“There is nothing in the Garden more beautiful than you,” he said.

“I’m not really sure what that means,” she said, “but if that’s a good thing, then thank you.”

“It’s a comfort. Every time I look your way, I can’t help smiling. The way your black hair moves with the wind and the way your dark eyes stare back at me just makes me happier than you could know.”

“You’ve been so kind and the things you’ve shown me have been so interesting and fun. And all of the animals and the way you’ve created names for them is just amazing.”

“It’s what I was told to do. I was trusted to do this, I was given all of the gifts needed to these things, and I’m so glad you’re here to help,” he said.

“Well, I’ve been thinking about giving names to things other than animals.”


“Yes, like the dingle-dangle.”

“Uh huh.”

“And the snatch, because it looks like my dingle-dangle has been snatched away.”


“And this!!”

She reached around and retrieved something from the ground.

“The pomegranate!!” she said.

“Oh yeah. I called that an apple.”

“Adam, sweetie, don’t you think pomegranate is a much more interesting name?”

“I’ve already called a type of stone ‘granite’ and I don’t know that people are going to want to eat something named after a rock.”

“Oh, don’t be silly. We can spell the ‘granate’ in pomegranate differently than granite the stone, and ‘granate’ has ‘pom-’ as a prefix. And who doesn’t like poms?”

“I’ve called the palms ‘palms,’ but I don’t know what a pom is,” he said.

“That’s the best part: mystery. No one knows what a pom is.”

“So…uhhh…where did you get this ap…ummm…pomegranate.”

“The serpent!!” she said.

“The serpent?” he asked.

“The serpent! He lives in that weird tree in the clearing. He can talk just as well as you and I. And he is so nice and helpful and wise. He told me that if you eat the pomegranate, you’ll be as smart as God.”

“Smart as God?”

“God’s holding out on us,” she said.

“Do tell.”

“Well, He knows about good and evil. Do you know about evil?”

“What is evil?” he said.

“Evil is at least half of everything. Like he said, God is holding out on us.”

“What else could we possibly want? We’re wandering around a beautiful garden completely satisfied and happy. What is evil and why are you talking differently than you did a short time ago?”

“Maybe I’m just being more honest. And you make evil sound so…pejorative,” she said.

“Didn’t a talking snake strike you as a little strange?”

“I swear by Holy Toledo, Adam, I’ve only been alive for a few days. Everything seemed strange to me for the first few hours,

whatever an hour is, but after that, everything seemed totally awesome and wonderful, and frankly, your conversational skills could use some refining. And that’s what I was thinking while being uncontrollably drawn to the tree and the serpent started talking to me. Adam, what he was saying to me was a lot more interesting than finding a colloquial name for Acinonyx jubatus.”

“You didn’t eat one of these pomegranates, did you?” he asked.

“I was going to get just one and share it with you, but that seemed a little disgusting, whatever disgusting is, and I got one for you. Happy Fig Leaf day!!”

“???…???…(furrowed brow),” he said.

“I have no idea why I said that,” she said.

“Ya know that this is the tree that God told us not to eat from, right?” he said.

“God’s an old fuddy-duddy, whatever that is. What does He know?”

“I’m not eating that.”

“I’ll make your dingle-dangle very happy if you do.”

“In a very short time, you’ve dissed God, taken the name of the city of Toledo in vain, learned what disgusting is, and tempted me to do something you know I shouldn’t do by soliciting sex. Would you have done any of this before eating the apple?”

“It’s a pomegranate.”

“Would you have done any of this before eating the pomegranate?”

“Told you it was a pomegranate,” she said.

“Well, would you?”

Awkward silence.

“Maybe…well…probably not.”

Now that Adam was a firm “no” and his beautiful companion had failed a test billions of humans would fail in the future, she was swept off to the land of Nod to be a new stunning attraction. She was not given time to grab any fig leaves.

We shall leave that scene before the “hey dudes, there’s a new girl in town” and “what has she got that I ain’t got” and the “go inside Timmy…NOW!!” starts.

