A Chat About ‘The Fall’

In a continuing conversation with God, he says that “The Fall of Man” was really about Adam and Eve hating poison ivy.

God and I were wandering down a street in midtown Manhattan. I’d recently learned from him that Adam and Eve were somewhat less intelligent than their reputation would seem to suggest, and I was now curious about their so-called Fall: might they have ripped over a hose or perhaps a shovel in the Garden of Eden?

The Fall, God Judging Adam, William Blake
William Blake’s color printing of God Judging Adam, original composed in 1795. Public Domain.

“Their Fall was caused by poison ivy,” God told me. “It grew all over the Garden of Eden.”

According to God, Adam and Eve rolled into a patch of Toxicendron radicans during their very first mating. Soon they were covered from head to foot with a rash. Okay, a rash, no big deal, they thought and continued mating.

“Weren’t you against their having sex with each other?” I said. “The Bible implies that you’re, well, an anti-sex guy.”

“The Bible doesn’t know crap from crayola. After all, I got rid of Onan because he spilled his seed. And as you doubtless know, celibacy butters no parsnips.”

“Okay, but could Satan have turned himself into all that poison ivy?”

“Hell, no. That bastard could turn himself into a snake, a goat, or maybe even a charging rhino, but certainly not a plant.”

He went on with his story. As Adam and Eve continued their mating, the itch signal activated a scratching response directed at their rashes. Okay, a little scratching, not a problem, they thought. But the more they scratched, the more they needed to scratch, and the worse they felt.

Not surprisingly, Eve felt much worse than Adam, for in her ignorance she had used poison ivy leaves to absorb the blood from her first period, which was also womankind’s first period. Her gyrations would have put to shame an acrobatic gymnast.

Here God mimicked some of those gyrations, along with her squeals and

screams. An off-leash rottweiler seemed to take exception to this and jumped onto him, whereupon God kicked the dog all the way to New Jersey.

Then the dog’s owner ran over and shouted common Americanisms like “You fucking asshole!” and “You stupid motherfucker!” at God, who kicked the fellow to New Jersey, too.

“It’s not nice to separate dogs from their owners,” God said jokingly.

Adam and Eve’s situation was anything but a joke, however. Jewelweed, the natural antidote to poison ivy didn’t grow in the Garden of Eden, and neither oral antihistamines or hydrocortisone cream had been invented yet. Thus the couples’ rashes became swollen and extremely painful.

“They thought I was a tightwad,” God told me. “For if I had given them some clothing, they wouldn’t be suffering all this discomfort.”

“So why didn’t you give them some clothing?” I asked him.

“I thought I was doing them a favor. You know how hot it was in the Garden of Eden? 120’F in the shade! I figured they’d be able to deal with that heat much better if they were naked.”

To finish God’s story about the Fall: Adam and Eve had begun to regard their paradise as being synonymous with contact dermatitis, and all they wanted to do was live somewhere else. Anywhere that didn’t have poison ivy. So, after one last mating, they departed the premises.

My companion now looked at me and uttered these words: “Your First Parents were so desperate to escape the Garden of Eden that they didn’t even bother to close the gate behind them…”


Part of a series detailing Lawrence Millman’s experiences with his drinking buddy God. Soon to be gathered together, assuming a publisher is interested, as a mini-memoir entitled “Drinks With God.”

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