Track #137: My Memory Has Just Been Sold

137 My Memory Has Just Been Sold

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Growing up, I was that bizarre (though not that uncommon, as it turns out) combination of a born-again Christian and an avid Dungeons & Dragons player. As such, Genesis 6:4 sent my imagination on the fantasy nerd’s equivalent of a six day coke rager: “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days–and also afterward–when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown (Genesis 6:4).” Later, the dragons of Revelation supplanted the Nephilim for nerd-cool, but only barely!

Of course, even as a child, I was more than a bit confused by the hyphenated phrase, “and also afterward.” Given that “The Flood” story begins in 6:5, this pretty strongly suggests that the Nephilim survived the Flood. Hmmmm . . .

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9 Comments on “Track #137: My Memory Has Just Been Sold
  1. Reminds me of some of Mark Twain’s writing (best found in The Bible According to Mark Twain):

    IT is strange . . . very strange. / do not remember this creature. (After gazing long and admiringly.) Well, it is wonderful! The mere skeleton fifty-seven feet long and sixteen feet high! Thus far, it seems, they’ve found only this sample — with-out doubt a merely medium-sized one; a person could not step out here into the Park and happen by luck upon the largest horse in America; no, he would happen upon one that would look small along-side of the biggest Normandy. It is quite likely that the biggest dinosaur was ninety feet long and twenty feet high. It would be five times as long as an elephant; an elephant would be to it what a calf is to an elephant. The bulk of the creature! The weight of him! As long as the longest whale, and twice the substance in him! And all good wholesome pork, most likely; meat enough to last a village a year. . . . Think of a hundred of them in line, draped in shining cloth of gold! — a majestic thing for a coronation procession. But expensive, for he would eat much; only kings and millionaires could afford him.

    I have no recollection of him; neither Eve nor I had heard of him until yesterday. We spoke to Noah about him; he colored and changed the subject. Being brought back to it — and pressed a little — he confessed that in the matter of stocking the Ark the stipulations had not been carried out with absolute strictness — that is, in minor details, unessential’s. There were some irregularities. He said the boys were to blame for this — the boys mainly, his own fatherly indulgence partly. They were in the giddy heyday of their youth at the time, the happy springtime of life; their hundred years sat upon them lightly, and — well, he had once been a boy himself, and he had not the heart to be too exacting with them. And so — well, they did things they shouldn’t have done, and he — to be candid, he winked. But on the whole they did pretty faithful work, considering their age. They collected and stowed a good share of the really useful animals; and also, when Noah was not watching, a multitude of useless ones, such as flies, mosquitoes, snakes, and so on, but they did certainly leave ashore a good many creatures which might possibly have had value some time or other, in the course of time. Mainly these were vast saurians a hundred feet long, and monstrous mammals, such as the megatherium and that sort, and there was really some excuse for leaving them behind, for two reasons: (i) it was manifest that some time or other they would be needed as fossils for museums and (ii) there had been a miscalculation, the Ark was smaller than it should have been, and so there wasn’t room for those creatures. There was actually fossil material enough all by itself to freight twenty-five Arks like that one. As for the dinosaur But Noah’s conscience was easy; it was not named in his cargo list and he and the boys were not aware that there was such a creature. He said he could not blame himself for not knowing about the dinosaur, because it was an American animal, and America had not then been discovered.

    Noah went on to say, “I did reproach the boys for not making the most of the room we had, by discarding trashy animals and substituting beasts like the mastodon, which could be useful to man in doing heavy work such as the elephant performs, but they said those great creatures would have increased our labors beyond our strength, in the matter of feeding and watering them, we being short-handed. There was something in that. We had no pump; there was but one window; we had to let down a bucket from that, and haul it up a good fifty feet, which was very tiresome; then we had to carry the water downstairs — fifty feet again, in cases where it was for the elephants and their kind, for we kept them in the hold to serve for ballast. As it was, we lost many animals — choice animals that would have been valuable in menageries — different breeds of lions, tigers, hyenas, wolves, and so on; for they wouldn’t drink the water after the salt sea water got mixed with the fresh. But we never lost a locust, nor a grasshopper, nor a weevil, nor a rat, nor a cholera germ, nor any of that sort of beings. On the whole, I think we did very well, everything considered. We were shepherds and farmers; we had never been to sea before; we were ignorant of naval matters, and I know this for certain, that there is more difference between agriculture and navigation than a person would think. It is my opinion that the two trades do not belong together. Shem thinks the same; so does Japheth. As for what Ham thinks, it is not important. Ham is biased. You find me a Presbyterian that isn’t, if you think you can.”

    He said it aggressively; it had in it the spirit of a challenge. I avoided argument by changing the subject. With Noah, arguing is a passion, a disease, and it is growing upon him; has been growing upon him for thirty thousand years, and more. It makes him unpopular, unpleasant; many of his oldest friends dread to meet him. Even strangers soon get to avoiding him, although at first they are glad to meet him and gaze at him, on account of his celebrated adventure. For a time they are proud of his notice, because he is so distinguished; but he argues them to rags, and before long they begin to wish, like the rest, that something had happened to the Ark.

  2. Perfect! You’ll have plenty of time to get back for work (I’m pretty sure he’ll be done by 10–depending on his opening act)!

  3. You do know that there are a few RPGs out there with exactly that premise, right? Most particularly, Nephilim. And some of them incorporate actual medieval demonology into their cosmology.

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