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Zoning for the Ark

And the Lord saith unto Noah, "Where is the ark which I commanded thee to build?"

And Noah replied, "Behold, when I journeyed to the Jordan County Planning and Zoning office for a permit, verily they railed against me and said, "Thy property art not zoned for an ark thirty cubits high. Thou wouldst require a 1040 review, environmental impact studies and a public hearing for a variance..."

"And behold, when I toldest them it would be a temporary usage, they asked where I wast going with a three-storied ark? I explaineth to them about the flood, the waters from the great deep and the flood-gates of the sky. And behold, they wentest berserk and ranted about water rights and minimum stream flow regulations and flood plain studies. I barely escaped with my life.

"And another thing, oh Lord, my lot is zoned for a single-family dwelling, and Thou hath planned ark condos for even my three sons and their wives. That wouldst be a multifamily development.

"That remindeth me, oh Lord, last week at the homeowners' meeting, I mentioned the animals. They reminded me of the covenants. Feeling a little defensive, I gave them your requisition list... lions, elephants, rhinos, alligators, chickens, monkeys, two by two, and fowls of the air, seven by seven. Behold, Lord, they completely lost their sense of humor and sought to smite me. But I shall work on it. Couldst Thou please assign a bodyguard?"

And the Lord saith, "Noah, faithful servant, do thy best...I shall take care of you. But I needeth the ark completed in two fortnights. Do not fail!"

Noah answered and said, "It shall be so."

But it wast not so. And the Lord saith, "Noah, wherefore is the ark?"

And Noah saith, "Lord, behold, the building department hath been giving me fits. Thou didst specify gopherwood beams on one cubit centers on the second level. Code requireth that gopherwood beams be placed on half cubit centers on that level to give adequate bearing strength for the elephants, hippos and rhinos. When I left, they were calling Planning and Zoning, asking about zoning for a zoo or circus. Lord, I thinkest that we are in trouble with the animals.

"And Lord, The plan checker wentest into a fit and did gnash his teeth when he saw that the plans calleth for only one door on the whole building. He declareth that a structure of this size requireth two exits on each level."

And the Lord saith, "Noah, my schedule doth call for the ark to be completed before Christmas. Work thou very hard!"

And Noah answered, "Christmas? What's Christmas?"

"In by Christmastime! It's just an expression used in the building trade. It doesn't mean a thing."

And Noah answered, "Verily, it shall be done."

But behold, it was not done. And the Lord saith, "Noah, the ark is not ready."

And Noah answered, "Verily, I have had three carpenters off ill and on worker's compensation and last Monday was a holiday. And the fowls of the air Thou ordered by sevens are now sold only in half-dozen lots."

Noah wrung his hands and wept, saying "Oh Lord, I am undone."

And the Lord replieth with compassion, "Take heart, Noah. Now thou understandeth why I have called for a flood to descend upon the earth."

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