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  Topic: Genesis, The price of papyrus< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 20 2006,17:58   

*****
Moses was preparing to write down the history of creation that God had just revealed to him.

Aaron (his accountant) says to Moses, what ARE you doing?? Don't you know the price of papyrus? We can't afford the amount of that stuff we'd need if you include every little thing!

Moses to Aaron: But God told me all this, we have to share it, don't we?

Aaron: We can't afford the papyrus for 16 billion years of prehistory.

Moses: Well, what can we afford?

Aaron: One week.

Moses: A week???? (sigh) Well, if that's all we can manage, I guess I'll have to leave out a few things. Trilobites. Dinosaurs. Continental drift. (sigh).

*****

Henry

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 20 2006,18:09   

Quote
Aaron (his accountant) says to Moses, what ARE you doing??
Your jewish stereotype is a little off. that should be, "Aaron (his accountant) says to Moses, what are you d-o-o-o-i-i-i-i-ng??"

;-)

   
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 21 2006,09:48   

Re "Your jewish stereotype is a little off."

Yeah well, I never kept up with the standards for that. Got this joke off an online BB several years ago, and with all the discuss around here about interpretations of Genesis, it seemed to fit. :)

(The point being that something intended to be a technical description would include a bunch more detail than what we have there. )

Henry

  
Paul Flocken



Posts: 290
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 21 2006,16:42   

Isaac Asimov wrote it.  It is one of what he called his short-shorts.  It's probably been twenty years since I read it but give me a minute.
Ah now.  Here it is in full.  Isaac has been my absolute favorite author for almost thirty years.  The first book I ever read by him was given to me when I was in second grade.  It was Asimov on Astronomy and was a F&SF magazine essay collection.  Not to derail this thread, but anyone care to expound on their favorite authors and the books that got them started?

HOW IT HAPPENED by Isaac Asimov

My brother began to dictate in his best oratorical style, the one which has the tribes hanging on his words.

“In the beginning,” he said, “exactly fifteen point two billion years ago, there was a big bang and the Universe–”

But I had stopped writing. “Fifteen billion years ago?” I said incredulously.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I’m inspired.”

“I don’t question your inspiration,” I said. (I had better not. He’s three years younger than I am, but I don’t try questioning his inspiration. Neither does anyone else or there’s #### to pay.) “But are you going to tell the story of Creation over a period of fifteen billion years?”

“I have to,” said my brother. “That’s how long it took. I have it all here,” he tapped his forehead, “and it’s on the very highest authority.”

By now I had put down my stylus. “Do you know the price of papyrus?” I said.
“What?” (He may be inspired but I frequently noticed that the inspiration didn’t include such sordid matters as the price of papyrus.

I said, “Suppose you describe one million years of events to each roll of papyrus. That means you’ll have to fill fifteen thousand rolls.

You’ll have to talk long enough to fill them and you know that you begin to stammer after a while. I’ll have to write enough to fill them and my fingers will fall off. And even if we can afford all that papyrus and you have the voice and I have the strength, who’s going to copy it? We’ve got to have a guarantee of a hundred copies before we can publish and without that where will we get the royalties from?”

My brother thought a while. He said, “You think I ought to cut it down?”

“Way down,” I said, “if you expect to reach the public.”

“How about a hundred years?” he said.

“How about six days?” I said.

He said, horrified, “You can’t squeeze Creation into six days.”

I said, “This is all the papyrus I have. What do YOU think?”

“Oh well,” he said, and began to dictate again, “In the beginning — does it have to be six days, Aaron?”

I said, firmly, “Six days, Moses.”

--------------
"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.  Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."-John F. Kennedy

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2006,00:31   

On a (kinda) related note: Does anyone know where I can find an awesome short story by Connie Willis I once read, Why the World Didn't End Last Tuesday?

It's about- well, about just that, I guess, and it deals with like issues, only about the end of the world rather than it's beginning.

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
Renier



Posts: 276
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2006,00:52   

Good Omens was a great book, for me anyway. The whole creation thing in there was hilarious.

  
Paul Flocken



Posts: 290
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2006,01:13   

Quote (Faid @ May 22 2006,05:31)
On a (kinda) related note: Does anyone know where I can find an awesome short story by Connie Willis I once read, Why the World Didn't End Last Tuesday?

It's about- well, about just that, I guess, and it deals with like issues, only about the end of the world rather than it's beginning.

Faid,
Asimov’s Science Fiction [v18 # 1, No.211, January 1994] ed. Gardner R. Dozois (Dell Magazines, $2.95, 176pp+, digest, cover by Gary Freeman)
page 52 • Why the World Didn’t End Last Tuesday • Connie Willis • ss

I can't determine if it was ever placed in a short story collection.
Paul

--------------
"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.  Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."-John F. Kennedy

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2006,16:49   

Re "Does anyone know where I can find an awesome short story by Connie Willis I once read, Why the World Didn't End Last Tuesday?"

Nope, but the reason it didn't end is because Buffy saved the world. Now if had been any weeknight besides Tuesday, we'd have been in trouble...

Henry

  
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