We’ll stick with Adam, who has been whisked off to the 21st century and in to the Maryland Zoo. He was whisked off the Maryland Zoo because it’s a right nice zoo, and if any place needed a pure man with a clean conscience, it’s Baltimore.

Adam found himself in the middle of a small pride of Panthera Leo. It was an open area and the lions were free to walk around, but considering the sort of venue that Adam was used to seeing lions in, this seemed like jail. The arguably spacious confine was surrounded by a very tall rustic-looking fence with a hole filled with very thick plexiglass. There were people looking through the hole. Adam had no idea what the brightly colored garb they were wearing was all about, but they certainly seemed to have an appreciation for lions. Adam took the head of the growling alpha male and talked to him. He could see and feel the regal beast relax. The rest of the lions followed suit and returned to the sleepy stupor to which they had become accustomed. Apparently, when you don’t have to chase antelopes for a living, a stuporous way of life seems quite natural.

In the building housing zoologists, maintenance folk, and a number of TV screens that monitored the goings-on outside, a wannabe zoologist named Jimmy was freaking out.


“Jesus, Jimmy, you don’t have to yell; I’m right here,” said Evelyn.

“Something seriously weird just happened.”

Evelyn strode quickly towards the television screens and saw some naked guy sitting among the lions.

“Holy fuckin’ shit. How the hell did that sonofabitch weirdo get in there?”

“Except for the absence of the bad special effects, it looked like Scottie just beamed him down. One second, nothing, and the next second, it’s a Playgirl centerfold.”

“We’re gonna get our asses handed to us if that dumbass gets himself killed in our lion exhibit. Grab the tranquilizers and some steaks and let’s see how lucky we are today.”

Jimmy and Evelyn gathered together what they could to keep this naked nitwit from getting himself and the zoo on national news, Jimmy and Evelyn on the unemployment rolls, and then the inevitable excoriation on Twitter.

They exited the safety of their observation station in a brisk but cautious fashion. There was a protocol for this sort of thing, which became irrelevant when the man among the lions stood up and shouted “EVE!!”

“You know him?” asked Jimmy.

“I don’t know this guy from Adam.”

“Ya sure? It looks like they work with the same wardrobe.”

Evelyn’s eyebrows went from “shut up, Jimmy” to “you gotta be kidding me” as the well projected “EVE!!” roused the lions.

“Oh shit, here we go,” said Evelyn, sure that feeding time was going to be earlier than expected.

Adam turned quickly but quietly to assure the well-muscled eating machines that all was well and that they should return to their stuporous ways. He then took a few well measured steps from his companions, then broke into a sprint. One of the lions raised his head

to give the fleet-footed human a glance. He then tilted his head, as if to say “that dude’s pretty quick for a biped,” then dropped his head on his paws and resumed his nap.

“First, I was afraid of the lions attacking him, now I’m concerned about him attacking us,” said Eve.

“Want me to hit him with a tranquilizer dart?”

“The tranqs were made for 400-pound felines. It’ll be better for us if the lions eat him.”

“S’pose so.”

The recently displaced Adam stopped his mad dash a few feet short of Eve and asked, “Eve, are you alright?”

“Am I alright!?”

“Well, yes. First, you’d eaten that pomegranate and changed so much, and then that terrible storm, and then I appeared here…it’s a little hard to breathe here, have you noticed?”


“Oh…well…and then suddenly, I’m here with in a small pride of very unhappy Panthera Leo…”

“We just call them lions,” said Eve

“Of course you do; that was one of my first colloquialisms.”

“Dear God,” said Eve.

“Well yes! Have you seen Him lately?”

“…Look, can we just get you inside?”

“Inside that wonderful lair? That sounds very nice. Is God in there?”

Jimmy had actually been inside of a church a dozen or so times and saw an opening to stabilize the conversation.

“We don’t see God, but He’s everywhere.”

