Tuesday 17 June 2014

Bob's Boxes 17-a special feature of the year.

Hey! It's Bob - I found a rewrite in the boxes!

Here's the original.

You know what? It was a premonition.
Sometimes women can….

Hang on - you don’t recognize me do you?
Is it the beard? It has grown, and lost the careless colour of its youth - more like fifty shades of grey now - but surely you know these eyes? Sandy - like the West Bank, that’s what my mum used to say. It’s me! Moses! You know, the guy who went up the mountain, did The Lord’s Will and brought back The Ten Commandments. You haven’t forgotten them?

I’m probably older than you think too; but it IS me - wrinkles and warts, I haven’t really changed. I’m still strictly Old Testament; I do as I’m told and like things to be simple – Locusts and Honey if I can get them. I look after myself, keeping trim for my tunic; a bit of yoga and you won’t find me in the nightclubs of Sodom and Gomarah.

However, there is something you don’t know; I suffer from asthma. It’s pretty bad - a consequence of being left in a basket on The Nile as a baby. God knows what my parents were thinking. So I can tell you, getting those tablets of stone was no easy task - not the jolly picnic that the Bible makes out.

It started fine enough, the sunrise over the newly parted Red Sea was something to behold so I breakfasted outside. None of that insect and syrup stuff either - no I needed energy! I had the works! Double egg on toast, bacon, mushrooms, mug of tea -the full number five! Then, grabbing my staff - I knew it was going to be some trek for an old geezer - I set off through the scrub.

“Moses you daft bugger, you’ve forgotten your inhaler.”

It was the missus.  Zippa. Lovely woman bless her - all silks and softness, don’t know what I’d do without her! Brilliant with the sheep!
I went back to the tent and there it was, under the pillow:  can’t sleep without it. It’s probably addictive, likely to be the death of me but it’s manna from heaven.
“Thanks luv,” I called out.
“And have you got your sandwiches?”
“ Certainly have”, I replied reaching into my satchel, “and look, a piece of string!”
“What you after having a piece of string for?”
“Ooooh, you never know when a piece of string might come in handy,”
“Well be careful, don’t get upset or anything  - you don’t want to have one of your turns up there on the hill.”

But if I had known what the boss had in mind that day I would have taken a lot more than a piece of string and an inhaler! A chariot and a team of porters would’ve been more useful: but that’s how it is with Jehovah, he never explains. He likes to move in mysterious ways.

The trail was little more than a goat track and to be honest I took his name in vain as I stepped in their droppings, maybe I shouldn’t have worn sandals after all. But I love the mountains. It’s so clear, there’s so much space ….. and the light! It’s radiant, no, no, er, celestial! That’s it. In the mountains I feel reborn.
Half way up I sat down on a boulder and looked out over The Sinai. It seemed to stretch into infinity, the reds and oranges of the sand blazing as if the desert was on fire. I felt blessed.

Now, it might surprise you that I smoke. I know, an asthma sufferer shouldn’t but it’s my one guilty pleasure! Reaching into my satchel i took out my tobacco.
“The first one of the day, it won’t become a habit”, I said to no one in particular.
“Are you sure about that?”
The reply surprised me, I can tell you - I think I even dropped my fag.

I looked around and saw – no idea how I’d missed it - a juniper bush. The voice was coming from there.
“George?” I asked; Jehovah HATES being called that.
“JEHOVA!” he was angry and the bush burst into flame. Or maybe it was my fag that had rolled across when I dropped it?
Anyway, there was a crash of thunder followed by bolts of lightning and an earthquake - he likes to make an impression  - and then the bush disappeared. There stood the Lord Almighty in all his splendor - though to be honest he’s a lot shorter than you imagine. And a little fat.

“Nice jacket, shame about the beard,” I joked.
“Ok, that does it, I’ve had enough!” He was bellowing so much now I’m surprised no one else heard him.” I was going to make it easy but instead you can have ELEVEN!”
“Eleven? You said ten! It isn’t fair!”
“Oh yeah?” He smiled; you know he’s grumpy if he smiles. “Look sunshine, I’m the Omega, I’m the Alpha, I’ll do what I jolly well like.”

Was this the moment to point out that he should have said Alpha first then Omega? Before I could there was a flash, fire and brimstone poured from his fingertips. The mountainside cracked and ten stone tablets fell at my feet. Then with a graceful pirouette he sent an eleventh spinning through the air, landing on my toe - now I really wished I hadn’t worn sandals.
Then, he was gone.

I picked up the eleventh and read it, I’d had to learn the other ten by heart the week before.
“Thou shalt not smoke? Is this a joke?” The day was looking bleak all of a sudden. “How am I going to get them to accept this one?”
His reply was distant but gathered strength and speed until engulfing me in a tempest of hot angry words.
“Not my bloody problem mate.”

And that’s when the asthma attack hit.

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