COCK UP • by Jonathan Pinnock

God was pissed off. It was Friday afternoon, and the meeting with His Project Manager was going badly. Another bloody design flaw and the humans were due to go live tomorrow. The chance of a day off on Sunday was receding fast.

“It’s the reproductive system,” said the PM. “We intended to use the same mechanism as the amoeba, but it didn’t… sort of…”

“Work?”

“Er… yes. So we’ve gone for a binary approach instead. Trouble is, it’s too late to graft on any new bits. Anyway, one of our consultants had this idea of using the same organs as they’re using for passing liquid waste, and turning one of them inside out.”

“Another botched job…”

“Trouble is, turns out the man’s thing is too floppy to go into the woman’s thing. And if we make it stiff, the waste goes everywhere. Also, several of our prototypes broke theirs when they tripped over.”

“Can I make a suggestion?” interjected Lucifer.

“Go ahead,” said God, with a shrug.

“What if we make the man’s thing both floppy and stiff? Maybe there could be some special connection to the brain so that, ooh, I dunno, when they felt like reproducing, the man could make it go stiff.”

“Have you thought about the technology involved?” said the PM, bridling. “Quite apart from the psychological implications. Have you even considered how it might affect the rest of the brain?”

“Oh, you know me, I don’t do details,” said Lucifer. “But I’m sure you can make it a nice, elegant fix.”

The Project Manager was still protesting, but God was smiling. “I like it!” He said. “Just go and do it, okay?”

“Oh, Lucifer,” said God, as the PM left, “what in the world would we do without you?”


Jonathan Pinnock was born in Bedfordshire, England, and–despite having so far visited over forty other countries–has failed to relocate any further away than the next-door county of Hertfordshire. He is married with two children and a 1961 Ami Continental jukebox. His writing has won a number of prizes, short-listings and long-listings, and and he has been published in such diverse publications as Smokebox and Necrotic Tissue. He is ever so slightly ashamed of this story.


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  • K.C. Ball

    God would have a devil of a time getting along without Lucifer, wouldn’t he? 😉

    K.C.

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  • Glyn

    Simply made me laugh.
    Quite original!

  • You are just asking for puerile comments, you know. For instance, something like “If you happen to be passing” suggests “passing what, water?”

  • I love it Jonathan! I wonder what your Lucifer would make of the saying “the Devil’s in the details”? I gave it five stars because it made me laugh so much. 🙂

  • First off. This piece is asking for the religious guys to come slate it, as far as the wide audience is concerned…this isnt universally friendly. I’m pretty sure that last bit would really piss some christians off, especially catholics.

    Also you refer to them as man and woman…if they was orinally planned to aesexually reproduce they wouldnt have defined genders…the organs were just altered waste removal means remember?

    Regardless of the flaws it is still a good and clever story, i enjoyed it and admired the iea it used.

  • Avis Hickman-Gibb

    I simply loved this!!

  • kate beswick

    I loved this – it was puerile, silly, schoolboyishly naughty and it made me laugh a lot-thanks Jonathan. Oh , and great title as well

  • K.C. Ball

    Jonathan:

    Sorry about the first post. I couldn’t resist the pun; some of us think puerile is funny. 🙂

    So, I’ll take another whack … no, wait. I’ll attempt a serious post.

    The “creation of the world is a project” idea is cliched; it’s been done so many times before. But your story proves that fresh takes are possible.

    I liked the story, although I was nonplussed at first, but I was giggling before it ended. As I said, some of us think puerile is funny. My jokes are often called sophomoric.

    I am curious as to the response when readers here in the States get to your story. From what I can tell, all the other posts, so far, have come from Australia or Britain. I live in Seattle, eight hours behind Britain and seventeen behind Australia, but because of my sleep habits, I keep pretty much the same hours at you Brits.

    I think the title may get the most attention. It’s not so readily connected to making a mistake as it is in Britain, and so the pun may not be the first thing that comes to mind here.

    Anyway, don’t be ashamed of the story. It’s clever, even if it does have a fifteen-year-old mindset. 🙂

    K.C.

  • simon

    Most of Monty Python was pretty puerile so I don’t think there’s much to worry about on that front, Johnathan. ( That said, I was ever so slightly ashamed of smiling at this story! )

  • Without Lucifer, we’ve have no petards upon which to hoist ourselves. 🙂 Well done, Jon! What’s wrong with puerile humor? It’s hard work being an adult ALL the time!

  • Nice little piece!

  • Kathy

    Loved it! Made me laugh, thanks.

  • Mark Tomlinson

    I always wondered who was responsible for that messy business…great story Jon

  • Joss Hayes

    As you say – puerile, but hilarious!

  • CherylA

    Well done Jon – short and funny – just like most of the appendages in question!

  • Terri

    I’m sorry sex organs are funny–strange looking and funny. People can say female genitalia looks like a beautiful pink flower – NOT – and the male organ, well, it does in fact look like a mushroom, but I say-again-they are funny. But, heck, they work and that’s all that matters!

  • Great title. As to the man-woman thing–I took it they’d already been split up(the rib or side) so the reference works for me. Lucifer saying he doesn’t do details–too funny!
    Good job, Jon. LOL!

    –dj

  • anon

    Sacrilegious.

    Remember that because of God’s perfection, He does things right the first time.

  • anonymous

    Except, according to the Bible, Man. He kinda messed that up. But other than that, sure. Right the first time!

  • Dawn

    Liked the originality of this piece and the comment ‘the devil’s in the details.’ The project manager was such a nice touch, too. 🙂 Thanks for today’s laugh. –Dawn

  • Meg

    “I’m pretty sure that last bit would really piss some christians off, especially catholics.”

    I don’t think so; I’m Catholic, and (while I hold rather liberal views of evil), I think a lot of my fellows would almost agree with the final statement–though, in typically Catholic manner, they wouldn’t agree in a clean, straightforward way. 😉

    Funny story, Jonathan!

  • Jim Hartley

    Great!

  • Sam Douglas

    One of the few stories I’ve read here that was too darned short. You could have gone on a long way with this theme and it would have still been funny. I’m sure people are laughing because they (we) are identifying with it. In case there’s any doubt, I loved it. Great job.

  • So Spike Milligan. Beautifully told.

  • Well im certainly glad this was recieved well, i liked the story but had a feeling it was going to be recieved badly…but it wasnt, consider my first comment null.

    Good work Jonathan.

  • LMAO!!! Good story!

  • Nicely told. Good voice, Jon. Glad to see most of the Christians are either not offended by your story, or are turning the other cheek 😉

  • Many thanks for the comments, everyone, and I am so glad that no-one (apart from anon – oh, why is it always anon?) was too offended by it. To be honest, it isn’t really a story about religion at all. It’s more a case of looking at something and recognising a Friday afternoon kludge – I’ve spent far too many years in the software industry, and I can spot one a mile off.

  • DonnaG

    You’ve got a great way with titles, Jon. And this is a nice little piece of ‘flash’. 🙂

  • Hey Jon, nice little story. It made me laugh. Private parts are funny. No getting arond it. Good Job

  • Oh that was waaay too funny. 😀 Nice job, Jonathan. Thanks for the laugh!

    ~Merc

  • “the male organ, well, it does in fact look like a mushroom” – Terri, you are mistaken. Only mutilated versions look like that.

  • LOL! Jon, good one.

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  • kookimebux

    Hello. And Bye. 🙂

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