The Egyptians Kick Some Butt

BACK AROUND 3000 BC, the world was a pretty boring place. There was no Oprah to watch, no radio to listen to, and no good literature to read. (Like this book, for instance, or them romance novels you probably pore over all day.)

Then some very wise Egyptian sat down and said, "Boy, wouldn't it be wonderful if I could somehow be able to tell every one about my great knowledge even after death!"

So he invented the first alphabet. And he wrote down many of his most important discoveries - like the plant extract that could cure every disease known to man, the mystery of life, the secret to world peace, and the "philosopher's stone" which could turn the basest of materials into pure gold.

And he wrote and wrote and wrote for the last twenty years of his life. He wrote every discovery he had ever made, and when finally it was his time to die, he said, with a smile on his lips, "Read my scrolls and tell my discoveries to people everywhere." And then he expired.

But the dumb old coot had been so absorbed in his writing that he had forgotten to teach anybody his alphabet! So his family burnt all of his useless scrolls on the fire he had helped to discover.

After that, there really wasn't anything the Egyptians could do to salvage their reputation. And their lovely practices of forcing slaves to build tombs for their pharaohs and mummifying every important corpse they came upon didn't help, either.

The Egyptians in the mid-second millennium BC, frankly, were stuck up pigs. They were big on slavery, and every time you looked around, they were building giant obelisks to commemorate one thing or another, such as the 457th Annual Egyptian National Cultural Fair(1) at Thebes, or the Camel Milk Festival(2) at Heliopolis. And then, of course, they were all cat people. Now in life, I believe there are "dog people" and there are "cat people"(3). The Egyptians were definetly "cat people". Cat shrines were everywhere. If you ran over a cat with your chariot, or even looked at a cat the wrong way, the officials would condemn you to death.

It was into this world of the fifteenth century BC(4) that Moses, the prophet and lawgiver, appeared.

Moses (played by Charlton Heston) was an interesting character. He had just spent forty years in the wildernesses of Midian, taking care over the sheep (not to mention the seven daughters of Jethro).

He walked down the streets of Memphis a man with a purpose. Everytime anything Egyptian came into contact with him he cringed, not wishing to get any of their contamination on him. His eyes glowed as he walked down the main street to the Pharaoh's Pleasure Pyramid, the seedy governmental center where all the political scum of metropolitan Memphis hung out. The Pharaoh himself was the slightly dotty master of ceremonies.

The Pharaoh (played by Yul Brynner) was seated in his court in the depths of the Pleasure Pyramid. He was having a hard time of it lately, and none of the amusing tricks his magicians could conjure up were cheering him up.

An all too familiar voice rang out in the hall. "LET MY PEOPLE GO!!!!!!!" Moses was screaming at the top of his lungs. As he walked on, his voice grew quieter. "LET MY PEOPLE GO!!!" he yelled. He entered Pharaoh's court. "LET MY PEOPLE GO-OH-OH-OH!" he bellowed, adding a trill at the end. He walked within five meters of Pharaoh. "Let my people go!" he said. He ran up the steps to Pharaoh's throne. "Let my people go." he stated in a matter-of-fact tone. He then shoved his face within inches of Pharaoh's - "Let my people go." he whispered.

He then ran around the court laughing. "Let my people go!" he sang to the guards, the court magicians, and any passersby.

After a while he stopped this, and started singing, "I-am-better-than-you, I-am-better-than-you," and started to sing faster, taunting Pharaoh, like so, "I-am-better-than-you-I-am-better-than-you," and annoyed Pharaoh to no end.

"All right, you are better than me," Pharaoh admitted, reluctantly. "I have done wrong. NOW TAKE YOUR $@#% PEOPLE AND GET OUT OF MY SIGHT!!!"

Moses did as he was told, singing all the way out of the building.

"Now hear me! People of Canaan!" Moses yelled to the crowd of Israelite slaves. "Pharoah has declared you free! You must come with me and travel to the land God has promised us!"

"Aw, get off it!" one of the slaves yelled. "We'll never be free!" another slave chimed in.

Moses danced into the mud pits and started unchaining the Israelites one by one.

"Hey, what do you think you're doing?" one of them asked. "Do you want to kill us all! We're not free!"

"But yes you are!" Moses said.

"Yeah, well, who said? You? Who are you?"

"I'm Moses!!" Moses said, exasperated. "I'm your divinely appointed leader." He continued unshackling the slaves.

"Get off it! You expect us to believe that? Anybody can just say he's our divinely appointed leader."

"Oh, stop before you kill us all! Even if Pharoah did say we were free, he'd change his mind in a flash and have us all killed!"

"But that's not the point!" Moses explained. "Pharoah did say you were free, and if we run, even if he changes his mind, he won't be able to reclaim us!"

"That's exactly the point," a slave rebutted. "He wouldn't be able to reclaim us. In his fury he'd just kill us and be done with it."

"You morons!" Moses yelled, getting mad. "Why did I even bother? You don't want to be free."

Some observant slave in the back added, "Oh, I see, 'why did I even bother.' Weren't you divinely appointed?"


