Sunlight through the fern leaves…
THE GARDEN OF EDEN
400 MILLION B.C.E. (Before Cooked Eats)
GOD: Adam, I have seen thee, at times, confused, disorganized and despondent. Despite all that I have given you here in the Garden of Eden, I realize that your existence requires one more gift. I have decided to give you a help-mate.
ADAM: Like a maid?
GOD: No. A woman, yes, but one that will help you in your daily existence in not only domestic matters but spiritual and physical matters as well. A woman you may nurture mentally and emotionally, and who will do the same for you. One you may lay down with in the tall grasses. This I decree.
ADAM: A secretary.
GOD: No. A wife, Adam, a wife. A help-mate. Help-mate, help-mate, help-mate.
ADAM: Oh, that’s wonderful. Thank you, God. I have dreamed of this moment. I have been so lonely here in Paradise. And I praise thee for allowing me the joyousness of a companion. I am forever in thy debt.
GOD: You’re welcome. And for this wondrous thing to occur, I will need thee to lend me thy rib.
ADAM: Excuse me?
GOD: I will need thee, meaning you, to lend me thy—meaning your—rib.
ADAM: What do you mean lend? Define lend.
ADAM: No way.
GOD: I’m going to make you a companion, Adam. This is the only thing I need from you. You must provide me with your rib or I will be unable to create this wondrous thing.
ADAM: Oh, c’mon, you made the monkey out of a stick.
GOD: This is not quite the same thing. This is to be a woman, not a monkey. She needs to be caring, thoughtful, intelligent, and passionate. For that I need thy rib.
ADAM: How about a thoughtless, listless, stupid woman? Here, see what you can do with this dead branch with all the fungus on it.
GOD: It must be thy rib. She must be born of your flesh.
ADAM: I don’t want to give you my rib. What if I start leaning to one side?
GOD: You’ll be fine.
ADAM: How about a toenail instead?
GOD: It’s inanimate matter. It wouldn’t work the same. Let me have a rib.
GOD: You leave me with no choice, Adam. I must do what’s in your best interests. Remember, this is for your happiness.
And a woman stood next to Adam.
GOD: Woman, I have created thee to be a help-mate to this man, my child, who I created in my own image. You will live with him in this garden of beauty. You will hold him dear to you, and you will serve him and obey his commands.
WOMAN: Screw that.
GOD: And I shall name thee Lilith. I’m sorry, did you say something?
WOMAN: Yeah, screw that. I’m not serving anybody. What am I, a carhop? (to Adam) Nice to have met you. I’m gonna go live in the woods with a goat.
GOD: That could have gone better. Anyway, let us try again. I’ll need another rib.
ADAM: When pigs fly.
GOD: Come on. Give me another rib. You don’t want to be uneven, do you?
ADAM: What about the last rib I gave you? Just use that.
GOD: It’s in whoozits.
ADAM: So, go get it from her. She’s got too many now anyway.
GOD: It’s got to come from you. And it can’t be used.
ADAM: You made that up.
GOD: No, it’s always been a rule. Give me a rib.
GOD: No pain, no gain.
GOD: Alright, give me a toenail. Jesus.
GOD: Nothing. Just give me the toenail.
And a new woman stood next to Adam.
GOD: Woman, I have created thee from the flesh of my child, who I created in my own image. You will love, honor, and obey him. Do you have any problems with that, because if you do I’d like to know now.
WOMAN (to Adam): Who is that?
ADAM: God. Just shake your head no and we’ll discuss it later.
WOMAN (to Adam): He doesn’t look anything like you. How could he create you in his own image? He’s got to be in his sixties.
ADAM (smiling): Just go with the flow, go with the flow.
The woman smiles at God and shakes her head no.
GOD: Adam, I shall allow you to name your woman. She is unique, pretty much, and so her name must be unique.
ADAM: Lilith 2.
GOD: No. Be creative.
ADAM: Recipro Gal.
GOD: Less equine.
GOD: Less creative.
ADAM: Mmmmmmmmmmmm…Balloonia! Phoydell. Jamorsafonse!
ADAM: Thing With Less Hair.
GOD: Go back to creative.
ADAM: Ptorsha. Communisha. Macola. Portfolio. Genesis. Exodooshis! Sharkia—The First Name In Formal Scuba Wear!
GOD: Stop. Just. (closes eyes) Stop. Why don’t you take a break for a couple of minutes. (Tapping finger on chin) Hmm…it must be precise. Precise but pleasant. Ah, I know. Woman, I shall name thee Eve.
And all the creatures of the forest smiled. And all the dolphins in the ocean smirked.
GOD: My children, go forth into the Garden of Paradise. Live together. Nurture and love one another. Enjoy all of my gifts. But I have but one set of restrictions. One: Thou shalt not take my name in vain.
ADAM: What does that mean, exactly? Does that mean that, like, if I took your name, and put it in a box, and ran away with it, then got caught running away with it, and had to give it back, then my attempt would have been in vain and thus I was taking your name in vain?
GOD: Don’t be an idiot. Restriction Two: Thou shalt not commit adultery.
EVE: No problem.
ADAM: Yeah, that’s a good rule.
GOD: May I continue? If you two keep interrupting we’ll never get through this.
ADAM: Why, how many are there?
GOD: Plenty. Restriction Three: Thou shalt not steal.
EVE: I have to get a pen.