“Yes, He is, of course, but after what just happened to us, I just wanted to see Him in person.”

After an awkward pause, Evelyn said, “We’re going to go inside now.”

Mothers covering their children’s eyes but continuing to stand at the plexiglass window while staring at Adam was becoming increasingly embarrassing for everyone except for the mothers and Adam.

They made their way inside the lair and Adam was quite taken with all of the CCTV monitors and plastic seats, artificial lighting, and the switches which controlled said lighting. Evelyn paced around the room trying to think of something to say while Adam played with the light switches and Jimmy sat quietly thinking, must take a helluva lot of work to get abs like that.

“Okay, who are you?”

“I’m Adam. I am the first person you’ve ever known. You were created from one of my ribs. It was a small sacrifice to spend time with such a beautiful woman. I’ve always loved your black hair and dark eyes. And then the pomegranate and the serpent changed you.”

“This is the dumbest thing I’ve…” Evelyn stopped as she noticed that one of Adam’s ribs was missing.

“Yes, right here. This is where you came from,” said Adam.

“Okay, that is stupid,” said Jimmy.

“He’s actually missing a rib, Jimmy, and ribs regenerate.”

“Ribs regenerate?”

“Yes, Jimmy, ribs regenerate. This is only one of the reasons I’m your boss. Now how did you get here and why aren’t you wearing any clothes?”

“I have no idea how I got here. I assume that the ‘clothes’ to which you have referred are the things covering your body. I’ve never worn clothes, but now that I see them, they look really uncomfortable.”

It was at this moment that Eve noticed her bra strap digging into her shoulder, her thong becoming predictably uncomfortable, and Jimmy adjusting himself. The dude had a point.

“So, who are you?”

“I’m Adam, the first man.”

“Adam as in Adam from the Bible?”

“I don’t know what a Bible is?”

“Ya know, the Bible was written well after Adam died,” said Jimmy.

“Aha! That’s it. The Bible said Adam died. So how can you be here if you’re dead?”

Adam look perplexed as he searched his memory for anything that was going to help the situation.

“What is a do-over? God said that someone here would be able to explain what a do-over is.”

“A do-over is when you screw something up and are given a second chance to get it right. Kinda like a mulligan in golf. It’s a way to fix a mistake,” said Jimmy.

“The golf and mulligan references are lost on me, but the rest of it may be helpful. The mistake that expelled us from the Garden may not have been yours, Eve; it may have been mine. You were new, and we were tasked with the job of recreating people in the image of God so that we could live forever and have dominion over God’s creation. It must’ve been overwhelming for you to be thrown into such a new and strange environment and I may have not been the helpmate you deserved. That you did not understand that God is quite serious about His requests may be my fault.”

“How is it you speak so well?” asked Eve.

“I speak all languages.”

“Prove it,” Eve challenged.

“Aš esu toks, kokį sakau.”

“Huh?” asked Eve.

“Ask Jimmy.”

“It’s Lithuanian,” said Jimmy.

A glower from Eve prompted Jimmy to say, “Stop lookin’ at me like that; my Grandma’s Lithuanian.”

“I knew that,” said Adam.

“So what did nature boy…”

“Adam,” Adam corrected.

“Harrumph…Adam just say?”

“I’m a little rusty, but basically, he said ‘I am what I am.’”

“I am what I say,” corrected Adam.

Eve sighed deeply and said, “You mentioned a do-over.”

“Yes, well, God and I were walking around the Garden and he was telling me that this was not the first time we took such walks. The first time we did this, he told me that everything in the Garden was good to eat, but don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But we both ate from the tree and were banished…”

Evelyn’s eyes went wide; she held her head, stumbled backwards, and fell into a chair.


“Jesus H. Christ on roller skates…I remember…the grass was like the best plush carpet you can imagine. The weather was perfect. The food was…like nothing I’ll ever eat again. The love and harmony were like warm blankets. Then…everything went wrong. Giving birth in the wilderness, animal skins, nearly inedible food, the cold, the heat, the fear. I remember everything. It was awful and wonderful and tragic.”

