One day God spoke to Noah. “Noah, it’s me, God. We need to talk.” Skeptical, Noah looked behind the rocks and the bushes. Convinced that his sons weren’t playing a joke on him he yelled, “What do you want God?” “Noah, I want you to build me an ark.” God replied. “Sure thing, but what’s an ark.” Noah responded. God answered back, “I’ll have Gabriel fax you a blueprint and you can get started.” “Ok God, but it might take me awhile. It’s supposed to rain next week.”
For forty minutes and forty seconds, Noah bickered with God on the design of the Ark. (Noah wanted Cedar and God wanted Mahogany. God won.) The old man also disputed some of Moses’ calculations. “Why’s it gotta be forty-five by forty-five,” Noah raved. “That’s what the boss wants,” Moses replied. After a cubit was explained to Noah, he went to the shed to grab his tools. After hours of searching, he finally found his hammer up in the kids tree fort.
One afternoon, while sawing some wood in the hot sun, the townspeople stopped by to mock Noah. “Look at the crazy old man building a giant boat,” one yelled.. “Yea, and he has some bread crumbs stuck in his beard,” another one shouted as the crowd laughed. Noah just kept his head down and continued to work until the boat was completed. A raven landed on his shoulder and Noah took that as a sign that the big day was near. In retrospect, the raven just wanted to snack on the treats left in Noah’s snow-white facial hair.
On the morning of the flood, two of every animal species on the planet showed up for the cruise. Most of the males were dressed in flowered Hawaiian shirts. The females were usually stuck carrying several suitcases. Noah was there to greet them. Holding a stone clip board he checked off each species before allowing them to board. “Wombat, wombat, ah, here we are, wombat. Third stall, middle deck.”
The animals unpacked and settled into their quarters. The rooms were very small. It wasn’t long before the hen sought out the cruise director, Noah’s wife, and complained about the bathroom facilities. “A hole in the floor. I don’t think so,” she loudly clucked. Many of the creatures just cuddled in a corner to rest up for the voyage. Others just past the time grooming and licking themselves. (Faulty plumbing had rendered the showers useless.) This caused the hen to peck poor Noah’s wife’s ankle.
As the ark sat on dry land the animals looked out their port windows and said, “Now what?” A few, such as the kangaroos and other irate marsupials, became disgruntled and demanded their money back. Others, like the chimps and hyaenas, reeked havoc with the other passengers. (Dropping banana peels on deck and laughing when someone slipped and fell.) But, most of them, casually toured the ship admiring Noah’s delicate craftsmanship.
Finally, it started to rain and rain and rain. The boat began to rise and rise and rise. The animals scurried to the decks and began waving and yelling “Bon Voyage” to the family members and friends that had waited around. Noah spoke over the loud speaker “Welcome aboard ‘Doomsday Cruise line.’ We should be underway in approximately five days.” The animals that were lower on the food chain were deemed as waiters and cocktail waitresses in charge of passing out beverages. Noah’s three sons Ham, Japheth, and Shem, oversaw the operation making sure the bar was stocked and the service was adequate.
Entertainment was essential to pass the time away on the long voyage. Skippy, the dancing bear, did nightly shows. Two seals, Whiskers and Slippy, performed twice a week doing beach ball tricks. Tusca, a walrus that sang songs from the opera, “Vissi d’arte,” lulled audiences with his versatile vibrato. The Great Bosco, a fox magician, dazzled the crowd with sly card tricks and illusions. And, a thirty-year veteran hippo, fresh from the Catskills, did a ventriloquist act with a puffin bird on his lap.
Passengers were constantly complaining about the weather. During the day, Noah’s wife who played cruise director, set up various activities to keep the livestock occupied and the monkeys off her back. The younger creatures enjoyed shuffle board, ping pong, and paddle ball. The older ones stuck with bingo and bridge. Karaoke was big with the birds. The parrots hammed it up by singing Love Shack. The animals with a sense of rhythm took dancing lessons from Hoofs, a well-known gazelle with the gift of glide. It made Noah smile when he saw as water buffalo waltzing with a wildebeest. Talk about rocking the boat.
Several nightclubs catered to the nocturnal crowd. Raccoons, and owls never missed last call. The possums were always the last one’s on the dance floor. These late nighter’s usually slept through breakfast only to eventually rise with a pounding headache. Many of them had no idea what they had done the night before. One night, Noah found them passed out in the garbage. He scolded them, “Why can’t you be like the horses and hit the hay early?”
There was plenty of food on the Ark, except Noah had a rule “No eating each other.” The buffets were popular, as long as the rhinos and elephants weren’t in line. Everything served was of vegetable and plant origin. Sure, this upset members of the cat family. (They were so hungry they could eat a horse… or anything in that family. But Noah was a fair man and politically correct. Besides, many animals had now become pals. They didn’t want to jeopardize their new friendship by chomping on someone’s spouse.
The animals had no idea that they had booked a forty-day cruise. After two weeks boredom set in and the creatures became anxious to feel land beneath their paws. One night, a badger organized a rebellious band of reptiles and rodents. Their goal was to stage a mutiny. Noah sensed that this might happen at some point in the journey so he had catered to the larger animals by feeding them extra dessert servings. (The moose loved the mousse.)
The night of the takeover, the badger and his sneaky clan made their way up to Noah’s quarters. However, having received word that a coup was underway the elephants. lions, gorillas, and water buffalos were waiting for the clandestine troop. A small scuffle ensued and the badger’s boys were easily subdued by the large oafs. Noah rewarded his protectors by feeding them the snozeatles, finglecats, and bushwads. These creatures became extinct after they were devoured. (They are not known today because they couldn’t reproduce after they were eaten.) The badger was given two weeks KP duty where he was up to his tail in potatoes. It wasn’t very appealing.
The next night, Noah treated the patient and faithful animals to a vegetarian Luau. Platters of carrot sticks, broccoli heads, melon balls, and wedges of goat cheese were served. Jugs of wine made the rounds as the creatures mingled with one another. (The cows talked in a slurred moo.) At midnight, the animals assembled on the upper deck as Noah led them in a chorus of Amazed in Grace. (The dingoes were way off key.) Two by two the creatures staggered back to their stalls where they collapsed face down in the hay.
In the morning, the rain had subsided. Nobody cared because they all were hung over. Noah sent a dove out to find some land. The dove returned and said to Noah, “Ain’t no land no where, no how.” The next day Noah sent him out again. This time he returned with an olive branch. Noah, not understanding what it meant, put the branch in his tea for flavoring. The animals were anxious to get off the boat. Finally, after 140 days the water diminished and everyone was free to disembark. Noah was now 650 years old and grouchy from the grueling journey. He said, “Get the hell off my ark! I’m tired of looking at you stinky animals!” “We want our money back,” cried the ungrateful beasts. “You’ll get nothing and like it. I saved your hairy backs from the flood,” Noah barked. Two by two the animals huffed and growled as they paraded out of the ark. “That’s the last time we take that cruise line,” the animals mum bled under their snouts. “Maybe we should just go multiply.”