The Trials of
by Jerry Robbins
lounging by Eden's Resort outdoor pool ogling the
fair maidens. He was 120 years old and
could only dream about how it might be.
And God said
to Noah, "Get off your fat bottom, Noah, and
make me a boat. I want it to be so big we can put
all the pets at Freddy's Animal Shelter in it,
plus a few more that are still out there.
Noah protested, "there's not a twig of
lumber in this God-forsaken (excuse me) land."
get smart with me," God said, 'I made this
miserable world the best I could with what I had
- nothing - if you believe the word of the
theologians. Take a hike to what will be Africa
someday and strip their forests."
you said we should preserve nature."
you are going to quibble I'll just get someone
else," God said.
So Noah calmed
down and set off for Africa-to-Be in a little
dingy with his family. Predictably he got
lost somewhere around the Mediterranean Sea. This
pleased him a great deal because there were
many beautiful maidens swimming in the water.
Mrs. Noah meantime insisted he stop at one
of the ports for directions.
But Noah was
sorely vexed by his wife's interference and said,
"Look, this is between God and me.
Butt out." This was the first of Noah's
mistakes with his wife. So Noah wandered
for several years trying to find Africa while Mrs.
Noah mumbled without ceasing, i.e., every day,
the same complaint, based on nothing she knew, as
Noah was the only man around, "Oh, you men
are all the same."
God, who was
beginning to have second thoughts about his
servant, Noah, heard Mrs. Noah's complaints and
decided that in the future he would make men who
had feelings, watched romance movies, could
change diapers, and were capable of shopping in
grocery stores, although they had not been
after many yeas and many detours, Noah found
Africa.This pleased his children in no small
measure because there was a McDonald's
hamburger store there with a huge sign, "God
loves you." Can't you see this is a sign,"
said Mrs. Noah, who was hungry enough to eat a
whole cow. And, lo, old Noah's hard heart
did melt and he let his kids lead him there.
later Noah found a lumberyard with choice cedar
planks. He walked through the yard and said
in a loud voice to the lumber, "Let there be
an ark," remembering he had heard such
things about how God made things. But, alas, the
lumber did not move.
have to build it," his oldest son said,
typical annoying teenager that he was, and also
added typically, "Leave me out of this."
Just then, Mrs. Noah piped up, "I have a
plan." At a loss about what to do, Noah
looked at her plan and it was good.
So Noah loaded
up the cedar and had it shipped back home where
Mrs. Noah supervised its construction. In
the meantime, Noah ran the coffee shop with
several attractive waitresses.
One day a
carpenter ran into the coffee shop as Noah was
explaining how to make an expresso to his
attentive, adoring girls, and shouted, "It's
finished." Noah ran as fast as he could
through the construction site to the gigantic
ship, and, lo, it was good. "Carnival
Cruises" was painted on its bow,
and his children rejoiced with exceeding gladness.
Now Noah had
to round up the animals. He emptied Freddy's and
went to search for the elusive ones, the wombat,
the Jerkle, and the schmoo, none of which he
could find which explains why they never made it
into the modern world or even "Jane's Guide
Just as he
loaded the last ones in, the elephants, tigers,
and anacondas, it began to rain. It poured
down the rain for a long time, and the water
began to rise until, lo and behold, the ship took
off. The mountains trembled,the seas boiled,
and Noah's son stood on the deck jeering at those
on the roiling sea, "How long can you tread
Noah was no-a
sailor, So Mrs. Noah had to take the wheel.
"I'm going to drive this thing," she
saith unto him. "You don't drive a boat,"
Noah said unto her and right there he realized
his second mistake. For the rest of the trip he
spent his time in the dark, smelly hold with the
apes and donkeys. No one on board had the
slightest idea where they were going.
meantime, Noah's teenage son, Seth, incessantly
complained about keeping company with the hippos
and giraffes when he would rather be with his
main squeeze, voluptuous Sarah, who was liberated
and was very free with her favors, like kissing.
He also felt bad that he had left his I-phone
home and could not help with the directions.
teenage daughter, took up with the chummy
chimpanzees who seemed happy to listen to her
endless tirades against her parents. She
prayed to God to send some conditioner to help
with her hair which was so frizzy that she was
actually beginning to look like a chimp.
perplexed by the prayer. "What does she
think I am, a convenience store? And what do I
know about hair? I may know the number of hairs
on everybody's head, but that doesn't include how
to manage it." But since God had to
answer prayer, God created the corner drugstore
and all the hair treatment any teenage girl could
meantime, Noah lectured Beth about spending too
much time with the animals when she should be
with the family. She simply said, "Oh,
Dad, you are so over, " struck her tongue
out at him, and sprayed him with blather, as
chimps are wont to do.
Mrs. Noah did
her best to keep order on the ship, assigning
duties and arranging games for the animals.
She set up afternoon talk shows where the animals
could come and discuss their problems. She tried
to forbid all "relations" because
there was hardly room for more, but could not
corral the bulls and wolves into obeying.
Their rutting disturbed the other animals who
tried not to look. Beth was disgusted, but
Seth had only one thing to say, "Cool."
seemed like months a pigeon appeared with a daisy
in its mouth. "Isn't this what artists paint
as a symbol for peace?" Beth said. Mrs.
Noah said, "We need a real sign of land."
And lo, the next day a small boat approached with
a sign, "Buy Florida Property," and a
salesman. The animals were exceedingly glad
to see him, as was Mrs. Noah who promptly turned
the ark south to follow him to their new Paradise.