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In God's Garage (a dialogue with the Creator)

By transient0 in Fiction
Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 12:41:26 AM EST
Tags: Interviews (all tags)

I found God in a garage in Milan. He asked me what the trouble with my car was.

"What are you doing here?" I exclaimed. "Everyone's been looking for you."

"I'm just keeping myself busy," he said, lifting the hood.

"Keeping yourself busy? But the world's tearing itself apart, people are killing people. Haven't you heard about the Congo? Vietnam! The Nazis! I mean, how long have you been here?"

"Oh, about two thousand years, give or take," he said. "This was a smithy once."

"Two thousand years?"

"You know, ever since my last big idea flopped. When was the last time you had the oil changed?"

"Two months ago. But no time for that now, we have to get out of here. We've got to get you back pulling the strings before everything goes straight to Hell, if you'll pardon my expression."

"No," he said, "I think I'd rather just stay here and keep my hands busy. I've got a lot of clients counting on me: Vincent's taxi, the postal service. I'm open twenty four hours you know."

"Don't you have an assistant who can take care of that stuff?" I was starting to feel exasperated.

"No, like I said, I like to keep myself busy."

I started to object but he raised a finger.

"I'm happy here," he said, "I'm happy so long as I'm too busy to get to thinking. I get to thinking and I get to noticing all the things that are wrong. And then I get to thinking up ways to fix them. And that doesn't make anyone happy. Least of all me."

"Doesn't make anyone happy? It would certainly make them happier than genocide! You made all this," I swept my hand to encompass the world, "surely you can fix it."

"I made it, yes." He paused before continuing. "Early on I was always poking and tweaking. If I noticed a problem I'd rush in and shake everything up. But eventually you have to just admit that your child has finally grown up, even if it isn't the man you wanted it to be. How would Cuba feel if Marx showed up and tried to set them straight? And no fourteen year old boy wants his dad showing up at school to beat up the bully."

"What a cop out," I said, "so you're just going to sit here and watch everything fall apart because you think we're big enough to solve our own problems."

God wiped some grease off of his forehead and sighed. "No-one ever understands. The time for choice passed long ago. Don't you see that the world's just too big to be fixed? It can never be fixed because it can never be broken. It's just the way it is."

I wanted to say more, but instead just nodded. I had a feeling that, even though I didn't understand, he had spoken a truth. Still, I felt kind of cheated.

"What about my car?" I asked.

He closed the hood, spit on his sleeve and polished the headlights.

"Good as new."


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Display: Sort:
In God's Garage (a dialogue with the Creator) | 97 comments (49 topical, 48 editorial, 1 hidden)
+1FP Quirky, fun, not too serious. (1.50 / 6) (#2)
by Imperfect on Wed Feb 11, 2004 at 04:24:06 PM EST

All in all, 10/10.

Not perfect, not quite.
Suppose... (3.00 / 4) (#13)
by Gornauth on Wed Feb 11, 2004 at 06:25:02 PM EST

....God isnt working in a garage, but just slacking, waiting for some silly monkeys to just understand!

Oh Yeah? (none / 1) (#15)
by JetJaguar on Wed Feb 11, 2004 at 06:49:09 PM EST

Well, I saw Jesus at McDonald's at midnight!

Anyone know the rest of the lyrics to that song?

heh (3.00 / 4) (#16)
by EMHMark3 on Wed Feb 11, 2004 at 07:24:30 PM EST

Reminds me of this article on e2: Interview with God by Prole
Followed of course by Interview with Prole by God :)

T H E   M A C H I N E   S T O P S

Reminds me of intro philosophy... (none / 2) (#19)
by desiderandus on Wed Feb 11, 2004 at 09:50:58 PM EST

...specifically, "Is God a Taoist" by Raymond Smullyman. There's something pleasantly crazy in talking to god, I think.
Our sins catch up to us in the worst possible way; they become part of our essential identities.
shit... (none / 0) (#20)
by desiderandus on Wed Feb 11, 2004 at 09:53:00 PM EST

let's try this again.

