And finally …

 

In the year 2011, the Lord came to Noah, who was now living in England, and said: “Once again, the Earth has become so wicked that I feel compelled to put an end to humanity. I want you to build another Ark and take on board two of every kind of animal and a few good humans.” He gave Noah the blueprints, adding: “You have six months to build the Ark before I start the rains that will flood the Earth.”

 

Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard – but no Ark. “Noah!” he roared. “I’m about to start the rain! Where’s the Ark?”

 

“Forgive me Lord” begged Noah “but things have changed.”

 

“I needed a Building Permit.”

 

“And I’ve been arguing with the Boat Inspector who insists that the Ark needs a sprinkler system.”

 

“My neighbours claim that I’ve violated Neighbourhood Bye-laws by building the Ark in my backyard. They said the Ark exceeds the height limitations. So I had to go to the Local Planning Committee for a decision.”

 

“Then the Local Council and the Electricity Company demanded a lot of money for the future costs involved in moving power lines and other overhead obstructions to clear the passage for moving the Ark to the sea. I told them the sea would be coming to us, but they wouldn’t listen.”

 

“Getting the wood was another problem. There’s a ban on cutting trees in this area in order to save the Greater Spotted Barn Owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed wood to save the owls – but they wouldn’t listen, either.”

 

 When I started gathering the animals, the RSPCA took me to court. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued that the accommodation on the Ark was too restrictive, and that it was cruel and inhuman to put so many animals in a confined space.”

 

“Then the Environment Agency ruled that I couldn’t build the Ark until they’d conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood.”

 

“I’m still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I’m supposed to have for building the Ark. And the Immigration Department is checking the visa status of most of the people who have applied to help build the Ark.”

 

“The Trade Unions say that I can’t use my sons. They insist I have to use only Union workers with Ark-building experience.”

 

“To make matters worse, the Inland Revenue seized all my assets, claiming I’m trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.”

 

“So forgive me, Lord, but it will take at least 10 years for me to finish the Ark.”

 

Suddenly, the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky.  Noah looked up in wonder and asked “You mean you’re not going to destroy the world?”

 

“No” replied the Lord. “The Government beat me to it.”