The story of the building the Tower of Babylon - sort of...
The Stairway to Heaven
(A Squeal to Ark! Ark! Ark!)
© Allan James Lammiman
After Noah had finished unloading all the animals from his Ark, and had settled down to live in what he hoped was going to be a peacefully retirement, God surveyed the world and considered the ramifications of what he had done. Most of the targets he had set himself had been reached, (God still considered himself a he, in spite of Eve’s objection that it was sexist), Satan’s Temples and the nasty looking Highways the people of Atlantis had built had gone. That was good. (Satan had moaned a little about this as he had just had them decorated, but God had placated the old devil by promising that he wouldn’t let Hell freeze over). And there were no more of Adam and Eve’s ‘Garden of Eden’ ‘Take-a-Way’ Restaurants. That was definitely good! That pair had been getting too big for their own good and getting rid of them was one of the main reasons God had decided to create the Great Flood in the first place. There was a lot more water left than he expected, but that could be good too. He could create some creatures specially to live there, Whales or Sharks, that sort of thing. Either that or he could let Man live there. (He did wish the ugly woman would stay out of sight. Ever since she had arrived in Heaven she had been frightening the angels).
Titanicus was not so bad, he lived quite peacefully on in cloud just above the Angels, although for some reason he kept carving shapes the size of icebergs in the sky. Actually, Titanicus had carved so many that God had ordered them to be removed in case they caused a flood in Heaven!
“Well what are you going to do now, God?” asked an angel. “Make another apple orchard?”
“No.” said God, remembering how Adam and Eve had gone scrumping. “What’s the point? They’ll only eat them again.”
“You could always teach them to fish.” another angel suggested, helpfully. “There’s plenty of water now.”
God looked at the angel. “Good idea. Have the oceans stocked up by the time I get back.”
“Where are you going, God?” the angels inquired.
“I’m going on Holiday.” replied God. And off he went.
God had already decided to have a well earned rest and had told Lucifer, also known as Satan, when the fallen angel had last popped up to Heaven. God like to stay in touch with old devil.
“I’ll come back in few thousand years and see how they’ve done.”
“That’s nice, smiled Lucifer.
“Oh by the way, Lucy.” God added, “Can you do me a favour?”
“Just name it, God,” said Lucifer.
“Can you keep them busy with a few thunderclaps and the odd earthquake? I don’t want them getting advance. Nothing too elaborate mind. And no flaming meteors! The last time you used one, I lost all my Dinosaurs!”
“OK, God.” promised Lucifer. “No meteors. How about if I made some of them lawyers? They always slow things up!”
“OK.” said God, “Whatever.” and off he went.
Lucifer and the angels spent most of the next few thousand years playing cloud hop—scotch and a game called ‘dodge the lightening bolt’, which Lucifer was especially good at.
While they were playing their games, Noah’s descendants however, had began to wonder why God had not been taking much interest in them and started to think that something must be wrong.
“Why don’t we call him?” suggested a small boy. This seemed a good idea, although of course no one except a man, who owned a firm called ‘Messengers-R-Us’, would admit it.
Anyway, after firing a few arrows in the sky with messages tied to them, and then waiting a few more weeks for a reply, they decided to try the boys idea.
“GOD! OH, GOD!” they shouted. Nothing. “Try again.” said the boy. “GOD! ARE YOU THERE GOD?!” Still god did not reply.
“We’re too far away. We need to get closer.” suggested one man; The man was a bright spark who by chance had set himself up as a builder.
“How?” he was asked.
“We could build a tower.” said the little boy. “That’s right, isn’t it father?”
“Yes son.” smiled the builder.
Noah’s descendants looked at each other. “Sounds a good idea to me.” said the man from the back. “As it happens I know where I can get my hands on a job lot of wooden planks and my brother owns a quarry. I’m sure he will supply the stone blocks we’ll need at a good price.”
“Where should we build it?” asked.
“How about that plot of land just outside of town?” the first man suggested. “It’ll make a lovely tourist attraction.”
“Good idea.” said the other descendants. “It’s just what Babel needs. Everyone who visits can help with the construction. We should make a start straight away.”
And so they did. Months followed weeks and people from near and far came to see the great tower and help. Soon the great stone and wood structure stretched far up into the sky. So far in fact that the top of it was lost in the clouds. Building materials were also a problem. They used so much stone and lumber they had been forced to buy in some more in from another quarry. (Note —This quarry, near a place called Babylon was the home of a man who had a love of gardening, but could never afford the time or money to enjoy his passion. He was therefore quite pleased when the tower builders came to him as the profit he made from the sale of rock enabled him to build his dream home, which was later famed for its tiered garden — but that is another story.)
