And then, one day, dear Diary, calamity struck, and everything Id worked for was destroyed in one fell swoop.
I was on My patio, sipping iced tea and playing chess against Confucius, My new opponent, when I heard the news. It was My secretary, Mary, who came running, cheeks aflush, shouting, God! God! You must come immediately! She had My cordless phone in her hand. Its Joseph, with an urgent message from the security company. An alarm has gone off in the Garden of Eden!
An alarm in Eden? Hardly likely, I mused. But I took the phone from her, and held it to My ear. Joseph was My new handyman and groundskeeper. Whats the story, Joseph? I said. This had better be good. I am about to put old Confucius here in checkmate!
I dunno, Master. Its that tree theyre not supposd to eat from Yknow? Paul told me the other day to have it rigged. So that no cheatin could take place. Course, the Adams family didnt know about the alarm system. But its definitely them that ate those lemons. I got em trapped real well on closed-circuit video.
A chill took hold of Me. If the crime was recorded on video, there was no way I could disprove it in front of the Board of Directors. And to destroy the video would be ethically indefensible. Creating a woman is one matter, but manipulating evidence isnt the kind of thing a God like Me should be doing.
What exactly does the video recording show, Joseph?
It shows Adam and Eve gettin pissed on a bottle o somethin, Master, and climbin into the tree with a knife to cut off some lemons an squeeze em an suck em dry. A real raucous party, an just the two o them, all naked an laughin.
Didnt the video show anyone else? Are you sure?
There wuz … um … nope, nobody, Master. Well, no one human, that is.
Nuttin. Cept for the snake curled around the tree. Asleep.
There arent supposed to be any snakes on Earth any more. They were the lowest form of dinosaur, and they were wiped out by that asteroid. Unless ...
My brain was working overtime. There was a snatch of memory, a faint whiff of recognition teasing My mind.
Then, suddenly, it hit Me. The full truth. Damn it! I shouted, banging My fist on the table and scattering the chess pieces. Confucius went down on his hands and knees and started picking them up with endless patience.
That night in the Garden … I spoke in a barely audible whisper. When I created Eve …
Been meddling again, have You? Confucius asked, looking up with an amused expression on his wizened old face, but I ignored him.
That hissing I heard in the undergrowth! I … I think I know who it was.
I chucked the cordless phone to one side, stormed past the ashen-faced Mary, and strode into My study, where I kicked the sleeping Dog out of the way and opened the concealed door to My private liquor cabinet.
I stood there for several seconds, seeing the gap where the missing bottle had stood … the telltale ring in the dust. And I knew there was only one other person in Heaven, Hell or on Earth who knew exactly where I kept My tequila.
That was it, then. The beginning of the end of the longest period of peace and prosperity Heaven and Earth had ever known.
Everything went downhill after that. Paradise was closed down, and the Adamses scattered all over the planet. I eventually lost contact with them, and after a while, to tell you the truth, I lost My enthusiasm for Earth altogether. All the humans were interested in was drunkenness, debauchery and disorder. Last thing I heard, Cain had killed Abel and joined a rock group, Adam and Eve had got divorced, and pubs were allowed to remain open till after eleven. It was all very sad.
Worst of all were the things that happened to Me. As you can imagine, My reputation is in tatters. There have been leading articles in newspapers all over the Universe lately with headlines saying things like GOD AT THE CROSSROADS, LEADERSHIP CRISIS IN HEAVEN and WILL HE STAY ON FOR ANOTHER TERM? The cover of the latest Space-Time Magazine shows a photograph of My face, close up, with a sullen expression, unshaven, and with all the grey in My beard showing.
And you know what? Im not sure if I even care.
After all, I have My memories. And I still have Dog. And I still have some framed portraits of Me standing next to Adam and Eve. And I have My few faithful confidants and friends, such as Mary, Confucius and Paul.
Paul? Well, I must admit he surprised Me. Instead of saying I told You so, or carrying on about legal matters, he has been very understanding indeed. He even bought Me a new bottle of tequila. You have to know Paul to understand what an unusual thing this is for him to do.
There are, fortunately, no Board of Directors meetings these days, but there are worrying developments downstairs. The Devil, according to rumours, has shed his snake disguise and returned from Earth, and has set up permanent residence in Hell. Apparently, he is very busy down there, building new wings, installing air-conditioning, and even setting up guerrilla training camps. On a quiet day, I can hear the sound of marching feet and triumphant yodelling down there. There is never any peace in Heaven with all their shouting and carrying on. Even at night, once theyve finished playing rock n roll on their electric guitars, they turn on their TV sets very loud, probably to irritate Me.
But I hardly even notice them! I refuse to give them any thought! I am God, and they are just a bunch of twits! They are no better than the humans!
When I heard the news the other day that the whole of Earth was threatened by a high-pressure weather system which could cause a major flood disaster, I didnt even blink.
Serves them right, I thought.
I do not care about the animals, either. Since they stopped receiving their injections, they have become quite violent once more. Even worse, there are more insects than ever before, especially flies. Though small, these creatures are every bit as revolting as the dinosaurs.
Are You absolutely sure You dont want to convene a Board of Directors meeting to try to save life on Earth? Paul asked Me only last week. The situation can still be reversed, You know.
I am quite sure, I replied. In fact, I think I might just sit up all night and watch the flood through My bay windows.
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