If Noah built the Ark today ... And the Lord spoke to Noah and said, "In six months I'm going to make it rain until the whole Earth is covered with water and all the evil people are destroyed. But I want to save a few good people and two of every kind of living things on the planet. I am ordering you to build an Ark." In a flash of lightning He delivered the plans and specifications for the Ark. "Okay," said Noah, trembling in fear and fumbling with the blueprints. "Six months and it starts to rain," thundered the Lord. "You'd better have the Ark completed, or learn how to swim for a very long time." ... and six months passed The skies began to cloud up and rain began to fall. The Lord looked down and saw Noah sitting in his front yard, weeping. There was no Ark. "Noah," shouted the Lord. "Where is the Ark?" A lightning bolt crashed to the ground next to Noah. "Lord, please forgive me!" begged Noah. "I did my best, but there were too many problems. First I had to get a building permit for the Ark's construction, and your plans did not meet code. So I had to hire an engineer to redraw the plans. Then I got into a big fight over whether or not the Ark needed a fire sprinkler system. My neighbors objected, claiming I was violating the zoning setback by building the Ark in the front yard, so I had to get a variance from the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Then I had a problem getting enough wood for the Ark because there was a ban on cutting trees to save spotted owls. I finally got permission to cut the trees, but I was denied permission to take two of the owls. Then the carpenters formed a union and went on strike. I had to negotiate a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board before anyone would pick up a hammer or saw. Now we have 16 carpenters going on the boat ... but no owls. Then I started gathering up animals, and got sued by an animal rights group. The objected to my taking only two of each kind. Just when I got that suit dismissed, the EPA notified me that I couldn't complete the Ark without filing an Environmental Impact Statement on your proposed flood. They didn't take kindly to the idea that they had no jurisdiction over the conduct of the Supreme Being. Then the Army Corps of Engineers demanded that I file a Map Amendment depicting the expanded flood plain; I sent them a globe. Right now, I am still trying to resolve a complaint over how many Croatians I'm supposed to hire based on Affirmative Action goals, and the IRS has seized all my assets claiming I'm trying to avoid paying taxes by leaving the country. I don't think I'll be able to finish your Ark for at least another five years," Noah wailed. The sky began to clear. The sun began to shine. A rainbow arched across the sky. Noah looked up and smiled. "You mean you're not going to destroy the Earth?" he asked, hopefully. "Wrong!" thundered the Lord. "But being the Lord of the Universe has its advantages. I fully intend to smite the Earth, but with something far worse than a flood. Something that man invented himself." "What is that?" asked Noah. There was a long pause, then the Lord spoke His Last Word: "Government."