Anyway, while the tower edged slowly upwards, Lucifer and the angels played in the clouds, blissfully unaware of what was happening below. Had they had know, they would have not been amused, for their tranquillity was in danger of being disturbed.
While they had been playing, the tower had reached so high up that there was danger that the people building it would soon be able to shout up at them — which of course was what the people wanted.
At last the tower was finished and in a great procession the leaders of Noah’s descendants started making their way up to the top. It took a long time. — there was after all well over twenty thousand steps. No one was quite sure how many and no one had offered to count them. (Actually one did, but he lost count half way.)
The head tower builder was waiting for them at the top.
“Sodding heck!” they gasped. “You could have put in a lift or something!”
“Oh. Sorry. I forgot.” said the builder, with a shrug. He had not bothered to go back down since the project had first started and did not realise just how far up they were. “Anyway it’s all finished. Just sign this and It’s all yours.” And handed them a piece of parchment. Emblazoned on the top was his firms name; RED SEA Gravel. J.Brown — Master Builder.
The head man signed his name and handed it back. “The cheque’s in the pidgin post.” he said. “You should get it next week.”
“It’ll probably take you that long to get down!” quipped another leader, as he slumped breathlessly against the parapet wall. “By the way,” he added, with a grin. “There’s a bill waiting for you down there. It’s from that quarryman in Babylon.”
“Oh sod it!” moaned the builder, and off he went down the steps.
After all the leaders had assembled at the top, the call went out for someone to start the proceedings. At first no one knew what to do. Then one of them suggested they elect a spokesman.
“Good idea.” they agreed. “He should have loud voice, mind. We still may not be high enough.”
“No one here has.” said the others. “Better ask the people on the steps.”
The first leader leaned over the parapet and shouted down at the waiting crowd. “Who’s got loud voice?”
“My wife!” shouted a man from a few flights down. “You should hear her shout when I come in drunk from the tavern!”
“Is she here?” the leader asked.
“No, she’s like me! She doesn’t like heights!” shouted the man. “I only came up here to get away from her!”
“Never mind.” said the leader. “You’ll do. Come up!”
“What up there?” said the man.
“Yes,” said the leader. “There’s a drink or two in it, if you do.”
“Make way! I’m coming up!” shouted the man and pushed his way up. “Alright, I’m here. What do want me to say?”
“Just ask for God.” he was told.
The man took a deep breath. “GOD! ARE YOU THERE GOD?”
The leaders shook their heads. “Shout louder.”
“GOD! GOD! PLEASE ANSWER! I WANT TO ASK YOU SOMETHING!”
Still nothing. “Perhaps he’s on holiday?” he said.
“We’ll all call.” said the first leader.
Everyone took a deep breath. GOD! GOD, WHERE ARE YOU!!?”
“We need more people.” the man said. “Get everybody to shout.”
So they did. Everyone on the top of the tower, down the steps
and around the bottom took a deep breath and shouted at the top of their voices.
“GOD! GOD! GOD! GOD!” It became a chant. “GOD! GOD! GOD! GOD!”
The shouting and calling went on for the next hour and an half. It was so loud that even the angels playing in the clouds in heaven heard it.
“What’s that noise?” asked angel, as he ducked a thunderbolt.
“It’s the humans.” said another. “They’ve built a tower!”
“Oh heck!” said Lucifer. “I forgot about the humans! God’s going to be furious! What are they doing with it?”
“They’ve standing on the top and shouting.” said the angel.
“What are they shouting?”
“They want God.”
“It must be serious.” Lucifer, muttered. “Better call him.”
The angels shook their heads. “We can’t. He’s on holiday. You deal with it.”
“Oh, all right.” huffed Lucifer, and cast down a thunderbolt he was holding.
Lightening struck the tower and threw the people into a panic.
In the confusion, one man hit his head on the stone parapet and tore his cloak.
“I’m going sue someone for this!” he said. “Where’s my lawyer?”
“That’s it!” cried Lucifer and cast a spell.
There was a flash of lightening and all of a sudden the people on the tower began gabbling like idiots and soon forgot about what they had come up the tower for in the first place.
“There!” Lucifer, declared. “Now they are ALL lawyers!”