Friday, September 30, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: A Tough Job, OR, Waited My Whole Life for This Pun

Sathan scoured the earth for a good one. He found it in Job, a rich man with an indecently attractive wife. Cherubic children frolicked in the shadow of his great manor. The man knelt in the window of his room, hands folded over a chest of currencies. This was what his prayer looked like. Sathan snickered.

He sidled over to Almighty. Of course Almighty was everywhere, being omnipresent, but Sathan only fancied talking to the bits that were on clouds. Sitting next to this bit of Almighty, he gestured down at the genuflecting man.

“You like that one?”

Almighty nodded. “I’m all-loving. It’s nice. You should try it.”

“He likes you back.”

“He’s a good man.”

“Of course he likes you,” Sathan said, taking an adversarial posture. “You gave him everything.”

Even with the new posture, Almighty did not turn to regard him. There were other bits of Almighty for watching Sathan; this one was for watching Job. It rankled Sathan not to get the attention of this particular bit.

“He invested in businesses. He helped raise the camels and sheep. His wife went through labor for the children. To say I gave him everything is a gross oversimplification. I never do anything alone.”

“Yeah, yeah, there’s one set of tracks in the sand. All I’m saying is that he wouldn’t be so fond if you took the fun stuff away.”

“I am sure that is all you are saying.” Almighty spoke in simultaneous sincerity and sarcasm, because He was all things.

“I’ll wager you,” Sathan rubbed his hands together, “that he wouldn’t love you so much if you took his riches, killed his family, knocked down his home and covered him with, I don’t know, maybe boils.”

“I am sure you are only doing this in the auspices of a philosophical wager, and not for the entertainment value of human misery.”


“You are supernatural.”

“Supernaturally, then.”

“How about I wager you this? The locals, including Job, have done nothing to mitigate a bad flood cycle in the local river or dissuade raiders, so he's likely to lose material goods.His home isn’t particularly well constructed, so it will eventually crumble. His family never takes care of their health, so illness is even likely. Instead of breaking the laws of nature to torture a good man, I’ll let life be exactly what it is. The same life that let him get what you call 'the fun stuff.' I’ll wager you that when it’s done, Job will be exactly who he is. Would you like to take that wager, Sathan?”

Sathan turned his back on the entirety of the cloud. That meant looking at other bits of Almighty, but that felt alright. He could grouse at them.

So he groused. “You’re no fun.”

“Job seems to enjoy me, for now at least. You’ll see how it goes.”


  1. That was puntastic! That last line is pure gold. Loved your description of Almighty :)

  2. I rather liked that the Almighty got the better of Sathan - I think he makes a good point that man will be man and along with the good unless he is careful comes the bad in more ways than one.

  3. I love biblical retakes. Well done!

  4. A good pun is worth waiting a lifetime for. A bad one, even longer.

  5. Enjoyed this. Reminds me of someone I knew years ago who always took credit when things went well and then blamed "bad luck" when he screwed up and got the worst of it. Maybe "Lucifer" derives from Satan's original name "Bad Luc(k)". :D

  6. “Yeah, yeah, there’s one set of tracks in the sand." I snorted here. That is so unladylike. But it was worth it.

  7. I always thought Job caught the short end of the stick.

  8. I liked this. All of it. Kind of hard to pick out a particular bit, but "I'm all-loving. It's nice. You should try it." does stand out. I suppose you could call me all-loving, at least in this instance.

  9. Ah, this was punny. And very original. Off to show my hubbers, the minister man. Peace...

  10. Nice to make your acquaintance, Mr. Wiswell.

    Loved your story for many reasons. Most of all was the Almighty's sense of reserve and detachment, both with Sathan and with his Job.



  11. Excellent, for the story and the dialogue. Well thought out and thanks for sharing.

  12. Sylvia, so the ending clicks together for you? Good!

    Helen and Lisa, it's very common in game testing, too, for players to ascribe any positive outcomes to themselves and any negative outcomes to the designers or world. It manifests in a lot of ways.

    Kate, hey, you're alive! Glad to see you poke up again. And further glad that you liked my retake.

    Tim, I have terrible impulse controls over my puns.

    Laurita, I always enjoy making ladies snort with humor. With few other things, though.

    Tony, he definitely had the worst time. Also the best time.

    Mr. FAR, I will absolutely take you all-loving the piece. All-loving beyond that all can be a challenge.

    Linda, do let me know what he says!

    Douglas, pleased to make your acquaintance as well, Doug. Can I ask what brought you to my humble blogging abode? And I'm glad you liked my Almighty - I think He likes you, too.

    Donald, thanks for reading. Did anything in particular about the dialogue click for you?

  13. I liked it! Was this peice you said could be the response to my own Friday flash? If it isn't, it could be!

  14. A lovely take on this one. I particularly liked the little gems of revelations hidden through here such as “Yeah, yeah, there’s one set of tracks in the sand. All I’m saying is that he wouldn’t be so fond if you took the fun stuff away.”

  15. I think this was my favorite piece so far. If you did more it would make a very entertaining 'Monty Python' kind of movie, too.

  16. I love your retake on the story of Job. I always felt he got a bad deal.


  17. "Yeah, yeah, there's one set of tracks in the sand."

    Possibly one of my favorite lines ever written.

  18. "Job will be exactly who he is."

    And so he was. A nice take on the Scriptures, John, though you do have me curious about the prayer over the chest of currencies. Putting it that way, it makes you wonder what, exactly, was Job's prayer.

  19. Sonia, yes indeed, Sonia. Almighty answering those prayers for intervention.

    Aidan, in one way this really is an excuse for several lines I've longed to put into a story. That one in particular seems to be the most popular of the day.

    Madison, it'd be unfair to go much further, I think - this is sort of a prequel to a fairly competent original. I'm being too cheeky...

    Denise, in the actual book, he has an amazing journey. One of my favorites in all of literature, especially when one realizes what makes him break down: the judgmentalism of other people.

    Max, and here I was just co-opting a popular phrase. But then again, it's in the middle of co-opting an existing story. Doubling down!

    Stephen, for that one, we might have to consult the Book of Job. Spoilers within, I warn.

  20. A fun read, John! I laughed at several points in the story and really enjoyed your descriptions of Almighty.

  21. I spent half the time wondering what kind of Almighty bits Salthan was looking at, and which ones were his favourites.

    Great story John!

  22. I love how you refer to the Almighty and all his bits. This was a great read.

  23. Ah, I enjoyed this. I like to think if there was an Almighty, he'd be capable of sarcasm.

  24. It looks like Sathan has been bested this time, perhaps he should start looking for a new job? (Groan... Sorry)

  25. Sarcastic almighty - fantastic. Great work John


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