With a toothpick in his mouth..a cross between a Dietrich cigarette and an Eastwood reed in ..The Good, The Bad & The Ugly….Dick sat back smugly in his stark wooden armchair. The five guests, all five to ten years younger, listened with an eagerness reminiscent of earnest high school students.

Dick continued, ..You see, religion has its own sense of humour. Not in what is said, but what is not said. That is the art of comedy .. the pregnant pause, the raised eyebrow…

Jill, sitting closest to Dr. Richard Holmes on a worn couch, prompted him to elaborate, ..If it..s not said, then how do you know it was meant to be understood? And, anyway, why a sense of humor? Why not a sense of drama, or anything else?..

Dick mused at Jill..s comment, slash question. ..Do you believe? I mean, do you believe in God, the New and/or the Old Testament? What’s your gig?..

Jill replied with a vulnerability that anticipated some no-win-possible answer, ..I believe in Something and I remember liking the Bible, what portions I read of it…

..Very good,.. the professor continued. ..You read Genesis I take it?..

..Even if I hadn’t, I think I could fake it okay,.. Jill allowed, regaining her composure.

..And I suppose you relate to Eve, in some kind of non-Freudian way?.. Dick went on.

..Sir?.. Jill’s eyebrows raised in mock surprise.

..Well, you don’t suppose it really was an apple, do you?..

The woman sitting beside Jill on the couch sat up abruptly, letting out a guffaw. All eyes were now peeled on the wisdom that was to leave Holme’s mouth.

..Help me to understand why it was an apple that Eve took a bite of,.. the professor asked with potential sophistry. He waited for no one, since no one was prepared to answer his question; or more likely, no one was prepared for the snide judgment that might be made for a daft response.

..For god’s sake,.. the professor barked as he laughed, ..it should have been a banana…

(C) Minter Dial 2005

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