Epic Quail [draft]
After their brief stop in Elim, the Israelites travelled to the Desert of Sin, so called because of its abundance of seedy bars, hotels, and casinos. 2 As they wandered down the Strip, they gazed at the gaudy neon lights. 3 ‘What an awful place this is!’ they grumbled. ‘I wish I were dead!’
4 The Lord overheard the Israelites’ complaints, so he said to Moses, ‘Those ungrateful bastards! I worked my fingers to the bone sending all those plagues!’
‘Well, they haven’t eaten in days,’ replied Moses. ‘They’re bound to be a little cranky.’
5 ‘Hmm, I suppose. I’ll tell you what, I’ll make it rain bread. But as a test to see if they can follow my instruction, I’m going to set a quota. That’ll show them.’
6 So, Moses and Aaron gathered the Israelites, and they told them, ‘This evening, you’ll know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt.’
‘But we already know that…’ sighed the people.
7 ‘Well, you’re not acting like it!’ rebuked Aaron, shaking his fist angrily. ‘Who the hell do you think you are?’
8 Moses calmed his brother and continued, ‘The Lord will give you meat in the evening and bread in the morning.’ 9 Then he turned to Aaron and said, ‘Now gather the people together and tell them what I said.’
‘But they’re already here,’ groaned Aaron.
10 Just then, the Israelites looked towards the desert, and there in the clouds was the Lord’s morning glory.
11 ‘Is that a… penis?’ muttered the Israelites, looking at each other in confusion. ‘I’m not sure what he’s trying to tell us…’
12 Then the Lord went to Moses and Aaron, and he said, ‘Tell the Israelites, “The Lord will give you meat in the evening and bread in the morning.”’
‘Okay,’ replied Moses, and he began to repeat the message.
Aaron, who was growing increasingly frustrated, cried out, ‘He just fucking said that! What the fuck is going on? You two have lost the bloody plot!’ and he stormed off, shaking his head.
13 That evening, a flock of quails came and settled on the camp, 14 and the next morning, when they’d flown away, there was a layer of white sticky goo left on the ground, which later dried as thin flakes. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, ‘What is this?’ for they didn’t know what it was.
One guy bent down, took some of the white stuff on his finger, and licked it. ‘Mmm, it tastes like sherbet,’ he declared.
So, everyone rushed forwards and started to scrape the flaky substance up in bowls and eat it greedily.
16 Just then, Moses came out of his tent. ‘What in God’s name are you doing?’
‘Eating sherbet,’ replied a man between mouthfuls.
‘That’s not sherbet, you moron! It’s quail shit!’
The people all stopped eating, looked at each other, and started to spit and scrape their tongues frantically.
‘But you said the Lord was going to send us food!’ complained one of the women.
17 ‘Yes,’ snorted Moses. ‘The quails! You were supposed to kill them last night!’
‘Oh… And in the morning?’
18 ‘Like I said, the Lord will make it rain bread.’
Suddenly, the clouds burst, and loaves of unleavened bread rained down from Heaven.
‘Well,’ gasped the woman. ‘Don’t I feel silly.’
19 Moses told the Israelites, ‘There’s no need to save any bread for tomorrow, because it will rain bread again in the morning.’
20 But despite Moses’s warning, some of the Israelites did save some bread for the next morning, and it went bad and was infested with maggots. This really pissed Moses off.
21 After that, every morning, the Israelites would gather the heavenly bread, 22 and by noon, any leftovers would magically melt away in the heat of the sun. 23 On the sixth day, the Israelites were instructed to gather twice as much and save some for the next day, 24 because they were forbidden to gather anything on the Sabbath. 25 This bread didn’t go bad overnight.
26 Despite being told not to gather any bread on the Sabbath, some of the Israelites still went out to look for bread. 27 Both Moses and God were furious.
28 The Lord said to Moses, ‘How long will you refuse to do as I tell you?’
‘Me?’ objected Moses. ‘I told them everything you said, and they won’t listen!’
29 ‘I made the Sabbath specifically as a day of rest! Why do you think I’m giving you twice as much bread on the sixth day?’
‘I know! I told them that!’
30 Eventually, after witnessing Moses arguing with God so many times, the Israelites got the message that they had to rest on the Sabbath. 31 And they called the bread from Heaven manna, which means ‘do as you’re bloody well told!’
32 Then the Lord commanded them to keep some of the bread in a jar to remind the people to behave themselves. 33 And they did so. 34 Aaron even stored it with the tablets of covenant law that didn’t exist yet.
35 The Israelites ate nothing but magic sky bread for the forty years they wandered the desert, 36 because apparently, God stopped providing quails.