Humor Fiction posted January 11, 2008


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If I were God

The New Commandments

by snodlander

Contest Winner 

going pear-shaped - going wrong
If I were God, I would make a few changes in the world. Don't get me wrong, I think the Man Upstairs has done a fantastic job, particularly given the tight timescales He was working to. Sunsets? Brilliant. Raspberries? Delicious. But then He created Man, and that's where it all started to go pear-shaped. Quite frankly, as soon as the whole going forth and multiplying was put on the agenda, He was asking for trouble. The world is so good purely because it wasn't designed by a committee, but as soon as you have five billion free wills sticking their oar in, you're going to get problems.

So if I were God, I would leave the basic infrastructure as it is, but tweak a few of the details to take into account that the head count has risen since the original Eden project, and many of us now live or work in cities.

Ten commandments are all well and good, but we have got so good at sinning over the years that ten just doesn't cover it any more. I would write others, with appropriate riders and waivers.

Thou shalt not erect an umbrella within the confines of a city. At rush hour, the streets are packed as it is. Commuters jostle shoulder to shoulder, spill over into the kerb and bump and push each other in an attempt to get to work. Add a couple of spots of rain, and up go umbrellas, which are, in fact, devices of the devil and are unclean. Suddenly people now occupy twice the space that they did before. As I am six feet three (a good height for a God) the tiny metal spokes that poke out are just at My eye level. It shall also be a mortal sin to open a golf umbrella in the city, unless you are actually playing a round of golf in the streets. I invented hats and raincoats for a reason.

Thou shalt play thy iPod at a level that thou only canst hear. My tastes in music are eclectic. I can cite examples I like in every genre of music, and some jazz as well. Even the noise my son makes with his friends (how I regret giving him pocket money and lecturing him on the benefits of saving. He would never have been able to afford those drums otherwise) is bearable in short bursts of no more than a minute. But I do not like the rhythmic sibilance of someone else's MP3 player. I made a mosquito's buzz irritating for a reason, there's no need to emulate it for the entirety of a train journey.

Thou shalt wait thy turn. I don't care if you only have a couple of items and forty-five minutes for lunch. We were all here before you and have queued patiently for long, long minutes. You can suffer along with the rest of us. Oh, and while I'm at it ....

Thou shalt have your money, credit cards and bags ready when you reach the end of the queue. You've got a trolley full of groceries you've pushed around for half an hour. Why is it such a big surprise when, with a queue of people behind you, you are suddenly asked to pay? And thou shalt get everything you want before hitting the tills. Waiting until the sub-total and then remembering you wanted toilet paper as well is no excuse to leave us all fuming for five minutes while you go get some.

Thou shalt not speak on the phone in a voice loud enough to carry to the other party without the aid of electronics. If you have an emergency, such your loved ones suddenly succumbing to a plague of boils, or the sounding of the last trump, thou shalt use the mobile phone in a quiet and decorous manner. We do not want to hear your opinions on what you think of soap opera characters, or to hear what your boyfriend said about your mam, or to participate in your business meetings. That's why I gave you an office. And why, why, why do you insist on starting every phone conversation with 'I'm on the train'? Do they care?

Thou shalt not wear Lycra after the age of twenty three. Cycling is all well and good for the heart, ecologically sound and all that, but if work trousers and a cloth cap were good enough for your dad, they're good enough for you. Tight cycling shorts stretched to breaking-point do you no favours, and we really don't want to see it. And if you think that brightly-coloured helmet makes you look cool, buy a mirror.

Thou shalt not use commuter trains when on holiday. Before nine o'clock commuter trains are My taster of Hell. They are meant to forewarn you of the punishment to come if you continue to sin (see above). They do not need the addition of gap-year students with backpacks larger than they are themselves. You're a student on holiday, for My sake. What are you doing awake before nine o'clock anyway?

Thou shalt not use the car for journeys of less than ten minutes walk. Doest thou see those dangly things underneath you? I named them legs. You can't see them for your stomach? That's because you use the car to drive to the post box fifty yards down the street! Moses walked for forty years. Did he complain? Well, actually, yes he did, a bit, but that's not the point. Thou shalt not drive your four-wheel-drive troop carrier to ferry your progeny to school. Make the little angel walk.

Thou shalt learn to speak English. I'm English, it is the Divine Language. If English children of three years old can ask where the train station is, so can you. I am seriously reconsidering the whole Tower of Babel debacle.

Thou shalt make a certain author the topped ranked in all the categories. I'm not saying who, because that would break the terms and conditions of Fanstory, and there are some authorities even I bow to. But when I'm God I shall be omniscient, so I'll know where you live, I've got a thunderbolt and I know how to use it.



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