The Abridged History of the Universe
by Alex Fields
14500002000 B.C.--24001 B.C.
Fourteen and a half billion years ago, in the very universe we live in, God created the heavens and the earth. It is an odd fact that God used the term 'heaven' to refer to everything other than the earth for two reasons:
(1) The term is also used to refer to a place of eternal happiness in which God himself abides. Failure to make the proper distinction between these two uses of the word eventually lead to a great many totally unnecessary debates.
(2) 'Heaven' is an English word, and at that point in time the English language had not been created.
God then created animals and plant life. The universe was perfect, and thus, a sentient race was needed to screw everything up. God created man. He looked down upon this new creation, but, contrary to popular belief, He did not think it was good; this was a minor embellishment added to the story at a later date. In reality, God realized He had just made the worst mistake the universe would ever see. By this time, however, it was the seventh day of the week, and even God must rest on the Sabbath. God let out a sigh of futility and returned to his study to rest.
24000 B.C.--11001 B.C.
God had originally planned to repair the damage He had done by creating mankind, but He soon found that the incredibly depth of human stupidity was really rather amusing. After all, life gets rather boring when you're a perfect being in command of a perfect universe. So He decided to postpone Armageddon for a few millenia.
There came a time, however, when humans were so evil it was no longer funny--at this point, it became hilarious. Despite this fact, God was morally perfect, so He was obligated to try to show the humans the error of their ways. He did this in the least subtle manner that occurred to him; he caused a massive flood that wiped out all of civilization and killed all men except for a guy named Noah and his family. Furthermore, God shortened the lifespan of humans from 900 years to a mere 120 years (it was beginning to get repetitive). Noah wept at this horrible (but necessary) tragedy. The marine life had a blast, however, and to make it up to Noah, God made a pretty rainbow.
11000 B.C.--4 B.C.
Several thousand years passed uneventfully. The only things that happened during this time involved a race of people called the Hebrews. These things are probably of great interest to a Jew, but they're really quite insignificant to anyone else; it isn't as if the Jews were God's chosen people or anything. And anyway, this is the abridged version of the book (the unabridged version is really quite long, and I wouldn't recommend trying to read it; no one who's tried has lived through the first .0000000000000000000000000000000000000000001th of a second of the big bang).
There is, however, one man whose life was of enough interest to mention. This man was Moses. He was born to a Jewish family, stuck in a basket, sent down the river, and discovered by the Pharaoh's daughter--you know the story. After he'd lived in the desert for a good while, a bush lit itself on fire and starting talking to him.
Now, it may sound odd to you that a bush caught fire on its own and even talked. What you must realize is that this happened a very long time ago, and such things were not so unusual back then. Some people will tell you God lit the bush and used it to talk to Moses; this simply is not true. In fact, the bush was just very lonely and needed someone to talk to, so it lit itself on fire and claimed to be God in order to keep Moses around. It died of third degree burns an hour later.
Moses went to Egypt to talk to Pharaoh. This was a rather intimidating business for him, as he was uneducated and stuttered badly. God had pity on the poor fool, however, and He decided to help out. Twelve plagues and a passover later, Moses was leading the entire Hebrew nation out of Egypt.
At one point in his trek across the desert, Moses climbed a mountain to have tea with God. While he was gone, the other Jews melted all of their jewelry and built a golden calf. The proceeded to convince themselves it was a god, and they worshipped it. God knows why they did this (he is omniscient, after all).
Moses returned from the mountain with 10 commandments written on a pair of stone tablets. Unfortunately for the other Jews,
one of these commandments involved not worshipping any idols, so Bessy had to go.
3 B.C.--30 A.D.
Three years before the date on which everyone thinks he was born, in the middle of the summer, Jesus was born. This was odd for two reasons. First, his mother named him Yeshua, and everyone called him that, so it's really uncertain wh his name was really Jesus. Second, his mother (Mary) was a virgin, and virgins usually don't have children. She was quite startled, but she had a dream in which a guy with wings and a halo told her the baby was the Son of God, so everything was all right after that.
When he was thirty years old, Jesus started to preach. He taught about great things like love, faith and hope. For the first time in history, a man lived a crimeless life and encouraged others to do the same. Consequently, he was arrested, beaten, whipped and nailed to some beams of wood.
After Jesus' death, his twelve disciples became apostles and went around living well and, like Jesus, preaching that others should do so as well. They too were nailed to beams of wood.
31 A.D.--476 A.D.
The Romans persecuted Christians for several hundred years. Then, they made Christianity their offical religion. Not too long after that, an army of gothic people (Visigoths, to be exact) sacked Rome and made themselves rulers.
477 A.D.--1094 A.D.
A while after the fall of the western Roman empire, the eastern Roman empire changed its name to the Byzantine empire, claiming that it was embarassed to bear the same name as an empire that had been conquered by a band of goths. This was a controversial decision that no one really cared about.
