Diluvium 12: In Which Noah Experiences a Change of Status due to Weather Conditions
“Have you ever tried to wrangle a mastodon up a narrow ramp onto an ark? I pulled from one side and Shem pushed from the other, but the stupid thing still got stuck in the doorway, and we had to chop it out with an axe. And then, the first thing the mastodon did when it got on the ark was trample all the lemurs, so I had to go out and find some more.”
~Noah, Diluvium 11
Happy Monday! We’ve been experiencing a slight decrease in readership this month. I don’t know if it’s the weather or the holiday season or the World Series (go Red Sox), but just as I’m sure David Ortiz was spurred on by the cheering crowds of Fenway Park, your readership is what keeps me writing week after week. With that in mind, I would be so delighted if you would mention this blog to any of your friends who might be interested in reading it! Forward them a link to the blog, or send them a message about your favorite story! All the stories are archived under “All Stories,” and there are a wide variety to choose from. Thank you so much for your help, and have a wonderful Monday,
Then one day, it started to rain. My sons and I were working on the ark at the time, sweating in the blazing sun as usual, when I felt a drop of something wet and cool hit my cheek.
“Goddamn pigeons,” I snapped. “Ham, I thought I told you to keep them locked in their coop.”
“I did,” said Ham. “Dad, I don’t think that was a pigeon.”
We all looked up at the sky. Another drop of water hit my face. And another.
What you have to understand is that, for your average prehistoric Mesopotamian, the concept of “rain” was just not something that came up very often in everyday life. Deserts, yes. Oases, camels, sandstorms … sure. Rain: no. Rain was something you read about in storybooks, like Californians at Christmas reading about snow, then going outside in swim suits to play in the sprinklers before waiting up for Santa Claus. It was an interesting concept: a little questionable, vaguely alarming, but it wasn’t something you ever expected to experience yourself.
We watched the rain collect in puddles on the deck of the ark, little silvery pools that reflected the sky. We felt it trickle down our arms and faces in meandering rivulets. And we gazed at each other in awe. You know how there are some things that, no matter how often parents/authority figures/God promise will happen some day, you just don’t ever truly expect to see occur? For me, Heaven was one of those things, and the Flood was another.
However, this is where you could say that my credibility took a turn for the better in town.
“So Noah,” said the large, beefy owner of the local gym, whom I had last glimpsed taking careful aim at my head with a rotten tomato, before my vision was obscured by a pinky-red haze. “You know how I was mentioning the other day that we should get our two families together for a barbeque and a game of softball? What do you say?”
“Noah!” screamed the baker, running out of his shop clutching a large, pink box. “I want you to have this freshly baked delicacy. I made it for someone else, but as soon as it came out of the oven I thought, you know who this wedding cake reminds me of? Noah.”
“Why, Noah,” cried the mayor, leaning down from the balcony overlooking the town square. “What say you and I get together for a round of poker and a six-pack of beer one night, in some kind of cool, man-cave like setting, such as maybe your ark? It’s on me. The beers are on me, I mean; you would have to provide the ark, I don’t have an ark.”
All of this was said very casually, but I could spot the look of shaky panic in the backs of their eyes.
I’m not a vengeful person. I didn’t try to make my enemies grovel, or gloat over my newfound popularity. (Popularity, my crude word for a donkey; it boggles my mind to think of the speed at which those guys would have dropped me if it had stopped raining. Kind of like fair weather friends, only the opposite. Nobody wants to be popular only when it rains.) But I did feel that this would be an opportune moment to marry off my sons. God had said, “bring your sons and their wives” on the ark, and since my sons didn’t have any wives, and my wife and I were getting up there in age, and my daughter was eleven, I thought it would be prudent for the sake of the future population of earth, if my sons got married ASAP. Otherwise we’d have found ourselves in a troubling kind of incestuous, Queen Victoria situation one of these days.
I didn’t think it would be hard to do. Marrying one of my sons was a golden opportunity at that particular moment in history. It was the one and only way to get a ticket aboard the ark if you weren’t a cow, chicken, or other type of reptile/varmint. But you should never try to predict these things. In my experience, anything involving children is likely to be one hundred and ten percent harder than anyone could possibly anticipate in advance.♦
(To be continued…)