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Reflections on Adam and Eve

... and rites of passage

The Spring has sprung and maybe this is a good time to reflect on change, renewal and the rites of passage through this vale of tears. This may be particularly relevant as we will by now have abandoned our New Years’ resolutions around less beer, calories and white  wine and resigned ourselves to another year of our erratic attention to exercise ,resulting in our gym membership costing an average of £50 a visit. All of our best intentions to be better people, friends and parents scattered to the winds of apathy and distraction. It is my belief that the roots of our downfall (yes all of us not just everyone else) once again lie in the dark places of our history. As a lifelong believer in Adam and Eve, Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy I hark back to the mythology of the apple tree the serpent and the Garden of  Eden.

Following intensive research I now believe that the problems for man and woman kind since those halcyon days in the sun result from a more complex story than a simple hissed seduction between a snake a woman and a man with a fruity conclusion. Generations of propaganda have traduced the reputation of the wriggly thing with fangs. Originally a harmless creature fond of the odd rat or frog with a liking for the sun and an unfortunate speech impediment the serpent has gained an undeserved reputation for hiding in dark places. From here it allegedly has the express intention of rewarding anyone passing close enough by sneaking up their trousers leg or billowing skirt to inject unwelcome substances into their most prized possessions. When you examine this theory it falls apart at once. When did you last meet someone in the pub or at a restaurant who recently lost a relative to a hungry or homicidal reptile, or even woke after a convivial evening to find a steady angry reptilian gaze fixed upon them on the adjacent pillow. Hold on a moment though I may be weakening my story, there have perhaps been times for some of us, although maybe those eyes looking in blank lack of recognition or blind panic didn’t belong to a cold blooded creature with only its own interests at heart (although at this point we are straying into a whole new area of human weakness and distracting from the main story so the numbers for AA and the Samaritans are at the end of this article).

In truth my belief is that the genesis of the story behind these accusations of poor serpent behaviour is more likely to be an allegory for the workplace and the worst of human traits so back to Adam and Eve. Recently discovered ancient scrolls suggest that they actually had a much better understanding of time than we presently believe and also a good grip on the basics of the brewing industry. Finding themselves in the Garden at the end of the first year of life on earth and being as restless and inquisitive as we still are they decided to have an end of year party. Despite sending out many invitations, being the only people on earth, (other than the devil who replied but was excluded on the basis of his insistence that they painted themselves red and wore a forked tail and horns) they were looking at a pretty small gathering. With no televised sports or BBC repeats the only recourse was to the home brew. At this time, as accurately recorded in many historic religious paintings neither Adam nor Eve could easily be physically told apart except for the fact that Eve had been unable to master scissors so had longer hair and they had no magazines or other people to compare themselves with. Adam had noted that he only had to pause mid stride to rid himself of the surplus from the previous nights ale quaffing whilst Eve seemed to need to crouch closer to the earth and inspect the flowers, but he put this down to her love of nature and concern for he flora of the Garden.

The new scrolls reveal that a new companion had been provided to distract them. About a meter long, green and with teeth at one end only, this distraction had been made as different as possible from the human race to make sure that it could function as a raconteur without the distractions of jealousy. There had been teeth at both ends on the original model but this proved confusing at meal times. Its job was to tend the tree in the Garden and it was scrupulous in this duty. The tree had grown a single apple and the serpent, who was of course teetotal, brought this to the celebration as its contribution to the feast. In the absence of satellite tv and ipads the happy group played games and talked of the evolving seasons and the joys of the Garden. The serpent was at a disadvantage here as the games all involved throwing and catching and it was programmed to swallow anything that its tongue encountered. Adam and Eve on the other hand inflamed with the demon drink were endlessly energetic. The serpent retired early having held as many catches as the England cricket team during the evening but tired and happy. In the morning Adam and Eve woke up entwined with their heads resting on the apple core. When questioned by higher authority they could only remember eating the apple and vaguely remembered a serpent, although both recalled it being another colour. The apple had gone so the powers that be awoke the serpent and condemned it to a lifetime in dark damp places and the human race to make lists of things we should and shouldn’t do, at the turn of the years end. Redemption lay in the whole of humanity honouring these pledges. So when you wonder why you are not living in the Garden of Eden check out your New Years’ resolutions list....

Liveryman Jeff Cant