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Covered in Jam

January 18, 2010

You’ll no doubt be pleased to find that Smumzie is in much better spirits today despite being exposed to the idiotic ramblings of the feckless Pat Robertson (quite by accident, we assure you).

In fact, despite the rain outside, we’re almost vibrating with bliss.  As we write this, a cozy fire warms our tootsies and we find ourselves occasionally chuckling over the clever musings of the dazzling Eddie Izzard, (skip to 2:26 if you’re short on time) who we had the supreme good fortune to see live at Madison Square Garden last night.

We can’t help but wonder if Eddie is a fan of Mark Twain.

“I don’t believe the whole story of the Ark,” Mr. Izzard states, “for one simple reason:  try it.”    At the end of his tale, although two of every creature had set sail together, only the lions and tigers exit the vessel, save for one distraught squirrel.

“It was a bloodbath!” The squirrel pants, wringing his hands and looking over his shoulder.  “They’re all dead…the entire deck is red as if it’s covered in jam.”

Of course Eddie was expounding upon a previous bit he did about giraffes, those evil herbivores, and how – if the purpose of making it rain for 40 days and 40 nights (which any travel agent can tell you is incorrect – it would’ve only been 39 nights) was to erase the evil from the world, why did all animals who could swim or fly get a pass?  Are giraffes really more evil than sharks?

“Ah, the benevolent shark,” he mocks, miming a shark gently pushing a wayward child towards shore.  “Run along now little boy.”

Izzard’s unique ability to put complex notions like the story of the Ark and the lesson it portends into reasonable perspective reminds us of Mark Twain’s Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings (Harper & Row 1962; originally 1938 by the Mark Twain Co), which recounts the creation of our universe as told in a series of letters from Satan to archangels Gabriel and Michael.

Upon being banished to space for his “flexible tongue,” Satan decides to visit Earth and writes about the perversity of man and his beliefs about God.

“Man is a marvelous curiosity.  When he is at his very very best he is a sort of low grade nickel-plated angel; at his worst he is unspeakable, unimaginable…  Yet he blandly and in all sincerity calls himself the “noblest work of God.”

“Moreover… he thinks he is the Creator’s pet.  He believes the Creator is proud of him; he even believes the Creator loves him; has a passion for him; sits up nights to admire him; yes, and watch over him and keep him out of trouble.  He prays to Him, and thinks He listens.  Isn’t that a quaint idea?  Fills his prayers with crude and bald and florid flatteries of Him, and thinks He sits and purrs over these extravagancies and enjoys them.”  [Emphasis ours]

And today, despite the occasional appreciative chortle over the ruminations of Eddie Izzard and the genius of Mark Twain, Smumzie can’t help but wonder if God has taken time out from purring over the accolades humans are lavishing upon his supposed existence this Sunday (by His command no less) to look down upon the people of Haiti (or Darfur or Uganda, etc) and think, “Oops.”

“It’s all in God’s plan,” they’ll tell you – the devout…the pious… “It’s meant (or not meant) to be.”  And that’s supposed to comfort the friends and family of loved ones lost last week in Haiti, or the woman with multi-organ failure lying helplessly in the hospital bed who has just been told that to save her life, the doctors will have to take the life of her unborn child.

To which Smumzie says:  Really?

Pardon me?  God?  Yes, well if you’re there, I’d just like to say ‘Well done you’ for your work on the Universe.  Seriously, from the artistry of the sunrise and the stars that twinkle like diamonds in the night sky, to the flora that bloom in the driest desert, the place looks great.  And the water features are such a nice touch.  Biology, gravity (smashing good idea!) physics, photosynthesis, chemistry?  Good stuff to be sure.  But you see, the thing is – well, to be blunt, planning obviously just isn’t your thing.

Now, don’t blow your cool here.  You do the creation thing really well. It’s just there are too many things in your “planning” history that didn’t really work out for the best.

You want me to name one?  Well, ok, how about Dinosaurs?  And that whole … flood thing.

Joan of Arc?  What’s that?  Oh, you really DID make a war, then chose sides and put a 14 year old girl in charge of killing all those people so that France could “win?”  Where’s the “win” in any of that?

Embarrassing to say the least, but we got past it.

How about global warming?  Andrea Yates?  You seriously couldn’t have made your point (which, remind me again was  what?) with one child (as if even that is acceptable)?  Hey! There’s this thing called infertility.  I know a few infertiles who, while perhaps not perfect (but then who among us is?) would definitely not have drown their children in a bathtub.

Anything ringing a bell?

How about pedophiles?

What was that?  Oh, I see, pedophilia is a result of free will.  If that’s the case then I’d like to tender my resignation as part of the team.  Why? Well, I’m honestly not interested in spending my entire life working to achieve a seat at the right hand side of an entity who thinks it’s OK to torture children so that pedophiles may exercise free will.

So there’s that.

And also, as Twain points out, because you don’t practice what you preach.  You tell us to turn the other cheek and forgive another’s mistake, however how you treated Adam and Eve?  Not very forgiving.  You not only punished them, you continue to punish all of their children and their children’s children for a relatively minor offense.  As if seeking knowledge could ever be deemed an offense that is.


Unless you’re willing to admit that you’re a seriously shitty planner and start handing it off to someone with a lot more competency in such complex issues, I don’t see our collaboration going anywhere good.

Thanks, though for letting me try out.  It’s been enlightening if not very rewarding.  Good luck to you, too.


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