Diluvium 13: In Which Noah Boards the Ark

by Jessica


““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.””
~Excerpt from Diluvium 12

Dear Readers,

Thank you for spreading the news about the blog last week! Our readership bounced back up, resulting in a very happy writer. This blog depends on word of mouth (or word of email, or song of Twitter) to find new readers, so your support in spreading the news is very much appreciated! Without further ado, I present Diluvium 13: In Which Noah Boards the Ark

Have a wonderful week,



◊  Installment 13 
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I sat my sons down in the barn that evening (we could hear rain trickling delicately on the roof) for a little man-to-man chat. I told them it was their obligation to themselves, their family, and the future of mankind, to pick out some nice girl and get married. Ham looked delighted. Japheth looked alarmed, but vaguely pleased. It was only Shem, my oldest (and quite frankly the best of the lot) who did not respond according to plan.

Shem was looking particularly respectable that night, in a freshly pressed shirt and pants with little creases ironed into the legs. By comparison, those other two buffoons (also, admittedly, me) were still wearing mud-splattered overalls from working on the Ark all day.

“Um, Dad?” mumbled Shem, after Ham and Japheth had skipped off to do their wooing. (I forgot to tell them to change out of the overalls first, but maybe they still had a chance, what with the impending prospect of being the last men on earth, and all.) “I think maybe we should talk.”

If you could pick any random moment in time for coming out of the closet, I’m sure there are many poor choices. But I would say that my son Shem picked the worst moment in history.

“Shem,” I said, once I regained the power of speech, “This is neither the time, nor the place. I’m not close-minded; I have nothing against homosexuality. But our family is personally responsible for producing the future generations of mankind. Your brother Japheth is a poet; your brother Ham is, quite frankly, an imbecile; and I’m counting on you to repopulate most of the planet.”

“Dad,” said Shem, looking alarmed. “I just really don’t see that happening.”

Sons. You can’t live with them, and you can’t murder them in their sleep.

As if that wasn’t enough to deal with, that night the basement flooded and I realized it was actually time to leave behind our house, my vineyard, and most of our possessions (admittedly mangled beyond recognition at this point by various animals) and get on board the Ark.

Well, here I have a small bone to pick with the artist population of the world. You know those paintings that claim to represent “Noah and the Ark,” and in them, Noah is invariably this complacent looking, bearded fool, marching along with an idiotic grin on his face, inevitably followed by a tame elephant and a pair of sappy-looking giraffes? Yeah, those pictures are about as accurate as those medieval paintings of lions, in which the artist has clearly never seen a lion in his life, and the animal in question looks something like a cross between a wolfhound and a goat. What actually happened on the Ark was chaos: utter pandemonium. Few people realize that giraffes are actually very contentious animals, as are most creatures when you’re trying to herd them into a small, enclosed, floating unit of space, when they much prefer to be out in the sunshine, not floating. There are few animals who enjoy boat rides, and there are some who panic at the mere sight of water, and in this last category I include all of the damned cat species. By now our entire backyard was waist deep in rainfall, and as soon as my daughter’s cat saw this, it screeched, hissed, and attempted to scale my head. When I tell you that all of its brethren (including the lion, tiger, and puma) had similar reactions, you’ll begin to comprehend some of my problems. The elephant stomped around in the water, trumpeting in alarm, panicking all the other animals and drenching us all, and I don’t know why any logical artist would portray it any differently. This is not a tame elephant we’re talking about, here. An elephant is an elephant, and it’s not going to stop acting like an elephant just because you separate it from its food supply and put it on an ark with 5,000 other panicking mammals. Actually, it’s going to act even more like an elephant, and do what elephants do best, which is to bellow deafeningly, stampede, and then (if possible) eat up all the buffalo food.

A frigging nightmare. ♦

(To be continued…)

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