The Lord spoke to Noah and said, “Noah, in six months I am going to make it rain until the whole world is covered with water and all the evil things are destroyed. But, I want to save a few good people and two of every living thing on the planet. I am ordering you to build an ark.” And, in a flash of lightning, he delivered the specifications for the ark.
“OK,” Noah said, trembling with fear and fumbling with the blueprints, “I’m your man.”
“Six months and it starts to rain,” thundered the Lord. “You better have my ark completed or learn to swim!”
Six months passed, the sky began to cloud up, and the rain began to fall in torrents. The Lord looked down and saw Noah sitting in his yard, weeping, and there was no ark.
“Noah!” shouted the Lord, “where is My ark?” A lightning bolt crashed into the ground right beside Noah.
“Lord, please forgive me!” begged Noah. “I did my best, but there were some big problems. First, I had to get a building permit for the ark’s construction, but your plans did not meet their code.”
“So, I had to hire an engineer to redo the plans, only to get into a long argument with him about whether to include a fire-sprinkler system.
“My neighbors objected, claiming that I was violating zoning ordinances by building the ark in my front yard, so I had to get a variance from the city planning board.”
“Then, I had a big problem getting enough wood for the ark, because there was a ban on cutting trees to save the spotted owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that I needed the wood to save the owls, but they wouldn’t let me catch them, so no owls.”
“Next, I started gathering up the animals but got sued by an animal rights group that objected to me taking along only two of each kind.”
“Just when the suit was dismissed, the EPA notified me that I couldn’t complete the ark without filing an environmental impact statement on your proposed flood. They didn’t take kindly to the idea that they had no jurisdiction over the conduct of a Supreme Being.”
“Then, the Corps of Engineers wanted a map of the proposed flood plain. I sent them a globe!”
“Right now, I’m still trying to resolve a complaint with the Equal Opportunities Commission over my hiring practices.”
“The IRS has seized all my assets claiming that I am trying to leave the country, and I just got a notice from the state that I owe some kind of use tax. Really, I don’t think I can finish the ark in less than five years.”
With that, the sky cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow arched across the sky.
Noah looked up and smiled. “You mean you are not going to destroy the world?” he asked hopefully.
“No,” said the Lord, “it seems the government beat me to it.”