’d been holding onto, waiting for the right occasion. “It’s been a really good day,” His final words as He laid His head down on a large fluffy pillow.

On the Fifth Day, God gave the oceans, the seas, the lakes and the rivers a little kick. Suddenly out of nowhere, there were fishes, dolphins, whales, sharks and barracuda. There were jelly fishes and all sorts of other creatures roaming the waters. That day He went home early because He knew the next day was going to be thirty-six hours instead of the normal twenty-four.

God seldom dreamed. But that Fifth Night He had the craziest dream. He dreamed that one of His creatures would be a real pain. The dream was one of those foggy kind that the details can’t be made out. All He knew when He awoke the Sixth Morning was care needed to be taken.

Then He was off. It was a day for making creatures of all sorts. And He filled the world with all these creatures. Just about twilight time on that Sixth Day, He had a final thought, “I can’t do all the work. I need someone around to help. To take care of things and make sure everything is in working order. Let him name all these whatchamacallits.”

So He dug down deep into the dirt. It was very moist. He grabbed some of that moist dirt and pulled it out. And He made Him a boy. He gave Him some purple hair and green skin and flippers. “Nope. That’s not it.” He took that boy and spun Him around and around and around faster and faster and then gently dropped him on the grass.

“Yes,” He said, first to Himself, then to all the creatures of the world, then to the sun and moon and stars. “It’s my boy,” God was happy with the boy lying on the ground sleeping. “And He looks just like Me.” If there ever was to be a contest for the handsomest man ever, this boy would be it. He was handsome. And God was pleased, pleased enough to say, “Very good.”

Just before sunset, God breathed a gentle breath into the body of that boy. Then He whispered in the boy’s ear, “Wake up.” The boy woke up and looked into his Daddy’s eyes. God kissed each of the boy’s eyes, squeezed his cheeks gently, and smiled.

“Look around,” God said to the boy. “This is all yours. Wherever you see something, you get to name it.” Then God went away.

The Seventh Day He was going to take the day off for some well-deserved rest. And that’s what He did. He slept late. All the day long He lazed about in His hammock that stretched from Jupiter to Venus and enjoyed Himself. On the Eighth Day, He took Himself an inventory. At the end of the inventory, He said to Himself, “You’ve done a fine work.”

Soon Adam grew up and became a man. He was six feet tall and his muscles had muscles. Every day he was out naming things. “Yep, that’s a bear.” Or “Let’s call this guy a lion.” One bird he named a wren. Another he an eagle. One day, it could have been the Ninth or the Fifteenth or the Forty-ninth Day, who’s to know…one day, Adam woke up to see a woman, standing over him. She had the bluest eyes ever. “My name is Eve,” she said. “You must be Adam.”

After dating a millennium or two, Adam and Eve became engaged. Any other woman would have given up on the guy. After all, Adam was a bit slow on the uptake when it came to women. Not that there were any other women around. So, Eve, being of a patient breed of woman, waited her wait. Finally, Adam got down on his knees and popped the big question. The answer was yes. Of course, it was yes. Otherwise the human race would not be here.

Eve wanted a June wedding. So, Adam agreed. He’d waited this long. What was a few months more or less. Then came the wedding day. Adam was dressed in his best altogethers. Eve was dressed in her best altogethers too. God Himself did the officiating. Michael was the best man. Lillith, the maid of honor. That was before she ran off with Lucifer. Gabriel conducted the music. The choir and orchestra of angels were out of this world.

Afterwards there was a wedding reception. There was no Table 19. All the tables were good ones. After Michael toasted the couple, his archangel wings went and had an accident. They knocked over the punch bowl at the wedding reception. It fell on the angel food wedding cake. All the king’s men and all the king’s horses may not have been able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. But God snapped his fingers and everything was as good as new.

At the end of the reception, God took the couple aside and said, “I have a surprise for you two kids.”

“You do, Dad?” Adam loved surprises. First, Eve, and now this.

“Yes,” God said, smiling his favor down on the two love birds. “When you get back from your honeymoon, here’s the keys to your brand new house.”

Adam and Eve were overwhelmed. It was more than they ever could have hoped for.

“There’s just one thing I have to warn you about.”

“Uh-oh,” Eve thought. “Here comes the bad news. Snake warned me.”

God continued, “Don’t eat the apples in the orchard next to the house.”

“I thought you said we could eat anything in the Garden.” Adam was a little bit miffed. After all, he’d been promised. “Why not the apples?”

“Ask Snow White.”

How can I say no?

In honor of National Poetry Month, I shall be doing my poetry thing each Sunday in April.

“How can I say no?”
God asked the First Day
when the earth requested

a little bit of light to see
its way through space
and time. So God moved

‘cross the waters of darkness,
and spoke what he’d longed
to say way fore yesterday.

“Let there be light,” He said
with that twinkle in His eye
He had when He was at work.

The light lit up the sky,
it lit up the dark places too.
God saw that it was good.

And He said so.

“How can I say no?”
God asked another Day,
the second to come His way.

The water was not happy.
There was a need for division.
So God invented mathematics

that Second of Days,
dividing the earthly waters
from waters in the sky,

a division all because
He did some addition
and made a firmament

before creation knew
a firmament was wanted.
God saw that it was good.

And He said so.

“How can I say no?”
God said to a Thirdly Day
when the earth demanded,

“Land, I say land.
I need me some land.”
So God being God

said, “Let it be.”
The waters parted
and up sprouted earth.

God knew His work
was not near complete.
He grew some grass

and plants and trees,
every sort and every kind.
God saw that it was good.

And He said so.

“How can I say no?”
God wondered aloud
on that Fourth of Days.

He wrestled the day
from the night, the spring
from the wintry chill,

the autumn from the summer,
the stars from the darkness,
the moon from the sun.

So that in times to come
there would be a season
to sow and a harvesting.

God had spoken,
His speaking made it so.
How good He saw it was,

And He said so.

“How can I say no?”
God asked the Fifth Day
come ’round begging

for the Day had a hank’ring
for some fishes to catch.
God rowed out to the river

And tossed in some light.
Soon there were fishes
that the Day might catch,

birds, lions and tigers
and whales the size
of a continent or more,

creatures big and small
and in-between too.
God saw it was good.

And He said so.

When Friday came along,
God was sure he was done.
with all His creation.

Only He was a Selfie
of a God and the solitude
was an unbearable thing.

No companion or friend
to play with or to love
or to show off for.

“How can I say no?”
God said to the loneliness.
Then He made Him a friend

and the friend a wife
to complete His creation
that was all very good.

And He said so.

And God said,
“Time to get me a rest.
“How can I say no?”

Then on the Seventh Day
He laid His head
on the green green grass

to allow a Saturday
to pass before a new week
sprouted from the grass.

Then Sunday peaked
out from the ground
and said “Hey” to the sun.

God got down to work
on the weeding to be done.
And God saw it was good

that He said,
“How can I say no?