By Ray Lesser
Soon after God made heaven and earth, and gold, and precious gems, and beachfront property, and lots of other stuff worth fighting over, he realized there was nobody around to admire his handiwork, or lust after it, and covet it. So He formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. And man said, “God, create some mouthwash before you breathe up my nose again!” God named the man Adam, and gave him an apple.
Then Adam moved into the Garden of Eden, on a one year lease with an option to buy. All was basically right with the world, except that Adam was lonely, and he didn’t have anyone to talk to, so he was always talking to God. All day and night Adam would be asking God questions, and complaining about how his feet hurt, and wondering if maybe the high-fiber diet he was on was giving him the runs, and pestering God to create some toilet paper. Finally God couldn’t stand it anymore, because he wasn’t getting any work done on the rest of the universe, so he grabbed one of Adam’s ribs, and from it created Eve. And He saw this was good, because now Adam could pester her all day.
Most of the time, Adam and Eve got along fine, but sometimes they argued. Have you ever lived with anybody else? Then you know how it is. “It’s your turn to pick a salad for dinner.” “Well then it’s your turn to pick the lice out of my hair.” “Why did you wake me up?” “Because you’re snoring!” “I don’t snore.” “Oh, yeah? Just wait till God creates a tape recorder and I’ll prove it to you!” So there’d be some bickering now and then. Especially when God booted them out of the Garden of Eden for violating the lease agreement. But eventually Adam and Eve came to love each other, because, really, what choice did they have? It was either that or the sheep.
So it came to pass that Eve gave birth to a son named Cain. As long as Cain was an only child, everything was great. His mother and father doted over him, sang to him, and told him a story from the bible. It was a very short bible back in those days, but Cain was kind of slow, and didn’t mind hearing the same story over and over. During the day Cain played with his toys. Of course, at that time all the toys were Cain’s toys, which Cain liked very much, even though all he had were a pile of smooth rocks and a pointy stick.
Then his brother Abel was born, and from day one, you just knew there was going to be trouble. The first thing Cain did when he saw Abel was to poke him with his pointy stick. Eve asked, “Why is your brother bleeding?” Cain replied, “How should I know.” Eve said, “Well, what is your pointy stick doing in his crib?” And Cain said, “It isn’t mine.” And Eve said, “But it’s got your mark right on it, see your X?” And Cain said “Then that little creep stole it from me, Mom. Make him give it back!” And Eve said, “He’s not going to give it back, because he needs it to protect himself from people who might do him harm.” And so, before he could even talk Abel was already armed, and at war with his brother.
When he got older Abel would take Cain’s rocks and put them in his mouth and get spit all over them. This would make Cain very angry, but all he could do was cry, because if he came too close Abel would poke him with the pointy stick.
Eventually Cain came up with an elaborate plot. He would get Abel out into the open country and kill him, but make it look like a suicide. When Abel went to sleep Cain grabbed the pointy stick and stuck it into him. Unfortunately, this made for an unconvincing suicide, since he speared Abel in the back. Also when he went to forge the suicide note he realized the only letter he knew was X. So the note read XXXXX. X. Back in those days Judge was not an elective office, and Cain’s faked evidence didn’t hold up too well in court. God gave Cain a life sentence and cast him out into the land of Nod.
While he was nodding out, Cain had a son, who he named Enoch. Then he built a city, which he also named Enoch, after his son. Then he started a bakery which he named Enoch’s Bakery, and also a dry cleaner’s named Enoch’s Dry Cleaners. So they prospered and ate bread and had very clean clothes, but still they lusted after more.
One day a wandering tradesman came by. I’m not sure exactly where he came from, but if you’ve ever watched the X-Files, or dreamed you were Marilyn Monroe, you know the kind of strange things that can happen. The tradesman plunked himself down in the middle of Enoch (the city) and started building a blacksmith shop, with an attached restaurant and coffee bar. As much as Cain longed for some companionship, and a good cup of espresso, he was jealous, because he hadn’t thought of the idea first. So he marched over to the stranger, whose name was Tubal, and demanded that he leave.
“But if I leave, who’s going to make you coffee?” asked Tubal.
Cain said, “I’ve got an offer from Starbucks to buy this property. Go out and build your own city.”
“But I like it here. There are customers,” said Tubal.
And Cain said, “If you don’t leave, you’re committing suicide, because the competition is going to eat you alive.”
“I don’t think I like the tone of this conversation,” said Tubal. But business is business, and so, much like Jimmy Hoffa, he wound up disappearing and was never heard from again.
A great deal more mayhem, killing and war took place after that, but if you want to find out about it, you’ll have to buy the book, or at least the daily newspaper.