68. Haggling

“So maybe we should get to whatever you wanted to ask me about?” Jehovah looked uncomfortable.

Since I was feeling a little grumpy, I decided to bring out a story I’d been holding back for a while. “Let’s talk about Sodom and Gomorrah.”

“Ah, shit!”

“So I guess it was when you were still hanging with Abraham that this whole thing started?”

“Yep, we were still talking a bit at this point, but it was still a little weird between us. I mean, for a guy who was willing to kill his son for me, Abe really did push back on this. First he asked me if I would save the cities if he could find 50 righteous. That seemed reasonable. So we had a deal, but then the bugger wanted to haggle with me!”

I looked up from my notebook. “Gotta say, Jeff, you really suck at haggling. According to the story, he first talked you down to 45, then 40, then 30, 20, and finally 10.”

The Lord looked embarrassed. “But 10 is where I drew the line, damn it! I bet it doesn’t say in your glittery bible that he kept trying to haggle me down to 5, but I stood fast. I told him, ‘I am not letting you jew me down any further!’”

My jaw may have dropped at that. “Jeff, dude, did I just hear that properly? Did you honestly just use the term ‘jew’ as a synonym for ‘haggle’?”

The God of Love’s embarrassment turned to shame; you could actually see it happen. “Yeah, man. I’m just telling it like it is. I’m not proud of that. I may have actually been the one to invent that stereotype. I’m not sure how it caught on like it did. I had the Department of Generalizations and Foot Fungus crunch some numbers afterward. It turns out that the numbers just don’t support that stereotype. Statistically, Jews are no more and no less greedy than the rest of the population. It was a stupid statement based on my own ignorance.”

“Wow. Maybe we should just move on. So Abraham TALKED you down to finding 10 ‘righteous’ people to save the cities, and then he referred you to his nephew, Lot, who actually lived there.”

“Yep, I sent three of my lowliest angels on a business trip to try to find the 10 righteouses.”

“Righteouses?”

“It’s a word, fucker! The plural of ‘righteous’!”

“Righteous can be a noun?”

Jehovah looked frustrated. “It is now! I’m the motherfucking Supreme Being, and I declare it to be so. Totally under my jurisdiction!”

I set my notebook down. “You know what, Jeff? I think we’re both a little crusty today. Got any goat piss here to help lubricate our attitudes a little better?”