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Best Laid Plans

 

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This post originated from The Institute of Management Chichester Branch, UK, circa the millennium


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 a flash of lightning, God delivered the specifications for an Ark. In fear and trembling, Noah took the plans. Remember, said the Lord, you must complete the Ark and bring everything aboard within one year.

Exactly one year later, fierce storm clouds covered the earth and all the seas of the earth were in tumult. The Lord discovered Noah 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 planning permission for construction and your plans didn't meet building regulations. I had to hire an engineering firm to redraw them. Then I got into a fight with the HSA over whether or not the Ark needed a sprinkler system and approved flotation devices. Then my neighbour objected, claiming I was blocking out his daylight by building the Ark in my front yard, so I had to go back to the Local Authority and fight the planning appeal. Then I had problems getting enough wood from sustainable forests, and also there was a ban on cutting trees in order to protect the spotted owl. I finally convinced the Forestry Commission that I really needed the wood to save the owls. However, the WWF won't let me take the two owls. The carpenters went on strike and I had to negotiate with the union. Now I have sixteen carpenters on site, but no owls. When I started rounding up the other animals, the animal rights people sued me for taking only two of each kind.

The suit is still pending.

Meanwhile, the Environment Agency notified me that I could not complete the Ark without filing an environmental impact statement on your proposed flood plain. Then the Royal Engineers demanded a map of said flood plain. I sent them a globe. Right now, I am in discussion with the EOC about a complaint of discrimination by not taking atheists aboard. The Inland Revenue has seized my assets, insisting that I'm trying to flee the country to avoid paying taxes in a 'recreational water craft'. I really don't think I can finish the Ark for another five years.

Noah waited. The sky began to clear, the sun to shine, the seas to calm. A rainbow arc stretched across the whole landscape. Noah looked up hopefully. 

You mean you're not going to destroy the earth, Lord?

No, replied the Lord sadly. I no longer have to. But will Government find gold at the end of the rainbow?

 

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