Second Time Around
SECOND TIME AROUND? Bill Bayley
After the last human being had expired, God tidied up a bit, lowered the radio-activity, and sat back. They had been fun, those humans. A real laugh, most of the time. He remembered all those World Wars and how both sides always just knew He was on their side, and called upon Him to give them victory! O, My Word, how He'd laughed! Their rulers never seemed to learn the lessons that He had made crystal clear...but never mind. The question is, what to do now? Make another model, not in My image, but looking like, say, ….a bath bun? A sea anemone? A shrimp? A bath mat? None of them appealed to the All High, so He decided to conduct a Poll of the Saved in Heaven. He started with the Saints. A mean-spirited bunch, God thought, but they'll only moan if I don't ask them first.
St. Paul was dogmatic, as usual. “No, no repeats, your Highness. It didn't work before, it's not going to work a second time. No, forget it.” God appealed in vain that humans had been fun, but St. Paul just couldn't see it. The other Saints were of the same miserable opinion. They're jealous, thought God. They want to go on being Top Dogs, a second bunch might produce more Saints.
So he asked the others, all of them. The Catholics, in their tiny garden, said, maybe, but you have to banish Sin. In fact, begging your pardon, your All Powerfulness, why not banish Evil? It's that simple, they all agreed. Ban evil! But, God thought, you can't have Good without it's opposite, but then the Catholics were never any good at Science. Look what they did to Galileo.
The Muslims were of the same opinion as the Catholics, but they wanted Infidels banned. They weren't too bothered about Evil, and they took their opportunity to put in a plea for more virgins. “A lot more, please Allah, our chaps are complaining.” God reminded them that it was not He that had promised them, but it fell on deaf ears.
The Buddhists were not really interested, as they thought that mostly they were only there in Heaven temporarily. They were looking forward to re-birth and resuming their endless quest for Nirvana. God had not the heart to remind them that they could be longer be born as human, as humans were now extinct; the nearest available species was a chimpanzee, but no self-respecting Buddhist would think that being re-born as a chimp was exactly a step towards Nirvana. So they were stymied, yet they didn't vote for re-creating humans. God was puzzled by that, until He saw the jealousy thing again. They think that new humans must be better than them. Idiots.
The Hindus were of every possible opinion, some of them wanted to vote on both sides, but overall they had no opinion worth a light. The Zen Buddhists and the Taoists were too inscrutable for God to bother to wait to understand their answer , and the Confucians were thrown into a total tizzy by God asking their opinion at all. The only sensible answer came from the dogs, and even they had to be consulted in secret, because none of the other inhabitants of Heaven thought that dogs should be there. God thought that dogs were heaps better than the best human, and had allowed them in right from the start. Dogs liked humans and wanted God to have a second go.
By this time, God was a little fed up. Being Ineffable, he knew what He wanted all right, and it seemed that none of his Chosen (except the dogs) agreed with Him. So He went next door. Or in our terms, He went down to the Bottomless Pit. He had always got on with Satan, all that nonsense about a great rivalry was just made up by the Puritans, and they were not allowed in Heaven at all, Good God, no! So Satan laughed when God told him what He wanted. “O Lord! They caused you all that trouble, and you want to do it all again? You must be mad!”, and Satan and God rolled around laughing until their sides ached. They knew that they were both as mad as ….Gods.
So God went around Hell, asking the members their opinions. Should He start again or not? He had trouble sometimes finding the members for all the smoke, and many of them seemed a bit the worse for drink, and why are there so many Irishmen here? He put His question to them. There was an immediate agreement. “O sure, You must give it another shot, Lord. You can't rely on only one race, surely to Goodness. Another run, oh yes. Yes, give them another try. You never know!”
God was left in no doubt of what they thought in T'Other Place. Satan smiled at Him. “Got your answer, eh?” God nodded. “Yes, I have. I'm going back up there to re-jig the human race, and I will change nothing, nothing at all, and we will both of us laugh our socks off. And then I'm coming down here to live. I'm sick of all those po-faced jimmies in Heaven. Can I bring the dogs?”