Meanwhile, a man called The Buddha was born in Asia. He was an atheistic philosopher who taught about nirvana (whether he had travelled to the future and seen the grunge rock band, or this was just a staggering coincidence, we will never know) and how to reach it. His followers were called, amazingly enough, Buddhists. Later, a group of Buddhists would inexplicably decide to claim that Buddha was a god, and they would worship him. We call this group Zen Buddhists ('Zen" means 'stoned' in a foreign language).
Next came the Vikings. They were a group of fierce warriors who invaded much of Europe for no apparent reason and were rather angry because they hadn't won the Super Bowl in a while. Finally, the Viking capital of Culpepper was sacked by a team of English patriots, and the war ended soon after.
Soon after, a dynasty of Persians called the Shiite Persians dominated Caliphate. This wasn't very important except that the Shiite Persians had a funny name.
1095 A.D.--1453 A.D.
Under the direction of Pope Urban II, the English set off on a Crusade against the Arabs. Their stated purpose was to reclaim the Holy Land and glorify God. It's interesting to ponder how they thought they would glorify God by breaking several of his commandments without justification; perhaps men just weren't very clever in the medieval ages. Six more Crusades followed the first, but eventually the English must have realized that they were never going to win, and that they were doing quite the opposite of what they had intended.
The medieval ages ended in the 1400s when the Ottomans conquered the Christian capital of Constantinople. The Turks would later assume control of Constantinople and change its name to Istanbul for no reason that anyone ever figured out.
1454 A.D.--1775 A.D.
In the three centuries following the end of the medieval ages, lots of cool stuff happened. One such cool thing was the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. Columbus didn't really discover America, so to speak, since there had been people leaving there for thousands of years, and the Vikings found it before him anyway, but don't tell him that.
A century or so later, William Shakespeare was born. Shakespeare wrote many plays (37, to be exact), and also some beautiful sonnets. Shakespeare's writing continues to this day to entertain readers just like Charles Dickens's doesn't.
Soon after this, a group of men and women with the audacity to follow their religion properly broke off from the Catholic church and sailed to America. After arriving there, they proceeded to contradict their original goals and terrorize the Indians (who were not from India).
1776 A.D.--1880 A.D.
After the pilgrims ran away from the British and setup colonies in America, the British joined them and began to rule them once again. The pilgrims grew fed up with this. Not only did the British have high taxes; they also drank tea entirely too often. Fortunately for the Americans, the British marched in tight ranks, fired all at once, and wore large Xs directly over their hearts. Needless to say, the British were soon defeated and sent whimpering back to England, tea bags and all.
In Europe, a very short man named Napoleon took control of France and tried to take over the world. This was probably because of the great stressed caused by his classmates teasing him about his height.
In Ameirca, the War of 1812 took place. This was the time when the British came in, burned the American capital, and ran away again. It was similar to the loser of a race making rude faces at the winner and then hiding behind his big brother. Oddly enough, the majority of this war did not actually occur in the year 1812.
1881 A.D.--1940 A.D.
Trouble brewed in the United States. Figuratively speaking, that is. You see, the southern states weren't big fans of African-Americans. So they made them into slaves and forced them to work in the field with little food or drink and no entertainment (not even a cinema!). The northern states didn't like this. They told the southern states to stop. They wouldn't. Having no other choice, the people of the northern and southern states began to shoot at each other. Apparently the northern states did a better job of shooting, because they ended up winning the war.
In 1887, Canada became a country. (How did that make the abridged version?)
World War I took place. Nobody knows what started this war or even who won. In fact, nobody talks about it at all.
Meanwhile, the Chinese came to the stunning realization that everyone else in the world already had electricity and cars and democracies. It was as if they'd been secluded for hundreds of years. They became a republic and proceeded to mass produce cheap toys.
1941 A.D.--2003 A.D.
A man named Adolf Hitler took power in Germany. He led a group called the Nazis which differed from the rest of the world in one notable way--they hated the Jews, while everyone else just found them exceedingly boring. The Nazis then killed alot of people and tried to take over the world. Before they could succeed, the Japanese attacked an American harbor. The Americans didn't like this, so they grabbed a pair of nukes and blew the #)(*#$@*)(& out of Japan. The war ended.
Next came the Cold War. This is an odd name since the Cold War was not a war. Nor was it any different in temperature than any other time in history. Basically, this was a time when a few different countries stared threatingly at each other but never actually did anything.
Also during this time period, the New Age movement became popular. This is quite possibly the one thing in all of history that caused God to stop laughing and start smacking his head against his desk.
In the 21st century, Osama Bin Laden sent airplanes crashing into key structures in the United States. Afterwards, the United States responded in its usual manner; it shot the crap out of Iraq and Afghanistan. During this war, the U.S. army captured three of Bin Laden's chief generals--Bin Sleepin, Bin Drinkin, and Bin Smokin. Bin Workin, however, managed to escape.