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And the Lord spoke to Noah

And the Lord spoke to Noah and said: "In one year I am going to make it rain and cover the whole Earth with water until all flesh is destroyed. But I want you to save the righteous people and two of every living thing; therefore, I am commanding you to build an ark."

In a flash of lightning, God delivered the specifications for an ark. "Remember," said the Lord, "You must complete the ark and bring everything aboard in one year.

Exactly one year later fierce storm clouds covered the Earth and all the seas were in tumult. The Lord saw that Noah was sitting in his front yard weeping. "Noah, where is the ark?" the Lord asked.

"Lord, please forgive me," cried Noah. "I did my best, but there were problems. First I had to get a permit for construction and your plans did not meet the codes. So I had to hire a naval architect and redraw the plans.

"Then I got into a fight with the Occupational Health and Safety Commission over whether the ark needed a fire sprinkler system and flotation devices.

"Then my neighbour objected, claiming I was violating ordinances by building the ark in my front yard, so I had to lodge a DA with the local council, which is now before the Land and Environment Court.

Then I had problems getting enough wood for the ark because there was a ban on cutting trees to protect the boobook owl. I finally convinced the Department of Land and Water Conservation that I need the wood to save the owls from the flood. However, the National Parks and Wildlife Service won't let me catch any owls. So, no owls.

The carpenters then formed a union and went on strike. I had to negotiate a settlement with the Department of Industrial Relations before anyone would pick up a saw or a hammer. Now I have 16 carpenters on the ark but no owls.

"When I started rounding up the other animals, I got sued by the Animal Welfare League. It objected to me taking only two of each kind on board.

Also the Rural Lands Protection Board insisted that each animal be tagged, tattooed or branded and its HGP status identified.

Just when I got the legal suit dismissed, the EPA notified me that I could not complete the ark without filing an environmental impact statement on your proposed flood. It did not take very kindly to the idea that it had no jurisdiction over the conduct of the creator of the universe.

Then the Department of Planning demanded a map of the proposed flood plain. I sent it an atlas.

Right now I am trying to resolve a complaint made to the Human Rights Commission that I am practising discrimination by not taking the godless, unbelieving people aboard. The Australian Tax Office has seized my assets, accusing me of building the ark in preparation for fleeing the country to avoid paying taxes. And I just got notice from the Waterways Authority that I have failed to register the ark as a 'recreational water craft'. I also need a boat driver's licence.

Finally the council for Civil Liberties issued an injunction against further construction of the ark, saying that since God is flooding the Earth, it is a religious event and therefore discriminatory. Sorry, God, but I don't think I can finish the ark for another five or six years."

Suddenly the sky began to clear, the sun began to shine and the seas began to calm. A rainbow arched across the heavens. Noah looked up hopefully. "You mean your not going to destroy the Earth, Lord?"

"No need." said the Lord sadly. "The Government already has."
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