Despite these works, fish, they deserve to die.
If I were the Godhead I would have nothing,
And I mean nothing, to do with Assyrians.
I would have exterminated the whole colony,
The adults and grubs alike, long ago.
And as for the accomplishments you list,
It's far better I die in wilderness,
Deprived of electricity, telephone,
And hot and cold running honey and milk
Than survive in Ninevite servitude.
I don't think I care for your attitude.
Let me put it this way, said the fish.
The Lord has decided to save Nineveh
And he has chosen you as his instrument,
If you get in God's way, you'll get squashed.
Choose to disobey and where can you flee?
You're here, strapped down in God's dentist's chair,
Jaws propped open, and you'd better submit,
For his electric drill hovers above you;
If you flinch you will make him a brain surgeon.
He is closer to you than your jugular,
Closer than your medulla oblongata,
Sinoid cavities and your inner ear.
Yea, he's closer even than your own will.
You've agreed to be prophet, now you're required,
I repeat, required to perform the duties
Attached to the honour of that position.
But why me? I said. I didn't apply
For the position - I'm not qualified.
Expediency governed your selection.
In the beginning, after chalking his cue,
God looked at the table set before him
And gave the slightest tap on the cue-ball.
And lo! All the subatomic particles
Scurried to their designated positions.
It was the least effort for the maximum gain,
A truly elegant distillation
Of highest benefit from lowest cost.
The result wasn't perfect, but it worked.
And when time came to fine-tune creation,
To boost productivity's sagging curve,
The same general principle was observed.
That's my kind of God, I said to this,
A moment that packs lightspeed whallop
As it sleds the jetstream geodesic,
Taking the easy way, the timeless curve,
The shortest in distance between two points,
He found the simultaneous solution
To the problem's countless vector equations
Was some poor bastard of a fisherman
And about three microvolts of divine zap.
Divine zap? I yelled. What divine zap?
It won't hurt for more than a few minutes,
A half hour at most and rarely more
Than two or three weeks in extreme cases,
Said the fish, hastening to reassure.
But it's true - you have no qualifications
Beyond the fact that you're low-cost labour.
Prophecy surely requires clairvoyance
And let's face it, you can't even predict
If tomorrow is Friday. No offense.
But this defect is easily repaired.
The smallest infusion of divine wisdom
Is all that's needed to change your condition.
Ow! I cried out. Ow! Something bit me!
You neigh and buck like unlucky Pegasus,
But it's a gadfly of another colour
That has punctured your personal composure.
An insects lights and bites as it likes,
But who knows from where it comes, where it goes,
Except for maybe an entomologist?
So it is with God's inoculations.
The gift of prophecy is in your bloodstream.
Each beat of your heart spreads the gift
Down arteries into capillaries
Until it permeates every cell
In every tissue of your whole body.
How does it feel to be an anointed prophet?
Liber Jonae Contents