Something Fishy This Way Comes
There once was a man called Jonah, the son of Amittai. 2 One day, the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘Go to Nineveh and tell them that they’re a bunch of wicked bastards, and I hate them!’
‘I can’t tell them that!’ protested Jonah.
‘You fucking will! I’m God, and you’ll do whatever I tell you!’
3 ‘Fuck you!’ yelled Jonah raising his middle to the sky. Then he ran to the nearest port and found a ship heading for Tarshish, thinking he could escape the omnipresent deity.
4 The Lord’s anger waxed hot against Jonah, so he sent a violent storm and stirred up the sea trying to sink the ship carrying Jonah. 5 Everyone aboard was terrified, and they all started praying furiously. Unfortunately, none of them were praying to the right god, so the Lord didn’t hear them. So, the sailors began to throw things into the sea as offerings to see if anything would appease it. Sadly, the sea wasn’t listening.
Meanwhile, below deck, Jonah was fast asleep. 6 The captain of the ship went down to him and said, ‘How can you be sleeping at a time like this? The ship is going to sink! Why don’t you do something useful like pray?’
7 Back on deck, things were getting desperate. Some sailors were clinging to the mast whilst others were curled up in the corner clutching lucky rabbit’s feet. Just then, the captain was dragging Jonah onto the deck to force him to pray at gunpoint. When the other sailors saw him, they decided to interrogate him.
8 ‘Why is it stormy?’ they asked. ‘Who are you? What do you do for a living? Where do you come from? Which country? Which people? What’s all that wet stuff on the deck? Does this dress make me look fat?’
‘Woah, woah, woah!’ interrupted Jonah. ‘Which question do you want me to answer first?’
The sailors huddled together and then replied, ‘The fourth, fifth, and sixth ones.’
9 ‘Okay… Israel, Israel, and the Israelites.’
10 ‘Oh fuck!’ exclaimed the sailors in unison, for they were anti-Semites. ‘Who the fuck let a Jew on board?’
11 Suddenly, a big wave crashed against the side of the ship, rocking it fiercely from side to side. The sailors began to panic. ‘What should we do?’ they all screamed. ‘How can we calm this angry sea?’
‘Have you tried singing it a lullaby?’ suggested Jonah.
The sailors gathered together and started to sing a boisterous rendition of In the Navy, but this just seemed to make the sea angrier. They called to Jonah, ‘It’s not working.’
12 Jonah replied, ‘Maybe it’s my fault! Quick, somebody toss me off!’
A big burly sailor grabbed him and started fumbling with his underwear.
‘I didn’t mean that!’ cried Jonah. ‘I meant into the sea!’
So, the sailor pushed him to edge of the plank, and continued to ruffle through his under things. Jonah sighed.
13 Below deck, the rowers were feverishly fighting against the waves, all of them praying with all of their might. 14 The storm continued to batter the ship mercilessly, and the muscular sailor who was manhandling Jonah’s man-handle was getting close to the vinegar strokes despite Jonah’s pleas.
15 The Lord, who had been watching the whole thing, took aim with one of his lightning bolts and hurled it down hitting the mast of the ship. 16 The whole boat shook, and Jonah went plummeting over the side. Unfortunately, a passing whale was yawning at the exact moment that Jonah fell overboard, and Jonah landed right in its mouth.
17 Soon, the seas calmed, and the sailors rejoiced, all except for the one who had been jerking off Jonah, he began to weep bitterly.
Against all odds, and all of our modern scientific understanding, Jonah survived in the belly of the whale. He was very wet, very sticky, and very unhappy. 2 To lift his spirits, he decided to sing himself a little song:
‘God almighty, hear my prayer.
I am suffering. Do you care?
I wish I were back on the boat,
Instead of down this monster’s throat.
I’m stuck inside this fucking whale,
Among the fish heads and the scales.
It’s warm and moist and really grim,
Plus, I don’t know how to swim.
How long I’ll last, I cannot tell
But I gotta say that this is hell.
I’m pretty sure I’m going to die,
I beg you, Lord, please hear my cry.
If you save me, I’ll obey.
Please don’t let me die this way!’
10 Now, the whale, who had been listening to Jonah’s song, began to sob uncontrollably with guilt. It swam as fast as its fins could carry it, and it spat Jonah out onto dry land.
Now that Jonah was safe, the Lord spoke to him a second time. 2 ‘Look, are you going to go and deliver my message?’ he asked.
‘Fine!’ replied Jonah, and he set off to Nineveh.
3 Now Nineveh was a very large and populous city, so populous, in fact, that it would take him several days to go and deliver the message to everyone individually. 4 So, Jonah decided to stand out in the market square wearing a sandwich board that read, ‘The end is nigh!’ and ringing a bell.
As people passed by, he would yell, ‘The Lord hates you!’ and ‘Repent, sinners!’
5 This certainly caught the attention of the locals, or Ninnies as they were known. Jonah’s stench had already put them off their food, but now they were also growing sick with worry.
6 Soon, news of the weird apocalyptic preacher reached the king, and he was the kind of guy who took this kind of bullshit seriously. 7 So, he dressed himself in sackcloth, covered himself in dust, and made a royal proclamation:
8 ‘By order of the king and his nobbly bits, everyone in the kingdom must dress in sackcloth and throw dirt on themselves, even the animals. 9 I don’t know what you’ve done to piss God off, but frankly, I’m shitting myself!’
10 When God saw that the Ninnies were all cowering before him, he was delighted. He loved nothing more than people fearing and prostrating themselves before him, so he decided that he wouldn’t destroy the city after all.
When Jonah found out that God intended to show them mercy, he was livid.
2 ‘I’ve just spent the past week telling these people that you’re going to kill them, and now you’ve gone and changed your mind!’ he scolded. ‘You’ve made me look a right tit! 3 I wish I’d died in that fucking whale!’
4 ‘How dare you talk to me in that tone of voice, you odious rectum-faced shit?’ fumed the Lord. ‘If you want to go back in the whale, I can send you back there with a click of my fingers!’
5 So, Jonah went off to sulk to the east of the city where he huffily built himself a little shack. As he lay there in his hut, he noticed a small shrub that grew in the corner. 6 He sat talking to it and singing it songs, and pretty soon, the two had become friends. He named the plant Barnaby.
7 That night, when Jonah fell asleep, the Lord sent a caterpillar to chew the stalk of the plant and kill it. 8 The next day when Jonah awoke, he found his shrub lying dead.
Jonah mourned his friend, and cried out, ‘Poor Barnaby! I wish I were dead!’
9 ‘Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?’ asked the Lord.
‘Yes, he was my friend! I wish I were dead!’
10 And the Lord replied, ‘If you liked the plant so much, how come you never watered it?’
‘I only knew him for a few hours!’ spat Jonah. ‘I didn’t have a chance to water him!’
11 ‘Well, let this be a lesson to you. Just as you should have given your shrub water, I was tending to the city of Nineveh by sending you to them.’
‘But you were going to destroy Nineveh! You only changed your mind when they started to grovel to you! This whole thing was yet another example of you throwing your weight around to make people fearful so that you can control them!’
‘Yeah, and it worked!’ laughed the Lord. ‘You know, those people are so fucking stupid that they can’t tell their right hand from their left.’
And that’s why they were called Ninnies.