Diluvium 7: In Which Noah Visits the Fancy Grocery Store
Happy Monday, and Happy Birthday to my sister Karina, the wonderful editor of this blog! (Her birthday actually fell on Saturday, but we can’t force our birthdays to fall on Monday every year, no matter how attached we feel to this particular day of the week.)
It has started to rain in Portland, and the trees outside my window sway like seaweed in a wet, grey ocean. It is particularly conducive to writing about Noah and the Ark, so with that I bring you post 7 of Diluvium: In which Noah Visits the Fancy Grocery Store. (Or to read from the beginning, click here.)
Excerpt from where we left off:
The psychiatrist told my wife that I was a grade-A schizophrenic and to increase my Omega-3 fish oil intake.
Have you ever tried swallowing a fish oil capsule? Jesus, it’s disgusting. It’s like skimming off a layer of cold salmon fat, shoving it in a plastic coating, and swallowing it. So I was forced to fill my wife in on the plan. It was probably about time to tell her anyway. There was no way she could have remained in the dark once I wrangled that puma out of the jungle, and locked it in our basement. She was bound to discover the secret one of these days.
◊ Installment 7 ◊
After I told my wife, it occurred to me that maybe I should tell other people, too. I mean, maybe it was my duty. As far as I knew they wouldn’t be able to save themselves, but who can ever say for sure about these things? (Other than God, I mean.) Even if they didn’t want to invest the time and resources it takes to build an ark, they might at least want to buy themselves a decent raincoat, or some of those inflatable water-wing type things, which come in a variety of colors. It might increase their chance of survival by, say, .0001 percent, and when we’re talking about life and death, I personally would want my .0001 percent chance.
So I go to the supermarket. I had already been there about 900 times that week, to purchase supplies for the ark. I forgot to mention that AFTER He told me I had to track down every type of animal on the planet (not only one of them … two) God also mentioned (seemingly as an afterthought) that I would be responsible for feeding them.
“Take with you every kind of food that is eaten,” is what He said specifically, “and store it up, and it shall serve as food for you and for them.”
He says this casually, like it’s the easiest thing in the world to just stroll down the street and find striped tiger beetles. (The preferred nutritional supplement of the Malaysian bush frog.) They don’t carry them at the regular grocery store, and when I told the cashier at the fancy grocery store what I wanted, he sent me to aisle three, which did not have anything even remotely like striped tiger beetles, but did have pickled radishes. I carried them back to the front and said, “these are not beetles. These are pickled radishes, and they’re not what I’m looking for.”
“Ah,” said the cashier, looking at them. “No, I suppose they’re not. They’re awfully nice though.” He glanced at me hopefully.
“I don’t care if they’re nice,” I said. “I don’t need them.”
He said, “Did you ever consider TRYING pickled radishes?”
I said, “no! I didn’t, and I’m not going to. When I say I want striped tiger beetles, I mean striped tiger beetles, and nothing else.”
He leaned in close and whispered confidentially in my ear, “pickled radishes go very nicely with deviled eggs.”
I glared at him. I explained that when I wanted advice about what to pair with deviled eggs, I would ask for that, and not for striped tiger beetles. I explained that I would not be coming to him for that advice, because quite frankly the pairing he had suggested sounded disgusting. I explained to him that he was a moron, and that it was a miracle his genetic code had so far survived the process of evolution (though it wouldn’t much longer), and that his intelligence probably did not rank above your average tiger beetle.
“Wait a sec,” he said, scratching his head. “Did you say beetle? I thought you said were looking for tiger beets.”
I said yes, obviously, I was looking for beetles (hadn’t I explained that at least a dozen times?) and anyway, how could anyone working in a reputable grocery store mix up radishes and beets?
“Beetles,” I emphasized, over-enunciating just in case the message was still unclear. “I’m looking for beetles. Striped … tiger … beetles.”
“Oh,” he said, blinking. “That’s disgusting.”
I explained to him that I would be leaving now, and then I did.
And none of this helped me to acquire striped tiger beetles, so as far as I’m concerned the Malaysian bush frog can eat it, and good riddance. (The endangered species list hadn’t been invented yet at that point in time, but this is where you might say that the Malaysian bush frog first became seriously endangered.) ♦
(To be continued…)