Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The IDIOT'S Guide to Getting Bounced out of Eden

In the beginning, God created the universe and the Earth and the animals and, eventually, man. So says the Bible.(1)

In actual fact, She really only created the Earth – by accident, no less - before jaunting off for a supposedly much deserved spa vacation and leaving the angels in charge of finishing it off.

Later, after Adam and Eve, who wasn’t even the first Mrs. Adam(2), had been dropped off for playtime in the Garden of Eden, God stopped by and explained the rules: do what you want, eat what you want, and enjoy yourselves. All She asked of them was that they stay away from that one lone shady tree up on the hill – the only tree in all of Eden with big, shiny red apples hanging just low enough to be picked easily by hand. She figured those rules were easy enough to remember so She left the kids to their own devices and headed home to Her Penthouse in the sky.

Had God fast forwarded a few thousand years, and read a couple of Brothers Grimm stories, She would have realized just how seriously She had underestimated the appeal of a shiny red apple. Not to mention the fact that She put the tree on display, making it incredibly easy for curious hands to do things they shouldn't. And then there was Leo, the Serpent who lived in the higher branches of the tree - the Serpent God so irresponsibly forgot to mention. And Leo loved his apples, wanted to share them with whoever he could, so when Adam and Eve came close to the tree one afternoon while exploring the Garden, he convinced the pair of them that the shiny red apples were just apples and that the booming voice in the sky didn’t know what It was talking about.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Adam convinced Eve to pick an apple, but then, at the last minute, decided he’d rather have a peach instead. Unfortunately, it was too late; Eve had an apple from the Tree of Knowledge in her hand and, not wanting to waste a perfectly good piece of fruit just because the only man in the whole freaking universe couldn't make up his damn mind, took a bite and handed it over to Adam.

A few bites of apple later and they suddenly realized they were naked (knowledge being carnal at times) and decided they should probably cover up (what, with decency being an issue and all). With the kind of impeccable timing that only a Heavenly creature can have, God chose that precise moment to stop by for a visit and when She saw the fig leaves She lost Her heavenly cool and kicked them out of Perpetual Bliss and into the real world, where they landed on their bare asses with uncomfortable awareness.

Seriously, it’s all in the Bible - Ellie's version of it, at least.(3)

When good old Johan Gutenberg got his hands on it in the mid-14th century, he made a few edits that She never actually approved, edits that always struck Her as terrible bits of writing. Like blaming the whole thing on Eve - not cool, Johan. Not cool at all.(4)

Then there was the fact that he cut out Her favorite bit of the whole story, those last two lines right at the end of Genesis.

As they were leaving the Garden, Eve turned to Adam, smiled sweetly, and whispered, “Next time, pick your own Goddamn apples.”

(1) Well, at least it does in some old guy's Bible. God's own diary tells a much different story. See here.

(2) That would be Lilith. The problem with being God and creating a woman in Your own image is that said woman is most likely stubborn, independent, and headstrong. So was Lilith and after a short while of being told what to do by Adam, she told her 'husband' to kiss off and walked herself straight out of the garden and into the arms of sweet independence. God attempted to bring her back, more out of laziness than true want, but Lilith had seen what lay beyond the Garden and she liked it. So, resigned to actually having to do work, God created Eve from one of Adam's ribs and was a little less liberal with the stubborness. Realizing, however, just what a little twat Adam had become, God breathed a whole heap of independence into Her newest creation and sat back to watch the hilarity unfold below Her.

(3) She'd tucked it away in what would eventually become a pasture in France, with the idea it would be safe from prying eyes (safer downstairs than upstairs), only to have it dug up by a French farmer in the early 8th century, who of course ran off and translated it incorrectly because he spoke three words of Aramaic and just made up most of the rest of it. A few centuries later, it landed in Gutenberg's lap.

(4) When Gutenberg eventually died, and arrived at the Pearly Gates Corporation's front door, God made sure She was there to meet him so She could have a 'polite' conversation with him regarding the difference between artistic license and bullshit.

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