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Astronomy before Galileo’s telescope: first, you wait for a clear night, and second, you look really hard.

Third, you keep looking for the rest of your life.

One night a new star appears in Cassiopeia, and an archangel appears on a hilltop. “Hark!” he yells at a startled man. “A king is born in who the hell are you?”

“I’m Tycho,” says the man, “and I don’t think that’s the right star.”

“Seriously? What year is it?”

Tycho tells him.

“Oh Christ,” says Gabriel, and leaps backward in time.

Tycho rubs his golden nose, blinking for the first time all week.


And on the eighth day, monkeys (who, finding themselves well-equipped, simply climbed the firmament) get into everything: the cloud inflater, the island wheel, the seraphs’ eye irrigator. The atmosphere gets pumped with nitrogen; the Big Kite becomes a Dipper. They never determine what happened in the glacier press, but it takes two millennia to clean.

“And we haven’t had a minute to watch the garden,” Gabriel fusses to his boss. “Have You considered what they might be getting into? I mean, why did You derive Your chosen stewards from these?

“这是无稽之谈,” his boss replies.

“Oh,” says Gabriel. “That makes sense.”