ADAM: I thought everything in the garden was free.
GOD: Restriction Four: Thou shalt not cast rocks at thy neighbor’s outhouse.
EVE: I’m back. Okay, what was the one about the outhouse?
GOD (thinking): Maybe this isn’t the right time for this. Okay, forget all that. I’ll save it for another time. Probably needs a rewrite anyway. (Putting notebook in pocket). Nurture and love one another. Enjoy all my gifts. I have but one restriction—one restriction: Thou shalt not eat of the apple tree—that is the Tree Of Knowledge. Now go forth.
Adam and Eve take their leave of God and go strolling through the forest. They are joined by other forest creatures including Alice the Lion and Marge the Lion who walk casually alongside them.
EVE: What are those?
EVE: What do they do?
ADAM: Mm… … just kind of walk around.
EVE: Hello, lions.
EVE: Oh, they talk! Do all the animals talk?
ADAM: Oh sure.
EVE: Oh that’s so wonderful! I want to ask them so many questions.
They approach an apple tree.
SERPENT (curled around the limb of the apple tree): Fruit. (a tired sigh). Get your fruit. Hey, I got fruit here. Apples. I got apples. I got perfect apples. Each one a perfect color and a perfect shape. Hey…I got apples.
EVE: Oh, Adam, I’d love an apple!
ADAM: Well, you heard what God said, “Thou shalt not eat of the apple tree. That is the Tree Of Knowledge.”
EVE: Yeah, so? He said, “Thou shalt not eat of the apple tree that is the Tree Of Knowledge.” So, which apple tree is this?
SERPENT: Oh, this isn’t the Apple Tree Of Knowledge, ma’am. Yeah, the Apple Tree Of Knowledge is over there by the bears. This is the Apple Tree Of Innate Ability For Ballroom Dancing.
EVE: I think I’d like that.
ADAM: No, God said, “Thou shalt not eat of the apple tree.” Then there was a period. The he said, after the period, “That is the Tree Of Knowledge.”
EVE: What’s a period?
ADAM: It’s a little dot.
EVE: Like a mole on your butt?
ADAM: Where? (turning) Where?
EVE: I meant a hypothetical mole.
ADAM: Oh, of course.
EVE: Scared you there for moment, didn’t I? God’s Image.
ADAM: A period is a punctuation mark. It ends one sentence and prepares thee for the next. The two sentences then form an entire concept. So, God said, “Thou shalt not eat of the apple tree. That is the Tree Of Knowledge.”
EVE: Right. “Thou shalt not eat of the apple tree that is the Tree Of Knowledge.”
ADAM: Right. See? It’s two sentences separated by a period.
EVE: I don’t understand this period thing. I mean, I don’t want to seem dumb, and I know we just met, but I’m not getting this.
SERPENT: Are you two gonna buy anything?
ADAM: Thou shalt not eat of the apple tree. Dot.
EVE: It’s Eve.
ADAM: Yes, I know. I mean, “Thou shalt not eat of the apple tree…right?…that is the Tree Of Knowledge.” Eh?
EVE: You lost me.
EVE: Oh, yes! I’d like an apple?
SERPENT: Okay, here ya’ go.
EVE: No, not that one. I’d like that one.
SERPENT: This one here.
EVE: No, the one above it.
ADAM: They’re all the same, dear.
EVE: Yes, but that one’s higher.
SERPENT (under his breath, rolling his eyes): Woman.
The serpent grasps an apple in his mouth and lays it in Eve’s hand.
SERPENT: There you go. That’s two bits.
ADAM: We don’t have any bits.
SERPENT: You have no money?
ADAM: Sorry, no.
SERPENT: I suppose I should have realized this when I noticed you didn’t have any pants.
EVE: Sorry, serpent.
SERPENT: Yadda yadda, story of my life.
Thunder breaks! Clouds roll in and fill the sky in black!
GOD: I told ye not to eat of the apple tree! That is the Tree Of Knowledge!
ADAM: Right. An exclamation point, which is a very loud period—for those who are having trouble grasping the period concept. See? Between “tree” and “that”. That means any apple tree is off limits. Satisfied?
EVE: I still don’t get the period thing.
GOD: Henceforth, ye shall know thy nakedness! And ye shall be ashamed! And you, Adam, shall have to go to the office. And ye, Eve, shall get periods!
GOD: And you, animals of my Earth—
ALICE: What did we do?
GOD: Henceforth you will know hunger. And to satisfy your hunger you will only desire the taste of meat! And so ye shall eat meat.
MARGE: What’s meat?
GOD: Each other.
ALICE: Well that’s rude.
GOD: It’s the way it’s going to be. You will only desire the taste of meat.
ALICE: Why don’t you make the tomatoes taste like meat?
GOD: I can’t do that.
ALICE: Yes you can.
GOD: No I can’t.
ALICE: Yes you can.
GOD: No I can’t and that’s the way it’s going to be!
GOD: Furthermore, the female lions will do all the hunting work and the males will stay at home and take naps.
MARGE: Nice going, Alice.
The image of God dissipates. The thunder quiets. The clouds roll away. The sun comes out.
ADAM: Well, I guess there will be new things we’ll have to get used to.
EVE: Yeah. (thinking, then smiling) I think it will be okay, though.
ADAM: At least we can still talk to the animals.
Thunder and lightning!
GOD: And the animals don’t talk anymore!