3/21/2011

The Day of Rest: Remix

A picture is worth a thousand words, so my cartoon last week on this subject only covered about half of what I had to say. Here's the complete story:


This story won
1st prize on
humorpress.com:

The Day of Rest

God came in to the office one day. He hadn’t been there in a very long time. Being omnipresent meant being everywhere at once, except at the office. He found it too stifling.

The place was deserted. He walked around the building for an hour, the only sound his sandals scraping the linoleum. Finally, as he rounded the corner toward reception, the front door open and Peter entered, in shorts and a t-shirt with the slogan “Soul Survivor.”

Peter stopped abruptly. He hadn’t seen the Boss in millennia. One of the attractions of his job was very little management oversight.

“G-good morning, Your Almightyness,” he said. “What, er, what brings you here on a Sunday?”

“WHERE IS EVERYONE!, ” God thundered.

It wasn’t that He was mad. It’s just the way He talked. It was awkward watching movies with Him because He always knew what was going to happen and insisted on telling you. And then nobody else in the theater could hear the show; He was just so loud.

“Well, sir, they’re all off today.”

“OFF?”

“Yes, sir. Day off. At home. Practicing the harp. Meditating. That kind of thing. I just came in to grab something from my office on my way out. Sheila from accounting is having another lawn-bowling party this afternoon.”

“WHY?”

“I don’t follow you, sir. Why the bowling? Well, it’s really the only thing to do up here, other than the harp. I’ve been meaning to speak to you about that actually, sir. We’re having a bit of a morale-”

“NO, YOU NINNY. WHY ARE THEY TAKING THE DAY OFF WORK?”

“Well, because it’s Sunday, sir. We’re always off on Sunday. And Saturday, ever since that strike about the un-divine working conditions back in the 40’s.”

“WHAT DOES SUNDAY HAVE TO DO WITH IT?,” God bellowed.

“It’s the day of rest, sir. It’s in honor of you:
‘On the seventh day, God finished his work. And so he rested on the seventh day.’
I don’t think the repetition is quite necessary, although it’s still better than that section with all of the ‘begats’. Anyway, we take Sundays off because you did. It’s a day of rest.

“REST? REST?!!!! SUNDAY WASN’T A DAY OF REST FOR ME. YOU TAKE SIX DAYS TO CREATE EVERYTHING OUT OF NOTHING AND SEE HOW FAR YOU GET. DO YOU THINK YOU’D BE DONE WITH ALL OF IT IN JUST SIX DAYS?”

“But sir,” Peter asked, backing up slightly to put a little more space between himself and the Creator. “You’d done it all by then. The book says you’d created light. Which, by the way, is a pretty excellent feat, if I may say so. How did you even know what it was you wanted? A real visionary, sir. That’s what you are.”

“GET ON WITH IT!”

“Right. So on the second day, there was the firmament. To tell you the truth, I’m still not sure what that word means. It’s like ‘irony’; I think nobody understands the word, though everyone seems to use it. Which I find ironic.”

“PETER!”

“Then there was the waters, and the lands, and the stars and moon. Then you went ahead and made all of the animals and then Adam and Eve.”

“STILL REGRETTING THAT DECISION. NO END OF BOTHER, MAN IS. AND DON’T GET ME STARTED ABOUT WOMEN. I’LL NEVER FIGURE THEM OUT.”

“You said it, sir. Anyway, that’s it. Then you rested.”

“THAT’S IT? I CREATE THE PLACE AND THE PEOPLE AND THEN I’M DONE?”

“Well, … yes. At least that’s what it seems like. And that’s what the book says. I mean, it’s not like you then needed to create aliens. So that pretty much wrapped it up, right?”

“NOT HARDLY! HOW FAR DO YOU THINK CIVILIZATION WOULD HAVE GOTTEN IF I’D STOPPED THERE? WHAT ABOUT ARCHITECTURE? ELECTRICITY? MACHINERY? LITERATURE? OR A REALLY GOOD BEARNAISE SAUCE?”

“I guess, sir, that I thought all of those things were all natural byproducts of mankind. Once you’d created them, they’d eventually come up with good ideas on their own.”

God looked at Peter. Peter withered, thinking of pillars of salt.

“IDEAS, YES. GOOD ONES? MANKIND INVENTED THE ELECTRIC PEPPER GRINDER. AND THE SPORT OF DRIVING IN CIRCLES FOR 500 MILES. YOU THINK THEY CAME UP WITH THE REALLY GOOD IDEAS?”

“No, I guess not. But what about the day of rest? The scripture is very clear on this.”

“IN ADDITION TO EVERYTHING ELSE I CREATED THAT WEEK, I APPARENTLY CREATED TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS. IT’S JUST PLAIN WRONG. ON THE SEVENTH DAY, I DID NOT ‘REST’. ON THE SEVENTH DAY ‘I DID THE REST’. I WAS VERY CLEAR ABOUT IT AT THE TIME.”

“Got it, sir.”

“GOOD. NOW GO TELL EVERYONE TO PUT AWAY THE HARPS AND GET BACK IN THE OFFICE. TELL THEM IT’S GOOD FOR THE SOUL.”

“Well, sir, it’s just that everyone sort of enjoys that extra day off. Gives you a chance to re-charge those wings, if you know what I mean.”

God looked at him.

“PETER.”

“Yes, sir?”

“DO YOU LIKE IT HERE PETER?”

“Uh, sure, sir. Although, now that you mention it, there are a few-”

“DO YOU LIKE IT UP HERE, PETER? BECAUSE I COULD CHANGE THAT FOR YOU.”

“Ah, yes. I see that sir. Yes, sir. I love it. It’s heavenly.”

“I THOUGHT SO. NOW GET BACK TO WORK.”

“Yes, sir. And might I say how very wonderful it’s been seeing you in the office again, sir. It has been such a-”

God looked at Peter. Peter withered again.

“Goodbye sir. I’ll just go round everyone up.”

“YES.”

Peter jogged back out the front door, which slammed shut behind him, leaving God alone in the foyer. In the distance, a water cooler kicked on.

God said, “I HATE MANAGEMENT. WHY DID I EVER CREATE MANAGEMENT?,” and went in search of the coffee machine.
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