ISSUE 61

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 In the beginning, God created animals that were very convincing salesmen. Snake, obviously, excelled in selling apples tied to unmentionable evil, like a honey crisp that teaches you how to murder Rich when he doesn’t return your hedge trimmer.
 At first, Eve was skeptical. A snake in a white shirt and khakis selling apples door-to-door? At least it was better than those Mormons who came by earlier. But the snake politely introduced himself and displayed his wares: all-natural, organic apples that could be written off as a donation to charity.  
 And sure, there was some small talk involved. Satan mentioned he had his own totalitarian government and would cast down God in a raging hellfire of ash, dust, and ruin. In just a few years, he would be the ruler, the master of all, Lord of the Lord of Lords and King of the King of Kings, and all would know him as LUCIFER and quail before him. Eve thought for a little while and then said that it must be hard to conquer the universe without arms or legs. The snake said yes it was.   
 By this time, Adam had eaten the apple, murdered Rich, and trimmed the juniper by the side of the house. After the first bite, he decided he wasn’t all that hungry, yet finished it anyways because he felt emotional. He attributed the subsequent feelings of corruption and despair to the fiber cereal Eve made him eat. As far as killing Rich… well, he had it coming.
 After that, the young professional couple couldn’t get enough of evil—selling ivory, guzzling gentrified coffee, deep-frying Priscilla the Chicken. It was fun for a while, taking advantage of your heretofore friends usually is. But once God noticed Ruby the cow’s missing leg and Eve strutting around in a fox fur coat and high heels, he asked them what was up.
 “Fashion,” Eve answered. Then she ignored God, flipped her hair back and whipped out her phone to check Facebook, despite the fact it would take a long time until the invention of the Internet. The phone was, in fact, a piece of bark. Facebook seemed to be a collection of monkeys bragging about the size of the lice population living on their upper back.
 It was at this point God wondered why he created humankind. Was it love? Was it because he was bored of arguing with the Holy Spirit as to his actual function in the Trinity? What happened to those dinosaurs anyways? He should really check up on that.
 The Almighty considered drowning everything and starting over with an alcoholic geriatric, his dysfunctional family, and two of every animal but decided he’d hold out until the humans got really out of hand. Yeah, better to wait until they start smoking marijuana and going to punk rock concerts.    
 Instead, God continued to talk it over with his rebellious creation, which was a strong moral step for someone who created the mosquito. The conversation did not go well. Adam blamed Eve; Eve blamed the snake; the snake blamed God; God blamed Jesus, who sulked in his room and promised to come out only when the Romans invented indoor plumbing.
 God shouted. Eve threw a plate. The dodo was wiped out. Shit happened. The argument ended when God cursed dirt, making it less fun than it was, and childbirth, making it even less fun than dirt. Then he deported Adam and Eve, picking them up with two omnipotent hands and hustling them to Eden’s border, which suddenly had an ill-funded wall and twenty thousand overeager Texan border police.
 They begged to be let back in once they realized the outside world was filled with things that go bump in the night—aliens, a grizzly bear plowing into the pizza leftovers, the furnace and that loose window pane, a rapidly depleting Social Security fund. They quickly purchased and installed a home security system, which consisted of some sharpened sticks and… yeah, that was it, just the sticks. And Adam threw his in a creek to try to hit a duck.
 It was no question Adam and Eve’s lives had changed drastically for the worst. No more balmy nights watching the lion and the lamb eating vegetarian. No more flying. No more casual nudity. Certainly, it would be a long slog until they figured out dentistry and the washing machine. But they had learned a valuable lesson: Never ever try to integrate fruit into your diet, and if a snake starts talking—no matter how charismatic it is—just turn and walk away. 

          
There is a book.
It is cheap.
It is wonderful.
   
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