“But we got through it together.”

“And the do-over?” asked Jimmy.

“Yes, so, as I was saying, I found myself walking with God in the Garden…”

“In the cool of the day?” asked Jimmy.

“How did you know?” asked Adam.

“I’ve read the first 40 pages of the Bible maybe 20 times. Someday, I might read the rest. I got a copy of it here somewhere.”

“I must read this Bible; it sounds quite interesting.”

“Yeah, you probably should, you’re mentioned a lot.”

“Well, God told me to protect and love you, Eve, and let no evil come your way. I failed. You disappeared and I ended up here.”

“That’s not how the Bible tells it. It says right here, lemme find it…okay, “…and God didst tell Adam and his helpmate not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But the serpent beguileth Eve and she did eat of the fruit that opened her eyes. She then knew of good and evil and she sought to share this knowledge and fruit with Adam. Adam refused. The Lord called unto them, ‘What art thou doing?’

“I have eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and my eyes have been opened, Lord.”

“Dost thou see evil in my Garden?” asked the Lord.

“I saw the serpent,” Eve then cast her eyes upon herself and said, “And I see the shame of nakedness.”

“Because thou hast disobeyed my commands to protect each other from sin and to turn away from the tree of the knowledge and good and evil, I shall tear apart the one flesh that thou were to be and send each of you as far to the east and as far to the west as time will allow.”

And the man was flung to the west as far as time would allow and the woman was swept to the east to the land of Nod, where great sorrow awaited her.”

“What the fuck?” said Jimmy. “This book did not say that an hour ago.”

“My appearance here prompted a…wave. The wave has washed over all humanity, and some have not been changed at all. The rest have been changed in subtle ways in their understanding of the Creation story. All of the holy books that tell the Creation story have been changed. The only people who’ve not been changed are the ones who witnessed my appearance. Jimmy, four mothers, eight children, and you, Eve. I know nothing about this; it’s simply what I’m being told to say.”

“Why?” asked Eve.

“So that the truth could be witnessed, the story can be told, and the faith of the faithful can be tested and bolstered by the story. Again, this is what I’m being told.”

“Who is telling you these things?” asked Eve.

“God, of course,” said Adam

“You talk to God?” asked Eve.

“Anyone can talk to God. What is truly joyful is when God speaks, or whispers. Many times, he’ll direct you to do something small, perhaps meaningless, perhaps foolish, probably harmless, then he watches to see if you follow his direction. If you listen well, you may be given more challenging tasks. He speaks to everyone; not everyone hears. Not everyone obeys.”

The three of them fell silent and the atmosphere in the room became thick and silent and full of emotion. Adam didn’t say anything until he could see that Jimmy and Evelyn noticed the change.

“There it is. That feeling is the presence of God. The room is alive with his spirit. What a joy it is to have this all day long.”

This prompted Jimmy to read ahead.

“Holy Toledo, Evelyn, what they did to you in the land of Nod is pretty terrible.”

“’Get inside Timmy…now’ is all I remember. It’s all a blur after that.”

“And now the atmosphere is returning to the way it was,” noted Adam.

“I need to get you someplace safe,” said Eve.

Adam smiled and said, “God told you to say that. Well done.”

“Jimmy, I’m taking the rest of the day off. My car is parked right outside of the building. I’m going to take Adam home before the press can get here. Adam, here, please put this lab coat on.”


“People don’t run around Baltimore naked. It will just be better if you’d please put this on.”

“I feel no shame in what I look like or who I am. I shall go as I am.”

“Did God tell you to say that?”

“He didn’t have to.”

There was nothing argumentative about it. Just a simple statement of fact. A small part of Eve could see the logic, but the rest of her could see a beautiful naked man in the city locked up with a bunch of howling fools. She hoped that Adam had someone looking out for him.

“Alright, we’ll see if we can get home without any problems.”


For all installments of “What if Adam Said No?,” click here.