By Jack Sheedy
“I have much more to say, more than you can now bear.” - John 16:12
This universe began around 14 billion years ago.
On a Tuesday, I believe.
Meanwhile, this blog began ten years ago.
Just after lunchtime.
In that sense, I have a lot of catching up to do.
And man, am I hungry.
I have been busy of late – January, February, and March compiling and editing my new book (with Jim Coogan, titled Cape Cod Collected, now in stores), and April, May, and June working on a Cape Cod history newspaper supplement (again, with Jim Coogan, titled Summerscape, publishing near the end of June). What a shameless plug!
During those months I managed just three Off-the-Shelf blog entries – one each in January, February, and March – and a couple of starts in April and May that never reached fruition (one about doing my taxes and one on time travel). I’ve been searching for a theme for this year, figuring my muse, Thomas J. McSheey, was played out. I put some ideas down on the page – one being a series of treatise written with my Dachshund, Willie, but Willie wouldn’t cooperate - I think he was holding out for more dog treats (his preferred method of payment). And, besides, lacking an opposable thumb he had difficulty holding the No. 2 pencil.
Yet, as John related in his Gospel, I feel I have much more to say. If you can bear it.
Perhaps the best place to begin is at the beginning.
According to the Bible, in the beginning there was Heaven and Earth. According to Science, in the beginning there was Hydrogen and Helium. Which meant that way back in those early days Adam and Eve must have been rather buoyant and spoke in very high voices.
To follow the natural progression of logic, the next element created must have been polyester, for as soon as the honeymoon was over, and Eve had that encounter with the serpent at the apple tree, she and Adam found themselves woefully underdressed and in need of a wardrobe. So, they ventured to a local shopping mall and were soon fully clothed – Adam in a wide-collared unbuttoned shirt and bellbottoms, Eve in a halter-neck and rhinestone-studded slacks. Which all goes to prove that Religion and Science can coexist, and that clothing styles hadn’t changed much between Genesis and the 1970s.
In the early days – during the sans clothing period – Adam and Eve couldn’t keep their hands off each other. Everything was new and exciting. But eventually, with the arrival of children and the added pressures of everyday life, the physical side of their relationship began to wane. Adam threw himself into his work as a tax accountant and Eve took a part-time job in the school system and headed up the local PTA. In their spare time, Adam spent more time on the golf course and Eve took oil painting classes at the community college. Life chugged along, from mortgage payment to mortgage payment, from car payment to car payment, working 50 weeks a year and vacationing each summer at a little cottage they rented on the Red Sea.
After a time, Cain and Abel attended state university and afterwards, each went their separate way – Cain becoming a dentist and raising a family, Abel becoming a floral arranger and opening a shop with his partner. Adam and Eve, now in their middle age, found themselves empty-nesters. Adam took up pipe smoking while Eve joined a book club. Adam joined a men’s group while Eve took up knitting. Adam carved duck decoys in his garage while Eve attended yoga at the community center. It was all rather ho-hum.
Until one day… (We’ll continue this next time)
Jack Sheedy is co-author of Cape Cod Collected and Cape Odd. He has written the Off-the-Shelf blog since 2005.