(*note– those of you looking for the previous article on WBAI-FM– it’s right below this one…)
One of the things I do in the world to almost make ends meet is buy and sell old and rare books?
Sometimes you find something truly remarkable and last week was one of those times.
I came across a moldy piece of sheep-skin, locked in an old sea-chest with a large, ornate ?N? carved on it?directly over an image of what looks like a very large, old boat. On the parchment was some ancient writing?a combination of hieroglyphics and Hebrew.
Took it to the Ancient Languages Dept. at Columbia University to have it carbon-dated and translated?
The results of the carbon-dating and other chemical processes for determining the document?s age are not all in yet, but the following is a rough, first-draft translation of the parchment I got from the chair of the department?
Ship?s Log, The SS Yahweh? 89th Day at Sea…
08:32 hours, below decks?
Food for the animals holding up nicely. (Reminder: send a note to Bob at Archer Daniels Midland for that genetically enhanced grain?really saved our bacon).
10:17 hours? One of the Mastodons showing signs of severe constipation. Had Shem and Ham construct a giant enema tube. Hope for the best.
11:41 hours? Complaint from Shem’s wife. She feels Shem is spending far too much time with one of the sheep, ?Dolly??could this be a problem?
At approximately 1200 hours we ran into what we first thought was a mountaintop but then realized was a huge bull sperm whale. With some difficulty we managed to avoid Leviathan and floated without trouble the rest of the day.
**Note to myself: At next radio contact, Ask Lord about possible slip-up? ?Every substance.. every living thing?will be destroyed???At least that?s what he told me? So, then, what about fish? How do you ?destroy? fish by covering the earth with water? Probably next time he does this (God forbid) he should use fire.
Oh well, it may be a good thing the Lord didn?t see this fish problem coming. Since we forgot to bring enough grain and meat provisions for both ourselves and the animals, we have been living on fresh fish (that we catch over the side) for several days now and will no doubt continue to do so until we reach port.
14:01 hours? *Note to self: Have to limit grog allowance to half-quart per person per day: Didn?t realize there was a problem till Ham came on deck this morning, blind drunk, with a: ?Great Flood Tour, 5036 BC,? tattoo on his right arm.
16:41 hours? Great fun on the carnivore deck, teaching the dogs to fetch, roll-over and count to four with their paws. Only minor incident; one of the huskies took a pretty hefty chunk out of my arm when I tried to put a party hat on his head? On the whole though, they are pretty cooperative creatures and might be useful pulling a sled once somebody invents one.
At dinner, more talk about our standard menu. The girls say that there are just so many ways to cook fish. In our haste as the first rains fell, all the cookbooks were left back at home; The only one we have, apparently, is something called Martha Stewart?s Holiday Surprise Cook-book?and it only has three recipes for salt-water fish.
My wife and a couple of the other gals have come up with something sort of tasty?they call it a ?fish-stick?. I like it, but without mayo it?s not so tasty?
There was some talk of possibly packaging this ?fish-stick? product when we land and taking it national; maybe franchising a chain of seafood restaurants.
Well, you better believe I put a stop to that kind of talk pretty darn quick. I told them?in case it had slipped their minds?that we were selected by the Almighty to be the only human survivors on earth? And I was pretty sure it wasn?t for the purpose of founding a packaged fish-product empire! I mean, for Christ?s sake, what do these people think we?re doing on this boat anyway!
(And even if we were to be so vulgar and blasphemous as to think of making money during a time like this, there is obviously, at the moment, no off-shore cheap factory labor to be had anyway)
The usual sing-along after supper?
I?m glad the gang can keep themselves amused, but the truth is I wish they would stop singing that stinking song! The first few hundred times, it was catchy, even fun, but it?s driving me nuts now! ??.El-e-phants and, Kang-a-roozie-oozies!? Or, is it Kangaroozie-roozies! I don?t know and I don?t care!!
The next time I hear that damn song, they’ll be sorry they said the word Uzi!
(*Half an hour later, after inspecting the life boats? Must calm down? my responsibility to the crew? If we have to start mankind all over again, this attitude of mine is, like, really bad Karma? Think I?ll sit down later with some scented candles and the I Ching ?)
23:04 hours. Last entry for the day?
Warming up the short wave for the Lord?s daily transmission. I sure hope he has some positive news I can tell give the wife and kids; Three straight months of shoveling camel shit, changing the newspapers in 4,000 different bird-cages and trying to get the condoms on the rabbits?its pretty damn grueling?
The SS Yahweh, somewhere at sea?
– Mike Feder (New York City – February 8, 2005)