Even God must deal with red tape

Image courtesy of picryl.

And God said, “Let there be bureaucracy”: My Destin correspondent, Winona Havey, who frequently ponders the imponderable and mails me the results, forwarded to my attention this little gem, which I now forward to you:

“In the beginning, God created heaven and the earth.

“Quickly he was faced with a class-action suit for failure to file an environmental impact statement. He was granted a temporary permit for the project, but was stymied with a cease-and-desist order for the earthly part.

“Appearing at the hearing, God was asked why he began his earthly project in the first place. He replied that he just liked to be creative.

“Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and immediately the officials demanded to know how the light would be made.

“Would there be strip mining? What about thermal pollution? God explained that the light would come from a huge ball of fire.

“God was granted provisional permission to make light, assuming that no smoke would result from the ball of fire; that he would obtain a building permit; and to conserve energy, (he) would turn the light off half the time.

“God agreed and said he would call the light ‘Day’ and the darkness ‘Night.’

“Officials replied that were not interested in semantics.

“God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth green herb and bear much seed.’ The EPA agreed so long as native seed was used.

“The God said, ‘Let waters bring forth creeping creatures begetting life; and the fowl that may fly over the earth.’

“Officials pointed out this would require approval from the Department of Game coordinated with the Heavenly Wildlife Federation and the Audubongelic Society.

“Everything was OK until God said he wanted to complete the project in six days. Officials said it would take at least 200 days to review the application and impact statement. After that there would be a public hearing. Then, there would be a 10- to 12-month approval period before. …

“At this point God created hell.”

Thanks, Winona. Even we ardent environmentalists can laugh at the hassle of red tape necessary to protect what God put on this earth.

Now if we could convince the other side to do the same, our debates might become a lot more civil.

Strange but true: A company trying to continue its five-year perfect safety record showed its workers a film aimed at encouraging the use of safety goggles on the job.

According to Industrial Machinery News, the film’s depiction of gory industrial accidents was so graphic that 25 workers suffered minor injuries in their rush to leave the screening room. Thirteen others fainted, and one man required seven stitches after he cut his head falling off a chair while watching the film.

Headlines that didn’t work: “Survivor of Siamese Twins Joins Parents.”

This week’s wire weirdness: MIAMI (AP) – The Better Business Bureau of south Florida, set up to handle consumer complaints from Key West to Lake Okeechobee, is out of business.

The local agency shut down a week ago – apparently just before getting an eviction notice. Left behind were bounced payroll checks and creditors who say they’re owed $458,000.

About the author:

Del Stone Jr. is a professional fiction writer. He is known primarily for his work in the contemporary dark fiction field, but has also published science fiction and contemporary fantasy. Stone’s stories, poetry and scripts have appeared in publications such as Amazing Stories, Eldritch Tales, and Bantam-Spectra’s Full Spectrum. His short fiction has been published in The Year’s Best Horror Stories XXII; Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine; the Pocket Books anthology More Phobias; the Barnes & Noble anthologies 100 Wicked Little Witch Stories, Horrors! 365 Scary Stories, and 100 Astounding Little Alien Stories; the HWA anthology Psychos; and other short fiction venues, like Blood Muse, Live Without a Net, Zombiesque and Sex Macabre. Stone’s comic book debut was in the Clive Barker series of books, Hellraiser, published by Marvel/Epic and reprinted in The Best of Hellraiser anthology. He has also published stories in Penthouse Comix, and worked with artist Dave Dorman on many projects, including the illustrated novella “Roadkill,” a short story for the Andrew Vachss anthology Underground from Dark Horse, an ashcan titled “December” for Hero Illustrated, and several of Dorman’s Wasted Lands novellas and comics, such as Rail from Image and “The Uninvited.” Stone’s novel, Dead Heat, won the 1996 International Horror Guild’s award for best first novel and was a runner-up for the Bram Stoker Award. Stone has also been a finalist for the IHG award for short fiction, the British Fantasy Award for best novella, and a semifinalist for the Nebula and Writers of the Future awards. His stories have appeared in anthologies that have won the Bram Stoker Award and the World Fantasy Award. Two of his works were optioned for film, the novella “Black Tide” and short story “Crisis Line.”

Stone recently retired after a 41-year career in journalism. He won numerous awards for his work, and in 1986 was named Florida’s best columnist in his circulation division by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors. In 2001 he received an honorable mention from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association for his essay “When Freedom of Speech Ends” and in 2003 he was voted Best of the Best in the category of columnists by Emerald Coast Magazine. He participated in book signings and awareness campaigns, and was a guest on local television and radio programs.

As an addendum, Stone is single, kills tomatoes and morning glories with ruthless efficiency, once tied the stem of a cocktail cherry in a knot with his tongue, and carries a permanent scar on his chest after having been shot with a paintball gun. He’s in his 60s as of this writing but doesn’t look a day over 94.

Contact Del at [email protected]. He is also on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, tumblr, TikTok, Ello and Instagram. Visit his website at delstonejr.com .