I've been up to for the last 4.6 billion years"
God sighed dejectedly
as he pulled on his long grey beard and shifted his immense weight on the
cloud he had settled on.
Tsk, tsk. His boredom and disappointment were evident as he gazed out on the world below him.
He regarded his latest creation, the massive continent of Pangaea with more than a hint of contempt. It just wasn't living up to his expectations.
Admittedly, he had introduced it to fill his long empty days and cold, lonely nights with a touch of excitement and entertainment, but it was
ceasing to be a source of amusement.
I think it's time to spice things up a bit! God commented to no one in particular. He always thrived
when he had a new project underway and this time was no exception. Lets get this show on the road! He rubbed his hands together gleefully and
without further ado, divided his great work into two continents which he named Laurasia and Gondwanaland. He surveyed the results appreciatively,
particularly pleased with the latter. He admired its contours and diverse landscape and kept a soft spot for it in his heart. Observing and controlling
these land masses kept God fairly content for quite a few million years, but being, a temperate, artistic fellow, he craved more excitement and
meaning in his existence. He glanced downwards and thought that it would be interesting to divide his pride and joy and see what happened. This
injected some enthusiasm into his life and he marked off the days till the execution of his plans on his complimentary Readers Digest calendar.
On the morning he had allocated to the task, he awoke in a bad temper. The king size cloud on which he had been slumbering had failed to support
his ailing back. He had been postponing his annual chiropractic appointment and was now paying the consequences for his procrastination. On this momentous
morning, he abandoned his intricate designs for a perfectly symmetrical division, headed for the kitchen in search of a cake cutter and set to
work. When he next glanced upwards, he was surprised to see that dusk was falling. He had already carved up South America, Africa and Antarctica
and hastily finished Australia before dinnertime. He sat back on his haunches and surveyed his handiwork.
Hmm, he murmured reflectively.
Not too bad. Not too bad at . . .
Hold on . . . Thats not quite . . . He recovered his cake cutter from where he had tossed it beside
the moon and rounded off the top of Africa.
Thats better. He nodded approvingly. He slept well at night for the next few thousand years, satisfied
with a job well done. He awoke one morning several thousand years later and had a look at how Australia was faring. He had watched a Paul Hogan
movie the previous evening on Heaven T.V. and that continent was the subject of his current fetish. He noted the dense, lush rain forest, thick scrub
and smiled appreciatively at its fecundity. He was particularly fond of the abundant cassinia and cauarina. He watched with interest as a twenty
foot tall kangaroo uprooted a firmly embedded, sixty year old tree from the loose, fertile soil. He nearly toppled off the edge of the cloud he
was perched upon when he succumbed to his mirth when a ten foot long wombat slipped while hurdling a large body of water in the southern district of
the continent. He marvelled at the frame of mind he had been in when he had programmed the thermostat for Australia.
Alternating drought and floods in a bitterly cold climate say little for my mental health, he
reflected. He was fond of reflection and indulged in it often. In fact it kept him quite happily entertained for several million years. Yet there
is only so much reflection one can sustain and God decided that he needed a new challenge. He glanced around the globe and acknowledged the evolution
of the homo sapiens he had been toying with, a gleam of satisfaction in his eyes. He noted their absence in what had become his favourite nook
of the world, the impressive, fascinating continent of Australia. He remedied this by inviting some indigenous people from Asia over to inspect the land
on an 'all expenses paid tour. This offer was too good to refuse so the Aborigines, as they called themselves, took him up on it. They arrived,
had a look around, and decided that they liked it so much that they bought up and moved in.
Those 'shrimp on the barbie ads sure paid off, God thought, making a mental note to thank Paul for
his effort. God was pleased with his new tenants. He saw that they were a responsible and intelligent lot. He observed their progress over the
next forty thousand years with more that a passing interest. He was understandably peeved when they contributed to the extinction of the mega fauna whose
antics kept him entertained for years at a time. He decided to look on the matter from a philosophical perspective.
“You win some, you lose some,” he muttered.
The Aborigines were quick to adapt to the vast continent and employed various methods of taming the land which God recognised a particularly inventive. He became very excited when they started fire stick farming to clear the land and promote new growth.
He asked them to let him know when they were going to do it so he could tune in. Just watching it sent his heart racing with glee and gave him an adrenalin kick not completely dissimilar to the feeling of elation he experienced after his morning jog. He noted with interest the effects that this process had on the land and the species that inhabited it. A pretty variety of tree was selected for, taking over from the scrub and rainforest which had previously dominated the landscape. God always liked a spot of redecorating. “A change is a good as a holiday,” he had been known to comment, and as he didn’t fancy the long trek to Jupiter, this served his purposes nicely.
