And Ye Shall Heed

the Laws of Thermodynamics. For it is written that in the beginning was a nameless void, and out of the void emerged a tumult of fire and brimstone and photon and proton. Neither structure nor form was on the face of the deep.

The Lord created gravity, that He might have something to look at as the eons ticked by. And Lo, galaxies and stars and planets came to pass. One planet He called Earth because that is what it was made of. The Lord saw that the beasts and fowls and fishes of the Earth were not created equal. And the hairless creature with opposable thumbs and large frontal lobes was chosen to receive the Word.

But He saw that they were frail and flaky creatures that frittered their time away in the mall and the video arcade and the sports bar. He recognized the limitations of His creations. And He sighed and He reduced His list of rules from ten to three.

Commandment Number One: Thou shalt not create energy. Everything that happens has an effect and a cost. For it is written that there is No Free Lunch. That which lights your house and runs your car must deplete the fossil fuels of the world. That which makes you richer must make someone else poorer. Exercise not, and the energy you take in must make its way to your fleshy lobes. Each Big Mac and each Mister Softee shall end up in the love handles.

Commandment Number Two: Thou shalt not violate the trend toward disorder. Shit Happens. That which is nicely sundered will not stay that way for long. Hair gets mussed, keys get lost, CDs and spice jars get shuffled. And it is written that you shall spend much of your life saying “Has anyone seen my…” Like a shuffled deck of cards, the disordered will never become ordered. And the Lord called this Entropy.

Commandment Number Three: Thou shalt not exempt thyself from the first two commandments. No matter what bright light illuminates your dawn, you will in the end be burnt to a crisp or tossed into a shallow pit and eaten by maggots. And while you may procreate and spread your seed, the same fate awaits those who follow. And should you find a cure for aging and mock the Lord with immortality, the Sun will one day die and shelter life no longer. Fear not, that still gives you five billion years to spend in the mall and the video arcade and the sports bar.

And the Lord used strange vessels to bring his message to the people. His messengers were brainy middle-Europeans with bushy beards and names like Boltzmann and Clausius. They spake with thick accents and wrote in heiroglyphs and had questionable personal hygiene. But the Lord saw that they understood entropy. And they were blessed.

For it is written that the cream shall not unstir from the coffee. And the shattered glass shall not rise and assemble itself on the edge of the table from whence it came. And the single sock in a drawer will not be reunited with its brethren. And a fart that has been scattered by the four winds shall not reassemble into a noxious cloud (praise the Lord).

Wail not over the descent of your body parts. It is written that breasts will sag and jowls will fall. Skin will wrinkle and desiccate and bones will become brittle and break. Wail not over the loss of your brain cells: all that you learned will one day be forgotten. Entropy Shall Not Be Denied. For you may have your Shit Together and you may exult in your Attitude. But time will pass and you will think and act like a child once more.

Entropy was loose in the land. And the people saw this. And they were very afraid. They had worked mightily to bring a semblance of order to the world. Files had been put in alphabetical order, vestments folded and placed in receptacles, canned goods stacked in rectilinear rows. Everything had a name or a number. Everyone had to take his or her turn. People flocked to join the cult of Neatness, that they might fight the demon of disorder.

And the people sought to deny the Word of the Lord. They tried to get something for nothing with pyramid selling and gambling and routine pilfering of office supplies. They attempted to reverse the signs of aging. Many were those who used the wrinkle cream and the hair dye. Many more were those who went under the knife for chin tucks and breast implants. And liposuction was a force in the land. They thought they could exercise without breaking a sweat. In their foolishness they imagined they could tone their muscles, even as the Nikes sat unused in a hall closet. They indulged their gluttony by inventing synthetic forms of fatty food. For they were beholden to the Twinkie and the donut.

The Lord saw this and was vengeful. And He smote them with Cancer and Alzheimer’s and Mad Cow Disease. He sent down cosmic rays to scramble their DNA. He sent tumults from the sky, swirling winds with names that followed the alphabet, to rearrange their belongings. But His best trick was when he told them to be fruitful and multiply. For when they procreated, they sewed the seeds of Entropy.

Lo, even while there is peace in the house, discontent is heard in the land. A dwarfish multitude is descending from the hills. Behold the kindergartners. Like a plague of locusts, they move from room to room. Din and discord follow them like a cloud. That which was ordered is torn asunder. That which was clean is besmirched with Crayola and grime and booger. And there shall be much wailing and gnashing of teeth. And you shall cast them out into the wilderness from whence they came. But they shall return.

The Good Lord did not gloat when he saw this chaos. But even He could not resist a good Smirk.

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