"Is God a Taoist"

My apologies.
Our sins catch up to us in the worst possible way; they become part of our essential identities.
[ Parent ]

A few quotes (2.87 / 8) (#34)
by xutopia on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 09:18:13 AM EST

"The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent." - Carl Sagan

We have done the first step to real spiritual growth when we realize that not all things have a meaning, not all things have a purpose, some just are. The search for a purpose in everything is a human flaw.

exactly (none / 0) (#80)
by davros4269 on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 11:52:47 AM EST

Good point. Sagan rocked.
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]
The blacksmith has to go!!! (none / 2) (#35)
by xutopia on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 09:24:49 AM EST

like now! Carpenter.

This story is so incompatible with the christian fiction though. But if you want to say 2000 years ago you need to change to carpenter.

Waitaminute! I thought... (none / 0) (#40)
by astatine on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 12:10:10 PM EST

his son was the carpenter.

Society, they say, exists to safeguard the rights of the individual. If this is so, the primary right of a human being is evidently to live unrealistically.Celia Green
[ Parent ]
hrm... (none / 0) (#44)
by transient0 on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 12:58:38 PM EST

The idea I was trying to convey with the 2000 years ago thing was that God had had this big idea about how to fix Earth, hence Jesus. Then, shortly after Jesus' death God realized that his plan was doomed to failure and he was just like "Screw this, I'm going to go do something useful" and went and started a smithy. You know, getting back to his roots. God the forger.
lysergically yours
[ Parent ]
What about Mohammed? (none / 1) (#78)
by Wah on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 07:02:43 AM EST

You could have snapped off a couple quick ones there.  "Later, I decided to let the Prophet win, rather than be sacrificed, and see if that helps."
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]
Actually (none / 2) (#48)
by Skywise on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 01:58:36 PM EST

It makes much more sense than the Carl Sagan fiction.

[ Parent ]
Please clarify (1.33 / 9) (#36)
by psychologist on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 09:43:02 AM EST

Are you talking about Congo Kinsasha or Congo Brazzaville?

i was talking about (none / 1) (#41)
by transient0 on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 12:29:35 PM EST

DR Congo. Specifically Ituri.
lysergically yours
[ Parent ]
The Real World: Congo (none / 0) (#82)
by JayGarner on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 10:18:28 PM EST

this is a movie idea I'm shopping around placing ernesto 'che' guevara's Congo experience in the framework of mtv's 'the real world'. with benicio del toro as guevara, and dave chapelle as 'congolian number 3'. it will be great.

[ Parent ]
stuff (2.33 / 6) (#47)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 01:46:39 PM EST

The time for choice passed long ago. Don't you see that the world's just too big to be fixed?

God makes all the rules.  If he wants to fix the world he can.  

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

Do you code? (none / 1) (#53)
by flo on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 04:38:10 PM EST

If you've written a gigantic program, surely you can debug it, too?
"Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
[ Parent ]
It's different (none / 1) (#58)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 07:17:26 PM EST

I can't manage the complexity.  God makes up the rules of complexity.  He can change those rules.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
Logic's logic (none / 0) (#65)
by Vaughn on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 05:03:54 AM EST

Um, no he doesn't.

The rules of complexity are a consequence of logic/mathematics, and can't be changed; that's just the way it is.

Of course, God should probably be able to change himself to deal with it...

[ Parent ]

No (none / 1) (#74)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 06:53:52 PM EST

God is above Math and Logic.  He made them.  Otherwise Math is God and God is just some flunky who calls himself God.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
Calls for a quote :) (none / 0) (#79)
by Bigfoot on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 08:40:44 AM EST

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. - Kronecker

[ Parent ]
Maybe (none / 2) (#59)
by gr3y on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 09:09:39 PM EST

an omnipotent being would be able to write a "program" larger than he could "debug"

I am a disruptive technology.
[ Parent ]

but if something is too big for him to debug (none / 0) (#70)
by xutopia on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 01:33:55 PM EST

this means he isn't omnipotent.

