Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

A Plague of…Rats in Bikinis? Back to the Drawing Board, Moses

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Moses, I’ve reviewed your list of proposed plagues to visit upon the Egyptians. While I can appreciate a good ironic twist as much as the next omnipotent, infinite being, I think I need to step in here and edit your work. I shall explain presently.

For the first plague, you suggested traffic jams. I wholeheartedly agree with the upheaval such an occurrence would cause, but I did make clear earlier that we’re looking for something a bit more manifestly miraculous. I’m going to override this one and call for all the Egyptians’ water turning to blood.

Your second recommendation has the Egyptian network going down for a week. This would indeed cripple the Egyptian economy, if the Egyptian economy were that of three and a half thousand years from now. I do wish you would pay more attention to anachronisms, Moses. I understand that your unparalleled clarity of prophetic vision grants you amazing insights into future developments, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Frogs, Moses. Write that down.

Lice, we can keep, but it needn’t be mutant alien brain-snatching lice. Though I do admit that for a moment I considered putting something radioactive in there. We’ll have to save that for later in history, I suppose.

For the fourth plague you couldn’t decide between wild beasts and swarms of insects. I understand your ambivalence, Moses, so how about the following: we use an ambiguous term that could mean either one, and leave it to scholars in future generations to debate which one it was.

Because we need to introduce some actual death into the equation at this point – even if only that of some animals – I’m going to veto your proposed plague of lawyers and instead ordain some pestilence. Not to worry, Moses, the lawyers will have plenty of other civilizations to wreck.

As for number six, I must say I appreciate your creativity: an epidemic of paper cuts, exacerbated by rains of lemon juice. However, lemons won’t reach this part of the world for some time, and the Egyptians have barely gotten the hang of papyrus so far, so let’s just go with boils.

Now, number seven: the land gets overrun by hordes of insufferable New England Patriots fans. It is indeed horrifying, but unfortunately, the intended effect will be completely lost on the Egyptians, so let’s keep this one in reserve for when some future society needs to be taken down a peg or two. Let’s go with hail. Bodacious hail, I might add: fire inside the ice. Why, thank you; it is pretty neat, yes.

Your next suggestion had me scratching my metaphorical head, Moses: the seventies return with a vengeance. While even I can’t think of many situations more disturbing or disorienting, again, we’re not talking about a society that would know the difference. Pharaoh and company would feel right at home in the garish getup and cosmetics, so we need to rework this one. If you’d said that an ear-splitting disco party breaks out, I could work with that, but the Egyptians might not distinguish between that and a plain old earthquake. Write down locusts, please.

For the penultimate plague, you propose a really bad acid trip. I see where you’re coming from – we’ve already had non-burning burning bushes and sticks-cum-snakes swallowing other sticks-cum-snakes – but I think we should go to the opposite extreme: not too much for the brain to comprehend, but utter lack of visual input. Let’s have utter darkness for a  few days. Oh, and warn the Israelites that the Egyptians are going to be too scared to go relieve themselves outside, so things might get unsanitary.

Almost done. We just need to finalize the last plague. I see you’re torn between a non-stop, inescapable Jerry Lewis movie marathon and an orchestra of demons playing twenty-first-century avant-garde music at deafening volume. We needn’t be that vicious, Moses. Let’s tone down the suffering a bit and just make it the death of all Egyptian firstborns.

OK, that’s it for today. Tomorrow, we’ll discuss whether the Hebrews should daub blood on the doorposts and lintels, or use it for anti-Egyptian graffiti.

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Written by Thag

April 26, 2011 at 12:59 am

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