Mickey: But tell me about this opposable thumb.
God: Well, it’s one serious design innovation, I can tell you that. See how it works in opposition to these other four protrusions near it? See that? Do you know what that means?
Mickey: Wait, don’t tell me. I’ve seen you work before. So I’m guessing … don’t tell me … I’m guessing the “opposable thumbs” means … the human can fly. That’s it, isn’t it? This thing can fly!
God: No, it can’t fly. Thumbs aren’t stubby little wings.
Mickey: They’re not? Hmm. Well, maybe if they spun real fast, they could get enough velocity going, so that they could pick up the whole . . .
God: No, the thumbs don’t spin. There’s no spinning. The thumbs make it so that the human can hold things! Manipulate objects! Maneuver anything, of basically any size, in whatever way it pleases. And it gives him a grip you practically need lightning to loosen.
Mickey: Oh, right, right! Yes! I see it now! Excellent feature! Amazing. Just amazing. [looking “Adam” up and down.] I can’t even imagine what everything on this thing does. Like this thing here. Now what possible purpose can this thing have?
God: That’s his procreation apparatus.
Mickey: [pause] Really? That?
God: Yes, that. Why?
Mickey: Is it still in development?
God: [sarcastically] Yeah—I’m working on making it spin fast enough for flight. Between it and the roto-thumbs, my new three-propellered human-copter is almost ready to launch.
Mickey: [deadpan] If I didn’t know you better than I do, Lord, I’d think that you were being sarcastic.
God: Me? Nonsense. I’m God. I have no sense of humor.
Mickey: And yet, I’ve seen the … what do you call it? Giraffe?
God: Ha! That thing is funny! Have you seen it when it drinks? Poor thing. [drifts off] I really should change that …. Anyway, you're right. This procreation gizmo does look pretty stupid.
Mickey: Well, it’s not like I know anything about any of this. I’m just an adoring minion -- and one who can barely keep his harp tuned, at that. It doesn’t that bad. . . . So, overall, is the human finished? It sure looks ready to go.
God: It is. I’ve just got a few adjustments left to make. I keep tinkering with it. Like, I’m a little concerned with these things here—what I call the “teeth.” See ’em? I’m not sure I’ve got the whole pain-to-durability ratio quite right here.
Mickey: “Pain,” Lord?
God: Oh, it’s a self-contained feedback system I’ve installed in the human to make it aware of when some part of it’s been damaged. I want whatever part’s been harmed to relay a message to that effect back to the human’s brain, so that he’ll know if his neck is twisted too far around, or if his nose fell off, or whatever. Stuff like that’s gonna hurt. But at the same time, I don’t want it to hurt too much, or too soon: I don’t want all the humans just standing there, because they’re afraid to move. So I’m trying to get that whole system properly calibrated. It’s the same thing that’s got me a little worried about this whole area right down here.
Mickey: What is that? It looks so flat, and hard.
God: I call it the “shin bone.” I should probably play around with its design some more; I’m afraid it’ll leave the human too vulnerable to instances of extreme pain. On the other hand, I’m so anxious to spark the human to life, I might send out just like it is!
Mickey: Do it! Do it! Make it come alive! Where you planning on sending it to?
God: Well, I’m going to put this one—and a female version of him you absolutely will not believe—down on that last planet I just made, the green and blue one. The truly beautiful one.
Mickey: [inhales with awe]. Oh, that place is beautiful. It’s like a perfect glass marble. And it’s so fun! It’s got all that amazing, clear, gloopy kind of stuff that makes your hair go all [brrrrrrrr]! I love that stuff! What do you call it again?
Mickey: Water. Just … fantastic stuff. Wonderful, wonderful.
God: It is. I can’t believe the way water worked out. It’s entirely beneficial—yet completely corrosive! It can saw through rocks; it can destroy iron--yet it’s good for the human!
Mickey: How do you do it?
God: If I wasn’t God, I’d have no idea.
The above is a reworked version of similar material that appears in my book, Penguins, Pain and The Whole Shebang: Why I Do The Things I Do, by God (as told to John Shore).
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