[ Parent ]
welcome to the world of religious paradox (none / 1) (#72)
by transient0 on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 04:48:33 PM EST

The basic premise of this story is that god can in fact create a stone so big that he himself can not lift it.
lysergically yours
[ Parent ]
Of course he can (none / 0) (#91)
by esrever on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 05:18:47 AM EST

But your paradox presumes first that he is 'inside' the system known as 'physics'.  Following the bible would imply that God is outside this 'system' whilst simultaneously inside it in the form of Jesus.  Ergo, yes, God (outside) can create a rock so large (inside) that he (Jesus, inside) can't lift it.  He might be able to order it to fly, or sing, but not physically lift it.  Thus, both constraints of your paradox are, paradoxically, fulfilled.

looks at watch
Not bad for almost midnight.

Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]

so you are saying god is evil? (none / 0) (#73)
by circletimessquare on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 06:34:53 PM EST

because he ain't fixing it, right?

but isn't this just like obvious logical conundrum #23,441,195 against the  existence of a god, an omnipotent benevolent being?

i believe in people, not myths

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

God isn't real (none / 1) (#75)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 06:56:10 PM EST

But the properties God is supposed to have would imply that he could fix whatever he wants to fix.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
behold! the glory of smug simplification (none / 1) (#76)
by digitaleus on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 02:27:59 AM EST

aaah, the problem of evil.


[ Parent ]

this is the coolest (none / 3) (#62)
by bhearsum on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 12:27:29 AM EST

thing i've read on kuro5hin in a long time fucken great! +1 FP!!!

Is there supposed to be hidden meaning (none / 0) (#67)
by whazat on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 06:36:48 AM EST

relating to K5, or am I just over sensitive to these things?

this story (none / 2) (#71)
by tps12 on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 03:24:29 PM EST

Chicken Soup for the K5 Soul, apparently.

Word! (none / 1) (#83)
by il on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 11:55:44 PM EST

I think someone forwarded this to me last month.

[ Parent ]
Why this story doesn't matter (2.00 / 2) (#77)
by Eater on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 03:58:51 AM EST

To those that believe in traditional (or even not-so-traditional) monotheistic religions, this story will seem as just another attempt to hurl feces at their respective religious text. To those that believe in said religions and have a few more moving parts in their heads, it will seem like the typical ramblings of someone who doesn't yet understand God's ways. To an atheist, it will seem either as justifications of their beliefs or (if they don't read into it as much) a pathetic attempt to reconcile the "lack of proof for the existence of God" with his... existence. However, to anyone at all even remotely familiar with the idea of God, this will say nothing new, even if it does provide a sagely-sounding tale.


Which one am I ? (none / 1) (#85)
by bugmaster on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 06:27:32 AM EST

I guess I fit into none of these categories. I liked the premise of the story (even though Richard Bach wrote a much better novel on the topic).

What's wrong with just appreciating good fiction ? Does every written text have to push some monumental philosophical point ? I don't think so. After all, most people are able to enjoy, say, the Lord of the Rings (the book, not the movie) without getting into arguments whether the Valar really exist.
[ Parent ]

It's a matter of having a point (none / 1) (#86)
by Eater on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 03:04:46 PM EST

With a title like "In God's Garage", and especially with the ATTEMPT to push a philosophical point, yes, it does have to, and it has to do it well too. Otherwise it's just plain cliche. And, for your information, the Lord of the Rings does have quite a bit of philosophical material in there, which is the reason the book became popular in the first place, as back then it didn't have Legolas being the hip scater dude he was in the film.


[ Parent ]
I'm religious... (none / 1) (#97)
by Matimus on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 03:34:50 PM EST

and I enjoyed the story. I'm a Christian (though I don't like to use that term). To me this story doesn't have to 100% represent what I believe is the truth, it just paints a picture that helps explain why bad things happen, which is a hanging point for many people. The answer as I see it is that man has been given free will. God could not change things without affecting mans free will. It is in that context that his creation is perfectly broken.

Of course I can see why the Muslims would be upset with the story, apparently Jesus was the last thing that God did, and Mohamud (sp?) was just some guy.

s/Muslims/Mormons/ s/Mohamud/$(who started the mormons?)/
sigs r dum
[ Parent ]

This is an allegory (none / 1) (#81)
by komet on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 12:09:05 PM EST

about how Microsoft develops operating systems, isn't it? Isn't it?


