I seem to have spent quite a lot of time this week bumping into rules, regulations and legal restrictions that are all very well-meaning, I’m sure, but don’t half make my job difficult sometimes. The following story touched a nerve with me, this evening, therefore, and so I share it with you here. Hope it makes you chuckle a bit too!
In the year 2013, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in the South Wales, and said: “Once again the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see the end of all flesh before me.” (I think he’d been having a look along Mill Lane on a Saturday night just before this).
Build another Ark and save two of every living thing along with a few good humans.
He gave Noah the blueprints, saying: “You have 6 months to build the Ark before I will start
the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights.”
Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his garden – but no Ark.
“Noah!”, he roared. “I’m about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?”
“Forgive me, Lord”, begged Noah, “but things have changed.
“I needed a building permit.
“I’ve been arguing with the inspector about the need for a sprinkler system.
“My neighbours claim that I’ve violated local planning laws by building the Ark in my garden and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to Appeal for a decision.
“Then the Department of Transport demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark‘s move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it.
“Getting the wood was another problem. There’s a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the spotted owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls – but no go!
“When I started gathering the animals, an animal rights group sued me. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued the accommodation in the Ark was too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space.
“Then the Environment Agency ruled that I couldn’t build the Ark until they’d conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood.
“I’m still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I’m supposed to hire for my building crew. Immigration is checking the status of most of the people who want to work. The trade unions say I can’t use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark-building experience.
“To make matters worse, they seized all my assets, claiming I’m trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.
“So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this Ark.”
Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky.
Noah looked up in wonder and asked, “You mean you’re not going to destroy the world?”
“No,” said the Lord. “The bureaucrats beat me to it.”
(And I know that most of the rules and regulations that drive me mad sometimes are there for very good reasons, but that doesn’t mean I can’t complain about them!)