“Now, what is this new variety of tree called?” He wondered exasperated. “Euc . . . Eucu . . . ”He reached for his well thumbed copy of the Intergalactic Encyclopaedia of Horticulture and had a flick through it. He was unsuccessful in his search for it.
“Bugger it!” he snapped.“Just call it Eucalyptus,” he suggested to the Aborigines in more favourable tones.
“Righto boss!” a tribal elder called back good naturedly. God was grateful to the Aborigines. They were certainly making his job easier. The firestick farming they prized was paying dividends for the soil. It was enriched and replenished with an abundance of nutrients, God had become concerned about its recent poor condition due to the unsavoury weather patterns he had selected. God was extremely satisfied with the evolution of the fauna in his favourite pocket of the globe. The potoroos, quolls, koalas and kangaroos never failed to intrigue him. Even the newly introduced dingoes sparked his interest, though the fact that these stowaways on visiting Indonesian fishermen’s boats, responsible for the annihilation of the appealing Tasmanian Tiger was unsettling.
Overall, things were going along quite nicely when Europeans turned up unannounced and uninvited. God marvelled at their lack of etiquette and wasn’t exactly impressed with their impact on his spot of paradise.
“The blundering fools!” he exclaimed exasperatedly as they introduced an assortment of unsuitable species. It was raining cats and dogs and blackbirds, starlings, goats . . . God growled in frustration. The list was endless.
“Those bunnies are going to be nothing but trouble . . .” he prophesied, observing an excited member of the newly formed Acclimatisation Society stroking the first rabbit to hop on Australian soil. To say that God wasn’t overjoyed at the prospect of cattle and horse hooves trampling his healthy soil would unjustly understate the gravity of the situation. Oh and the foxes! He cringed at the thought of the damage they inflicted. He watched with sombre resignation as the once fertile soil became compacted and barren. He pitied the bettongs, potoroos and bandicoots whose food supplies were mercilessly revoked. God observed the European squatters progress with trepidation. He had grimly observed the manner in which they treated his friends the Aborigines and was fearful for the future. “What is in store for my precious Australia?” he pondered lengthily.
God’s judgement was not so clouded that he was unaware of the white people’s astounding technological advances, and marvelled at the way they had deciphered the scheme of things which he had planned so many millions of years ago that it had almost slipped his mind. He took heart in the fact that below him in the earth’s crust lay the entire story, waiting to be told. God saw that these advanced humans had uncovered fossilised remained in Australia and recognised the similarities to those discovered in South America, Africa, Antarctica and come to the conclusion that the continents were at one time physically linked.
“It was clever of them to make the connection,” he acknowledged. “Not to mention the way they correlated the succession of fresh water sedimentary strata and used it to support the existence of Gondwanaland. Evidence! Hmph! As if they need evidence. Just ask me. Of course it existed; I was there, I saw it with my own eyes!”
Besides this diversion, God was gravely concerned about the direction that humanity was headed for. They had developed dreadfully potent chemicals which they used with an alarming lack of restraint. God was rather worried that they would permeate into the biodynamic tomato crop which was flourishing with his tender loving care on cloud nine.
God scoffed at the stupidity of a race of people who were foolish enough to carve a hole in the umbrella he had offered them as protection from his neighbour, the sun.
“How can they be so ungrateful for that clever invention of mine? I thought the ozone layer was a stroke of genius. Well, they’ll learn the hard way I’m afraid . . .”
Then there was the Greenhouse Effect. The major cause of global warming was not only increasing God’s air conditions bills to astronomical proportions, but were melting the ice caps at the poles and an imminent rise of sea levels could not be avoided.
“Those humans will share the fate of Atlantis,” God observed dryly. The stress of the job was getting to him. He inhaled deeply, trying to disperse the knot of tension that had gathered in his abdomen and was causing his ulcer to flare up. “I just can’t keep up anymore,” he sighed dejectedly. “Since those humans decided that the Gaia theory was correct, I’ve been working flat out, trying to keep everything in balance, not let those ungrateful humans down. Sometimes, I just wish they had never progressed beyond the amphibian stage. My life was a lot simpler then.” He became so despondent when he witnessed the extinction of all the beautiful species he had nurtured, that if someone had been listening to his ramblings, they would have advised him to get a grip on himself.
The sad thing was not that the state of the world had affected its creator to the point that psychiatric intervention was necessary, it was that he was right. “Its destruction is imminent,” he forecast bleakly. “The mass destruction that humans have caused in such a short time is simply inexcusable,” he concluded miserably. “I just hope that they wake up in time . . .”
please click to return to the table
Copyright © 1992 Ilanit
Tof, All Rights Reserved.