Monday, August 05, 2013

Two Tickets To Paradise

"Scientists" believe that "The Garden of Eden" has been "discovered" and "restored." I apologize for the number of quotations in that sentence. Just be glad you didn't have to read it out loud. You would be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome from executing all those air quotes. That discomfort is probably on a par with the soreness I experienced after rolling my eyes after reading the story describing this archaeological feat. I got the same vibe from this story as I did way back when I heard about how Noah's Ark had been found. The great thing about these discoveries is that they can now be turned into the fee-required National Parks that they always needed to be.
"The Garden of Eden" is going to be Iraq's first National Park. Want to see where it all started? Maybe order up a half slab of Adam's Ribs? This is the place! If you don't mind a little small arms fire mixed in with your explosions, that is. Apparently, while we were busing sowing democracy over there, we were able to plant a pretty solid idea about how to go about instilling a sense of national pride in the natural regions and history of the surrounding area. We just didn't manage to get the shooting to stop long enough to enjoy Paradise. Also, it seems that the damming of certain rivers and their tributaries while Saddam Hussein was in charge made it less a garden than a desert. Now the dykes have been broken and the water has returned, causing the reeds and water buffalo to come tromping back. No mention of serpents, however.
Just up the road in Turkey, where Noah's Ark came to rest, you can feel free to test your knowledge of cubits while trying to imagine just exactly what all that paired-off livestock must have smelled like. It's located quite close to what our Turkish hosts would like you to believe is the site of Soddom and Gomorrah, or what's left of it. Just a hop, skip and a pair of stone tablets away you can find Mount Sinai, or its tourist equivalent. Say what you want about the political unrest in the Middle East, but when it comes to Holy Places, they've got the market pretty well cornered.
The first National Park here in the United States was Yellowstone. Lots of grizzly bears, wolves, and herds of bison and elk, and more geysers than just about anywhere else on earth. But there's a pretty solid lack of biblical reference. If that's what you're after, and you don't want to spend the money and take the shots, yo could always settle for Holy Land in Orlando, Florida. The attractions tend to skew pretty solidly toward the New Testament, but if you've got a hankering to spend your Last Supper with the King of Kings, this is the place. And they've got a Best Western located just down the path to salvation.

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