First of all, I wasn’t 500 years old. They totally made that up. I was maybe 75, max, which – don’t get me wrong – was pretty old back then. Decrepit actually. When God chose me for this genius shipbuilding project, I should have said, “Thank you very much for the honor, Your Holiness, I’m flattered, but please, do me a favor, find somebody else like maybe – I don’t know – a carpenter? Do I look like a guy who can schlep three thousand tons of lumber back and forth all day and night? I’m lucky if I can sit down without fracturing my hip. Besides, I’m Jewish – I can’t even change a candle.”
But the Lord said unto me – um no, that’s not actually what happened either. He didn’t say things unto me. He yelled things unto me. It wasn’t like we had a little chitchat over cocktails and Brie in my goat tent.
The first thing I asked was the obvious question: “Why oh Lord, do you want me to build a boat, I live in the desert, we get a little sprinkle from time to time but – And then he lays this story on me. Basically, He tells me, He made humans but he’s not thrilled about the direction that went in so he’s going to make a big flood and drown everybody.
He told me men were wicked and married their daughters and had children with them and whatnot and that they did other evil violent things, whereupon I said unto Him, “nobody’s perfect.”
This did not amuse Him. Basically, he wanted a do-over, a celestial mulligan, if you will. He decided to save me because He thought I was a righteous man, but evidently He hadn’t heard about that shoplifting incident and I wasn’t going to tell Him about it now.
Of course, I thought he wanted me to build a small boat just for my wife and my sons and their wives and me. But then He gave me these measurements — five hundred cubits this, two hundred cubits that. Basically, He wanted me to build an aircraft carrier. I wanted to say, “God, you made the earth and the seas, and the mountains and the trees, you can’t just make a lousy boat yourself and save me the aggravation?” But I didn’t. I could see that He was a little moody.
Then there was the animal business. OMG. Somehow, I was supposed to round up all the animals on earth – most of which didn’t even live close to my neighborhood – and get them all on the ship. I have a dog and I can’t even get him to sit; now I’m supposed to round up lions and tigers and bears and say, “Yo, giraffe, get on the ship?” All I could think of was who’s supposed to clean up two months of animal crap, but I didn’t ask him that.
So I built the ark according to His annoyingly precise measurements and somehow I got the animals on, which was a struggle because treats didn’t work. Then, it rained. Boy, did it ever rain. Try drying your clothes in humidity like that. Of course, I had to wonder why I was the only guy on the entire planet who had a boat.
The animals were supposed to mate once we got to land. Guess what? They started doing it on the ark. It was okay for the bears and the chimpanzees to mate; not so much the mosquitoes.
The raven and the Mt. Ararat stuff – never happened. The boat sank. Surprise! When He saw what was happening, he threw us 450,000 life preservers.
Fortunately, everybody in my family survived. My sons had children. The children mated with each other even though they were – ahem – cousins. I have to wonder what would have happened to Mankind if my sons had only had sons.
But it all worked out for the best. It’s so comforting to know that Mankind isn’t evil anymore.