35. Bad things

“Okay, so I guess that makes sense. Now here’s a question from some guys at the AA I visited.”

“You’re going to AA? That’s great! I couldn’t be happier.”

“I went there for research, since they are a religion-based organization, arsehole.”

God stammered a little. “Well of course you did! I mean it’s a great place to do research.”

I decided to let that go. “The question: Why do bad things happen to good people? I’m talking about news headlines that say things like ‘Tornado wipes out bible camp’.”

Suddenly the Almighty’s face looked like a storm cloud, and a phone (rotary dial) appeared in his hand. “Seriously? A tornado wiped out a bible camp? Full of kids? Heads are gonna fucking roll!”

“Wait! I don’t know if that happened. It was an example to show some of the ridiculous things that can happen despite the existence of a benevolent all-knowing being.”

Jehovah calmed down; the phone disappeared. “Fuck. Don’t do that shit to me, dude. Yeah, there have been some pretty bad administrative fuck-ups. I don’t know what else to say. I guess no system is foolproof.”

“No system is foolproof? That’s your answer? Innocent people die from disease and natural disaster, and that’s the best you can come up with?”

“I’m sorry. It really is.”

“Do you really think that will be good enough for my readers? That they’ll say, ‘Oh that’s okay then’?”

“No. However, I would ask them to understand. I would ask them to understand that sometimes bad things happen, sometimes it’s somebody’s fault, and that somebody is very very sorry.” The Almighty hung his head in shame.

“Hey Jeff.”

God looked at me.

“What do you say we cut out a little early today and go get a drink?”

Jeff gave a weak smile. “Okay. But just one.”