SMOKE: The World, Version 1.1a (BETA)

Originally published: 24 January 2005

I was watching a movie the other night, minding my own business, when - as per - I got up to make my mid-movie cup of tea.

As soon as I stood up a bolt of pain shot through my eye and deep into my brain - for absolutely no reason - and once the initial shock of pain was over I was left with a dull throbber for the rest of the night.

I couldn't go out to get painkillers since it wasn't a really intense headache and the mission of going to the autobank, drawing cash, driving to the garage, getting some surly Pig behind the counter who takes any intrusion on her sleeping time as a gross invasion of privacy and lets you know it, and driving home - just wasn't worth it.

When I sat still I was fine, but any movement resulted in a renewed throbbing in my forehead.

And I thought to myself: hang on, now. Why headaches? In fact - why pain at all?

The answer was easy - living creatures are stitched together with nerve endings and synapses and all sorts of complex shit and come equipped with pain receptors that let you know when something is wrong.

It's our design, you see. It's the way we're constructed.

Most folks seem to think that God created man and although I don't I'm prepared to suspend disbelief for a while and to play along.

Right. So let's say God did indeed create us. If that's the case then he created the ability for reason, logic and criticism, amongst other things.

I reason - using logic - that if God created us then he is the person to speak to when you have any criticism about the way he's done things.

I have a few suggestions and complaints and I'm sure he'd like to hear from me - unless of course he's one of those managers/gods who tells his staff/creations that his office door/pearly gate is open all the time for their problems, but who in reality doesn't really give a damn/darn about anything other than the bottom line/peace and love.

Maybe I'd better not tell him directly or he might smite me, so instead I'll just give you my working model for the way I would have done things had I been lucky enough to be born God.

The World, Version 1.1a (BETA)

Firstly - no pain. I understand the logic behind it: it warns you when something is wrong with you. But I'd design humans without nerve endings and instead create a little subsystem of signals which let you know what is wrong with you.

I can't go into the ins and outs of it, but all you need to know is that when you stand up in the middle of a movie you will never have a headache.

And actually, I still don't understand why God created headaches. To tell you that you're overworked, underpaid and so stressed it will be a miracle if you make it past 50?

I don't need a headache to tell me that. Maybe to let me know that I'm tired and need some rest? Nah - I've already got dark rings under my eyes, water in the legs and hallucinations to inform me of that.

Or maybe God - like governments and doctors the world over - is in the pocket of the huge pharmaceutical companies (those okes can buy anyone) and his little headaches are simply a way of paying his bills, which I understand are quite huge in heaven.

Of the, say, 400-billion people who have lived and died on this Earth so far at least a thousand of them must have gone to heaven. To feed those folks, house them and provide electricity, insurance and medical costs a lot. Especially since none of them ever die - their numbers only increase.

God must be pretty good at managing all that - why doesn't he come down here to South Africa and sort out the housing and electricity and stuff?

Our government obviously needs a bit of a hand, having promised all those things to millions and millions and millions of people, and since a lot of our politicians - the President included - have always been very supportive of God, the least God could do is share some of his expertise and return the favour.

Yet we digress.

I would design humans who never have to urinate, defecate, fart, belch, stink, sweat, vomit or feel nauseous. None of those things are pleasant, although there is something to be said about sitting at home alone, allowing the intestinal gas to build up to levels that would not be accepted in civilised society and letting rip in creative and entertaining ways while the dog cheers from the armchair.

I just can't understand why God designed us the way he supposedly did - you could argue that he had to give us the means to get rid of bodily waste (and thus sweet, puckered little bumholes), but I prefer to argue that if he'd designed us so that we never had any waste - or only needed to expel it from our bodies once a year or something - we'd never need to take a dump.

Or very rarely, at any rate.

It's like my younger brother once argued: why do yellow kickerboards (those plastic things you hold onto when learning to swim) have holes in the bottom? My dad told him it was to let the water out, but his argument was that if you didn't have a hole in the first place the water wouldn't get in and thus wouldn't require drainage.

You spotting the similarities between kickerboards and assholes here?

But it's not just the human design that is flawed in my opinion. What about the weather? Surely a god as powerful and mighty as the one in power today could have made the world an even 23°C? No humidity? Sure - throw in a hot day or two just for shits and giggles, but come on, man - enough of the stinking Cape Town weather already.

Hills - didn't need to make 'em. If he hadn't we wouldn't need to climb 'em at 4am after a night at Bob's.

Badgers - anyone give a shit about badgers? Me neither, although no doubt someone in the world - as we speak - currently has some campaign on the go to save them.

All I know is that if I was God I would make sure that I didn't make any assholes like me. Why create people who don't believe in you yet still postulate theories as to how they could have done things better? Just so you can have the pleasure of sending them to hell?

Mind you...

All Smoked Out,
Luke Tagg
Spending time online does bad things to a person, but I'm OK.

Look at me now - all the way from Uitenhage to the bright lights of the big internet.

Find out more using the handy links provided.

Copyright © Luke Tagg. All rights reserved. A few lefts as well.

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