And we thought we had problems! If Noah had lived in the United States in the last ten years, the story may have gone something like this:

And the Lord spoke to Noah and said, “In one year, I am going to make it rain and cover the whole earth with water until all flesh is destroyed. But I want you to save the righteous people and two of every kind of living thing on earth. Therefore, I am commanding you to build an Ark.”

In fear and trembling, Noah took the plans and agreed to build the ark. “Remember,” said the Lord, “you must complete the Ark and bring everything aboard in one year.”

Exactly one year later, fierce storm clouds covered the earth and all the seas of the earth went into a tumult. The Lord saw that Noah was sitting in his front yard weeping. “Noah!” He shouted. “Where is the Ark?”

“Lord, please forgive me,” cried Noah. “I did my best, but there were big problems.”

”First, I had to get a permit for construction, and your plans did not meet the building codes. I had to hire an engineering firm and redraw the plans. Then I got into a fight with OSHA over whether or not the Ark needed a sprinkler system and approved floatation devices. Then, my neighbor objected, claiming I was violating zoning ordinances by building the Ark in my front yard, so I had to get a variance from the city planning commission.”

“Then, I had problems getting enough wood for the Ark because there was a ban on cutting trees to protect the Spotted Owl. I finally convinced the U.S. Forest Service that I really needed the wood to save the owls. However, the Fish and Wildlife Service won’t let me take the 2 owls. The carpenters formed a union and went on strike. I had to negotiate a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board before anyone would pick up a saw or hammer. Now, I have 16 carpenters on the Ark, but still no owls.”

“When I started rounding up the other animals, an animal rights group sued me. They objected to me taking only two of each kind aboard. This suit is pending. Meanwhile, the EPA notified me that I could not complete the Ark without filing an environmental impact statement on your proposed flood. They didn’t take very kindly to the idea that they had no jurisdiction over the conduct of the Creator of the Universe. Then, the Army Corps of Engineers demanded a map of the proposed flood plain. I sent them a globe.”

“Right now, I am trying to resolve a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that I am practicing discrimination by not taking atheists aboard. The IRS has seized my assets, claiming that I’m building the Ark in preparation to flee the country to avoid paying taxes. I just got a notice from the state that I owe them some kind of user tax and failed to register the Ark as a ‘recreational water craft.’”

“And finally, the ACLU got the courts to issue an injunction against further construction of the Ark, saying that since God is flooding the earth, it’s a religious event and therefore unconstitutional. I really don’t think I can finish the Ark for another five or six years.”

Noah waited. The sky began to clear, the sun began to shine, and the seas began to calm. A rainbow arched across the sky. Noah looked up hopefully, “You mean you’re not going to destroy the earth, Lord?”

“No.” He said sadly. “I don’t have to. The government already has.”

I found the above piece on the Internet the other day and though the author is unknown the problems associated with building the Ark in our own era somehow ring true. There are millions of laws on the books and it is possible for most of us to run afoul of one of more of them every day even if just by accident.

Did you know it is illegal to have the rear license plate, here in Canada, covered by plastic or glass? Also you can’t remove bandages in public, or paint a ladder in case it becomes slippery when wet nor should you pay for any item over fifty cents with pennies. This last one would be difficult because we don’t use pennies any longer in this country.

I do find the law that says, “you can’t kill a sick person by frightening them,” beneficial. In Ontario, however, they can sell your horse if you don’t pay your hotel bill. Nation wide it is against the law to scare the Queen or waterski after sunset. In Oshawa it is against the law to climb a tree, in Halifax you can’t drive a cab in a t-shirt and it is really bad if you use a dog sled on the sidewalk in Hay River, Northwest Territories. And somewhere in Windsor, Ontario is the amazingly wonderful law that forbids playing a musical instrument in an office.

Oh, just in case you didn’t know but were thinking of wearing your snake downtown you can’t do it in Fredericton. Then there are some laws that are really strange like the driving law in Ontario that says the solid line is a suggestion to stay in your own lane but not mandatory.

However, you still have to honk your horn while passing in Prince Edward Island. It is even possible to get a ticket for texting while in line at Tim Horton’s because the law says in order to text the car must be parked. But, here is good news there are no laws against driving barefoot – yup,  it was all just an Hitching post 3

It is not an urban legend, however, that it is against the law to stink up a place of business, flatten pennies or poke holes in them, or be inhumane to oysters. (Don’t we eat them?) Thank goodness Alberta has on its books the law that says it is illegal to set fire to someone’s wooden leg and businesses must have hitching posts for horses.

I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. I hope these very important laws brought a smile to your face and make you wonder, at least for a moment, what do our politicians do all day?