-1 Nothing to see here... (none / 2) (#84)
by 123456789 on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 02:39:17 AM EST

"I'd tell them I found Jesus that would throw them off He goes by the name 'hey-sus' and steals hub-caps from cars Oh Jesus won't you hand me that crow-bar? To pry these goddamn nails out - they're beginning to hurt Crucified and all I got was this lousy tee-shirt" /bloodhound gang
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
You cannot change that which is; only that which may be.
Dialogue (none / 0) (#87)
by Haunting Koan on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 05:31:55 PM EST

I've never been a huge fan of the dialogue in your works, so this entry doesn't exactly lend itself to much appreciation from me.

Good effort, though.

check out the book "illusions" (none / 0) (#88)
by soje111 on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 12:48:41 AM EST

you should read the book "ILLUSIONS", i cant remember the authors name but ots the same guy who wrote "JONATHAN LIVINGSTONE SEAGULL" another cool story. anyway illusions is an awesome story about a guy who gets to spend a couple weeks with the creator. its a real easy read, i read it in two nights. it was real uplifting and seemed to lighten the load of so called reality.
the other guy was not a creator IIRC [nt] (none / 0) (#92)
by maluke on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 06:40:25 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Yeah youre right and that would make me wrong. (none / 0) (#94)
by soje111 on Sun Mar 07, 2004 at 01:35:06 AM EST

[ Parent ]
richard bach (none / 0) (#89)
by soje111 on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 01:03:18 AM EST

i rememberd the author of "ILLUSIONS", his name is RICHARD BACH.check it out youll enjoy it.
Can't help thinking of Morgan Freeman (none / 0) (#90)
by Bnonn on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 07:26:30 PM EST

After seeing Bruce Almighty. He just seems to fit right into the conversation.


Definitely better than... (none / 0) (#95)
by yaleman on Wed Aug 04, 2004 at 04:00:50 AM EST

those T-Shirts that say "I found Jesus, he was behind the couch" and so forth. Not to mention it's well written, not too short, not too long, and pretty funny :)

What I think.... (none / 0) (#96)
by cultureshock on Sat Oct 16, 2004 at 09:38:52 AM EST

I don't think it was a total cop-out on God's part he was fixing cars.

...that reminds me of a poem.. (none / 0) (#98)
by Daniel Lester on Thu Nov 04, 2004 at 06:53:10 AM EST

written by Stephen Crane:

God fashioned the ship of the world carefully.
With the infinite skill of an All-Master
Made He the hull and the sails,
Held He the rudder
Ready for adjustment.
Erect stood He, scanning His work proudly.
Then -- at fateful time -- a wrong called,
And God turned, heeding.
Lo, the ship, at this opportunity, slipped slyly,
Making cunning noiseless travel down the ways.
So that, forever rudderless, it went upon the seas
Going ridiculous voyages,
Making quaint progress,
Turning as with serious purpose
Before stupid winds.
And there were many in the sky
Who laughed at this thing.

Another fictional, entertaining explanation of God (none / 0) (#99)
by ImmortalityBlues on Thu Dec 30, 2004 at 05:20:29 PM EST

A friend of mine wrote a quick acedemic paper consisting of a dialog between a typical talkshow host and the personified notion of God from the Old Testament--with a twist: God is afflicted with amnesia. Another friend of mine alerted us to the fact that the "amnesiac God" idea was also used by Philip K. Dick in a novel that I don't remember the name of. Anyway it was funny and ended with God apologizing for not remembering that since Good and Evil did not yet exist, that it was unfair to expect Adam and Eve to understand that eating from the Tree was an Evil act. God: "Well let bygones be bygones." Interviewer: "You damned the whole of existence because of the Adam, Eve, and Tree incident, right? How can you let it go so easily?" God: "I SAID let bygones be bygones!"
"God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that." -- Joseph Campbell (1904-87), American mythologist
In God's Garage (a dialogue with the Creator) | 97 comments (49 topical, 48 editorial, 1 hidden)
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