God and Lucifer Make a Bet

“What de heck!”

“What do you mean, Lucifer?” God took another sip of his mint julep and watched, rather morosely, as icy drops dripped onto his hairy chest.

“Down dere. Dem is building some kinda ting!”

“Quite frankly, my dear, I couldn’t give a damn.”

“Well, yuh should. Dem is heading this way.”

His interest piqued, God plonked the half-empty glass down and hauled his considerable bulk from the chaise. He’d let himself go a bit since he’d tried to wash the verminous scum from his good, clean earth only find out that his ‘chosen ones’ had turned out to be just as bad as the last lot. Lucifer had tried not to laugh but hadn’t quite succeeded.

“What are they doing?” God squinted his eyes. “I do believe they’re building a tower.” He rubbed a hand over his face. “A rather tall tower.” He frowned. “So tall, in fact, that it already reaches halfway to heaven.” A look of incredulous anger stole over his face. “And it’s getting closer by the second.” God stopped and did some quick maths. “At this rate, considering the temporal conversion, it’ll be here by lunchtime!” God did not look pleased.

“And what’s more …” in a flash of brimstone flavoured light, Lucifer vanished from sight. An instant later, he reappeared, rubbing his hands together gleefully. “… dem is doing it to de glory of yuh very own selfage!”

Thunder crashed and lightning flashed around God’s darkening visage making him look quite old-testamenty around the jowls.

“No! This shall not come to pass!”

“Why de heck not?”

“Because … Because … ” God spluttered very unbecomingly. “Because this is MY HOUSE!”

“Oh, well, dat is correc too. Two for two in truth.”

“Smite them.”

“Wha?”

“Smite them from the face of the earth. I’m done with them. We’ll have another bash next year.” God frowned. “Maybe.”

A look of cunning crept over Lucifer’s face.

“Hold up – let we have a bit of fun first.”

“Fun?” said God doubtfully, but with slight interest. “Oh yes, I know! We could smite their language instead.”

“Huh?”

“You know. Make them speak in different lingos. At the moment their language is perfect. They all speak the same tongue.” He gestured out of the window to the rapidly approaching tower. “But if we were to split them up into, oh, I don’t know – seventy or seventy-two dialects, then – bingo! That’d confuse the little buggers enough to put paid to that tower!”

“I don’t tink dat would work. Sounds like de kind a ting dat would get dem to co-hoperate even more. I can see it now – Google Translate on every damn Smartphone. It’ll just spur dem on.”

“I don’t see how …”

“Wait nah – let me tink, let me tink!” He waved his arm impatiently in God’s direction, a frown curdling his face. Then he brightened.

“Got it! Dis is what we do – we make dem drive dem chariot on different sides of de road according to which place dem decide to live.”

“Oh, I don’t know. Lucifer. I’m still rather in favour of the tongue smiting.”

“No, no – dis road ting is de killer fuh sure! I is certain.”

“Well …” God still looked rather uncertain.

“Okay, okay, hows about we do both, but we does sweeten de pot. For each of dem fools what does get smited from having a confused tongue, you give me a hundred US, but for each one dat does get killed or maimed on de road, you coughs up a Benjamin. Deal?”

“Well, actually – that does sound rather amusing,” said God with a smile, “let’s do it!”

And so it came to pass that, once upon a time, in a land called England, where the English did drive on the left-hand side of the road and, what’s more, walk on the left-hand side of the pavement, an American and his wife did arrive. And, verily forgetting they were in a foreign country where different rules applied, they walked on the right-hand side of the pavement.

And it did also come to pass that an English guy walking in the opposite direction on the same pavement, was feeling full of beans because he’d found a fifty pence piece by the side of the road. And lo, when he came up to the Americans, he hopped neatly from the pavement onto the road to avoid them, straight into the path of a bicycle rider who swerved to avoid the English guy and then, just as he was congratulating himself for his lightning-fast reflexes was hit by a tour bus. By luck or skill, the driver of the chariot did screech it to a halt just before running the cyclist over and killing him outright, but the impact did condemn him to a serious of operations that verily made him wish that he had expired. And, not realising what had happened, the American couple hopped aboard the tour bus and enquired, to the driver, about the price of a day-ticket.

And, somewhere above, God turned to Lucifer with a wry smile and handed him another hundred dollar bill.


(condensed version is here)

2 thoughts on “God and Lucifer Make a Bet

  1. Pingback: A Little Side Bet | robertcday

  2. Pingback: One Gadget Too Many | Robert C Day

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