Good old testament

2013-05-13 00:00

IT’S a long long time ago now, and I’d pretty well forgotten it. I asked for an Old Testament Bible in boep, you see, and they said I couldn’t have it, want ek sou dit vir draadtrekdoeleindes gebruik, I would use it for purposes of onanism.

Jews could have the Old Testament, because nobody much cared if they masturbated themselves to death. Hitler could have saved himself a lot of Zyklon B. But I am a Jew, said I, look at this nose. Well your file says you are an atheist, said they, and that’s going to cost you three meals for telling us lies. But I am a lapsed atheist, said I, I want to convert to religion. Ja, said they, and get a Jewish food parcel at Jewish Christmas time. You can convert to the Jewish community church when you get out. If you do.

Well I didn’t want the New Testament and a lot of po-faced piety. And I didn’t want the old one in modern homogenised pasteurised English either, thanks, I wanted a dinkum 100-octane fully leaded King James number, short of Shakespeare the best ever for roundness of vowel and fullness of phrase, and the morality so primitive you’ve got to believe it’s all some sort of joke. But the Prison Psychologist had stuck on my wall with Prestik a typed sheet of poetical platitudes in two languages, saying Jesus’ Bible is a Glory-Paradise, it is a Rose of Rare Fragrance, it is the Mariner’s Compass etc, etc. It is the Shepherd’s Crook. Under this some crim had written with a pencil: It is the Crook’s Shepherd, another: Dit is die vokker se kondom.

Well all this I’d forgotten, as I say, until I read Richard Dawkins but yesterday; when he writes about virtue and the old Bible it fair fires one up to dig in there and get some of that majestic measure again. You can read Dawkins yourself, of course (ISBN 978-0-552-77331-7) or you can try the Bible yourself, of course, and if you think folks in the Middle East are having a rough time of it just now try the skiet donder reip gryp en eskeip of Lot’s life (Genesis 19). You won’t, of course, you’re too heathen or too bigoted or just plain bloody lazy, but never to worry, I’ll give it to you in précis and see if it fires you up. Hindu readers will love this one.

Now Lot was Abraham’s nephew, you see, leading a quiet moral sort of life in Sodom when God sent two male angels to tell him to hit the road, he’s the only righteous citizen round here and God is really the hell in to all the buggery in Sodom and he’s going to smite the buggers with fire, brimstone and unmentionable goeters of mass destruction. Lot invites these angels in, politely, as guests, but they’re good-looking outjies, as one would expect of angels, and all the pooves of Sodom arrive en masse and demand Lot bring these guys out so that they may know them. Which is to say steek them. Nay nay, saith Lot, I have obligations as host; take mine two virgin daughters instead, who have never known man, and do with them whatsoever kinky gang-rape high-jinks thou mightest choose. But the daughters are saved from such paternal hospitality because it’s a bad bad mistake to try to steek an angel, ‘ksê, and these two come out and smite every goddam Sodomite stone blind, Klapotz! just like that. Same time.

So the whole Lot family takes off to the hills as instructed. Also God instructs them not to look back, for some godly reason, but Mrs Lot does, and He goes Klapotz! just like that, and smites her into a pillar of salt. Not a marble replica of herself, hey, nor even a plaster-of-Paris facsimile, nor even a swine nor a serpent, say now. A pillar of salt. Abraham’s God is nothing if not whimsical, I mean it might as likely have been a bottle of tomato sauce. But anyway, the family pushes on through the wilderness without anything you could rightly call food except their own goats and stuff, nor any bog paper, and by the time they get to a handy cave way out there with a bit of water they’re down to the last chicken. But there are plenty of bats around for protein, so they clean out the guano and settle down. Settle down? Are you kidding? These daughters are just ripe for it and never known man, and one night they tank ol’ Lot up with booze so he’s pissed unrecognisable and there and then steek him stupid, both of them. Well actually he’s at that age when he can do it only once in 24 hours, like, so the second one does him the second night, I mean, and they both of them get preggersfontein and start a new tribe of God’s People. Dysfunctional family, sucks; that’s modern psychogobbledegook.

So okay, all you heathens out there, forsake your elephant deities and monkey deities and that lady with all the arms and sign on with a true non-corporeal God of Love with a plan for all mankind. Dunno about womankind though.

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