"Well then why do you keep going on about how it's you who is freeing us?"

Moses finally went off the deep end.

"You haven't seen what I've seen," he said in a diabolical tone. "This stick that I have," he said, extending his rod out for the people to see, "...this stick that I have commands power. Power which you've never seen. If you doubt me I strike you down with leprosy, I will."

"He's mad."

"Sure, I want to follow him out into the desert."

"Fools, all of you!" Moses yelled. "Your chance to be free and you don't take it! Your chance, and your children's chance, for a future, for a life -" Here he went off into sobs.

At this, the Israelites started to remove their shackles.

"Oh blast, if you're going to cry about it."

"Boy, this is a mistake."

"Better than the mud-pits, though."

And so the Chosen People left their bondage in Egypt. Of course, if they had realized that those bonds collected 15.5% tax-free interest per annum - whoops, wrong bonds.

Anyway, Pharoah, like the grumblers figured, decided to come along and kill them all, good sport that he was.(5)

About forty miles away, on the banks of the Red Sea, the Israelites were about to settle down and make camp when they noticed the dust clouds they assumed were the Pharoah's approaching armies.

They were quick to complain to Moses.

"Oh, no, we are doomed!" they screamed. "Pharoah's armies are coming to annihilate us!"

"Well, don't whine about it! I mean, what do you expect me to do? Part the Red Sea?"

At which, naturally, the waters of the Red Sea parted.

"It's a miracle!!!" the elders of the tribes cried out.(6)

"Well, you take them as you get them." Moses replied.

And the rejoicing Israelites crossed the ocean bed to the other side. And Moses led the people in singing and dancing to the rejoicing melody of tambourines.(7)

As they reached the other side, the seas returned to their original position. However, another dust cloud appeared on the horizon.

It was the Pharoah's fast approaching armies!

The Pharoah rode up to Moses and said to his face, "I tricked you! That other dust cloud you saw was merely our fleet of Divine Ice Cream Trucks headed for Memphis to bring joy to our bald-headed Egyptian children! Completely harmless, I assure you! And now you die!" With the last word, a veritable river of spittle flew into Moses' face.

But it was not to be - at that moment, a great earthquake occurred, and the ground broke up under Pharoah. And they all fell off the edge of the world!

And the Israelites went off to wander in the desert for forty years. Moses may have been a great prophet, but he had absolutely no sense of direction.

While in the desert, God gave the people of Israel the Ten Commandments, which I'm sure you all know by heart.(8)

However, since Moses hated to be left out of anything, he appended something called "the Ten Suggestions" to the back of the tablets the Ten Commandments were inscribed upon. And thanks to another top-secret Pentagon experiment in which two American spies travelled back in time, I have here the complete text of this most important document that will be censored out of all future public school textbooks:

1. Thou should not accumulate more than five moving violations(9) lest thou wish your license to be suspended.

2. Thou should not eat refrozen ice cream.

3. Thou should not defile your brain by considering any claims made on an Infomercial, no matter how shiny the host(ess)'s teeth are, how successful the inventor is, or how useful any living entity thinks the product is.

4. Thou should abstain from swimming for an hour after eating.

5. Thou should not mix chlorine bleach and cleanser together unless thou hast a thing for poison gas.

6. Beware of people who keep potted cacti.

7. Never play poker with anyone named "Tex", "Slim", or "Stiletto".

8. Thou should not use bubble bath if it irritates your urinary tract.

9. Ignore all suggestions that are even numbered, contain the letter "r", or have an odd number of conjunctions.

10. Considering the claims of suggestion 9, shouldn't you reject it, and thus not ignore any suggestions that meet the provisos? Of course, if you ignore statement 9 because it fits its own criteria for rejection, then you are fulfilling the ninth statement, and to be consistent, you should reject all other suggestions, including this disclaimer. Therefore, you should ignore all of these suggestions. That's why they're called "suggestions", anyway. They're not commandments.

See flip side of this document for divine commandments received on Mt. Sinai.

However, once Moses had declared the receipt of the divine commandments to the Israelites, all of a sudden, lightning bolts struck down the two American spies recording the event.(10) Oh, well. That's what they get for trying to rupture the space-time continuum. Onto the next chapter, another exciting leap forward into "WORLD HISTORY!!!"

1. September 11-19, 1573 BC.

2. May 29, 1488 BC.

3. There are also "crustacean people", but these are very rare. Believe me, if you ever meet one, you'll know.

4. January 10, 1421 BC.

5. Actually, he was. Ancient hieroglyphics tell us he was a great archer as well as a fantastic bowler.

6. You may note the similarity of the elders of the Israelites to the elders of the pre-corporate Sumerians (see

ch. 1). It was always the elder's job to distinguish miracles from everyday events, because the young folk were too ignorant of the way of things to tell.

7. The tambourine was the traditional ancient Israelite commencement gift.

8. Not.

9. Some scholars believe that twenty parking violations is equivalent to five moving violations.

10. The government will disavow any actions attributed to these spies while under their top secret orders.

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