Dedicated to Don Roble
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Einstein was sitting alone, high atop a gas cloud, looking down at the Andromeda galaxy. He was puffing on a pipe, but the pipe was empty. No tobacco was in it. It didn’t matter, Dr. Albert still puffed contentedly away.
It really didn’t matter about Einstein’s smoking. You see, he had quit smoking when he was alive. And now that he was dead, well, if you are dead, it really doesn’t matter if you smoke or not. He had gotten used to holding an empty pipe in his mouth, and continued on with the habit after his demise.
Why was he sitting on top of a gas cloud? He was going to have a conversation with God about Andromeda. Which Andromeda? You got it right, it was the galaxy. The Destroyer. In this day and age, it was a destroyer of stars. It was also a builder of stars. Which God? Well, Jehovah, Yahweh, the Lord, pick a name. He had a bunch. The first group to worship him called him El-Shaddei. Albert was going to speak with him about Andromeda.
Albert had been waiting a while, which was usually the case when waiting for God. Not that it mattered. When you’re dead, you’ve got eternity. So, time doesn’t make much difference. And God, well, he was the Supreme Being. So, you had damned well better accept the fact that God was going to be late for a meeting once in a while. He could do that, being as he was A#1, Numero Uno, the Head Honcho, etc. Even though Lucifer and a few others would dispute that, it didn’t matter. All they did was dispute, and never proved God wrong. But I digress. Let’s move on.
Albert was waiting, and God showed up and sat beside him. “Morning, Albert,” he said. “When are you going to throw away that silly pipe? And what did you want to see me about?”
“Sorry about the pipe, Lord,” Albert responded. “It’s become sort of a crutch.” God nodded. “Now, Lord,” Albert continued, “I have been, as of late, observing the Andromeda Galaxy. It’s a bit of a mess. In fact, if you’ll pardon the expression, Lord, it’s a Hell of a mess. Any thoughts?”
“Ah, yes, Albert,” the Lord said. “Andromeda. Therein lies a tale. Interested?”
Einstein nodded his head vigorously. He enjoyed the Lord’s tales, even if they were rather long. They fascinated him. And besides, he had today, and the next day, and the next, well, you get the idea. That’s how eternity works.
“Andromeda is a disaster because we over-ordered some raw material, Albert,” the Lord began. “Now, remember, I only budgeted for six days to get the universe built, with one day off. I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t have to stop building if I ran out of matter. So, I ordered a lot, and I do mean a lot.”
“Yes, that would make sense, Lord.”
“Well, Albert, the excess material we had left over at the end of six days we just kind of dumped in that empty spot.” Here God paused and took a deep breath. “Well, after a few million years or so, it all started reacting, and mixing, and erupting, and things like that. And we got Andromeda.”
“Yes, Lord, I can see that. Seems as if it’s a bit of a mess.”
“Not half as bad as it looks, Albert.” The Lord smiled. “Its bark is a lot worse than its bite. Anyhow, I decided to have it cleaned up. I appointed the task to Gabriel to do. You’ve met Gabe, Albert. Archangel. Plays the trumpet in his spare time.”
Albert smiled and nodded.
“Anyhow, Gabriel was doing a bang-up job. He asked for some time off, and I granted it. Everyone needs a vacation now and then. He took a trip down to New York City, found a used trumpet in a pawn shop, and purchased it.” Here God took a deep breath. “When he came back, he started taking lessons from Louis Armstrong. He began hanging all day with Louis, Buddy Rich, Earl Hines, and Ray Brown. All he did was jam. And no work was getting done on Andromeda. Well, now I was getting angry.”
“I called Gabriel into my office and demanded an explanation. He had none, but showed me how far along he had gotten.” Here God pointed at the galaxy. Einstein changed his position to look.
“He had gotten quite a bit done, Albert. But he told me he didn’t feel qualified to go further. I agreed, and suggested he subcontract the rest of the job out.” God looked at Andromeda and frowned. “So, Gabe subcontracted the job to Sir Isaac Newton.”
“A good choice, Lord. Sir Isaac has a quite thorough grounding in gravitation.”
“Well, Albert,” God continued on, “Sir Isaac went out and got himself one of those MacBook Pro computers. Nice work they are doing at Apple, by the way. He got a high-speed Internet connection, and hooked up to the Cray Supercomputer at Stanford University. He was getting a lot done, and things were moving along nicely. I was pleased.”
“That is quite understandable, Lord,” Albert responded.
“Well, Albert, Sir Isaac was working a lot of overtime. I suggested he take a day or two off as a break.” Here God paused to catch his breath. “He agreed, and went off to have a little picnic in an apple orchard. His buddy, Mozart, went along for the day. You remember Mozart, right, Albert?”
“Of course, Lord! Wonderful musician!”
“Well, Albert, the pair got into an argument over, of all things, music!” God stopped and caught his breath. “Now, Albert, here is the rub. Both men were arguing the same point! They were just coming at it from two different views! Mozart was looking at it from the musician’s angle, melody and harmony and all of that, and Newton was looking from a physicist’s angle, wave motion, and all of that. The silly humans were arguing over the same coin!”
Here God paused for a few seconds. Albert waited for him to continue.
“Anyhow, Albert, Mozart got offended by something Isaac said, insulted Isaac back, and got up and walked off in a huff.” Here God grinned. “Isaac was not going to let this pass. He grabbed a green apple from an apple tree and bing! nailed Mozart on the back of the head.”
“Oh, my!” was all Einstein could say.
“Oh, it gets better,” God continued, grinning. “Isaac went back to work on Andromeda. Now, Mozart was biding his time. One day, he and some of his friends snuck up behind Isaac as he was working on the galaxy. One friend played tympani, another cymbals, and two more played French horn. They made a racket you would not believe!”
“What happened, Lord?” Albert was really curious about this affair.
“Well, Albert,” and God smiled, “that racket so startled Sir Isaac the he pointed and clicked on a whole bunch of wrong stuff on his screen. It caused his laptop to get the blue screen of death, and hung the Stanford Supercomputer for three days. And, well, Andromeda got so messed up it is basically back where it was before the beginning of time. So, it will take some major repair work.
“That is really sad, Lord.” Albert removed his pipe from his mouth and tossed it into the nearest supernova.
“Well, Albert, it just goes to prove my point.”
“Which is, Lord?” Albert took a deep breath. These were always well worth waiting for.
“If you want anything done properly, you’ve got to do it yourself.”