12: Joseph (Part III — Joseph’s dreamy!)
So far in the story, Joseph got dumped down a well, rescued, sold into slavery, nearly raped, and finally, sent to prison for some unnamed crime that God assures Joseph didn’t even commit. Whew! How’s that for adventure? His week’s been about as busy as mine, and it’s about to get a whole lot worse. The story picks up in prison, where Joseph is chatting it up with his cellmates:
36. Two other youths were imprisoned along with him. Said one of them: “I dreamt that I was pressing grapes;” and the other: “I dreamt that I was carrying bread on my head, and the birds were pecking at it. You tell us the meaning of this. You seem to be a righteous man.”
So Joseph is locked up with a couple of hippies (riiiighteous, maaaan). One of them dreams about making wine (or maybe just smushing grapes for no apparent reason), and the other dreams that birds are eating his head bread. They want to know what it all means. Last night I dreamt I had a twin and that she was going to take over my life for a while so I could go backpacking through Guatemala for a few months. No joke. I, too, would love to know what the fuck that means.
37. (Joseph) answered: “I will give you its interpretation before the food you are served arrives.
The fuck? Joseph starts shit-talking, saying he’ll interpret the dreams before the food arrives. Come on — they’re in prison. In pre-ACLU times. Is the service really all that great? Two shakes of a lamb’s tail might have been a more effective sentiment.
This knowledge is one of the things my Lord has taught me. I have given up the religion of those who do not believe in God and deny the life to come.
What’s with the deny the life to come bit? Plenty of non-Abrahamic religions believe in an afterlife. Even straight up pagans like the ancient Egyptians. Plus, Joseph has “given up” the religion of non-believers? Really? He’s a direct descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. See:
38. I follow the faith of my fathers, of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. We cannot associate anyone with God. This is among God’s favours to us and to all mankind; but most men are not grateful.
So double you, tee, eff? What religion has he “given up” for God? Wasn’t he kind of born into monotheism?
39. (Tell me) O fellow-prisoners, are a number of gods better, or one God omnipotent?
Oooh, I can answer this one. Multiple gods would be way better than just one. Here’s why:
- More ears to listen to prayers.
- More miracles.
- More stuff to go around.
- You’d get to pick and choose which gods you want to worship.
- Gods could compete over you!
- Some gods might be friendlier than, erm, this ass.
I’ll go with multiple gods, thanks. Or better yet, I’ll go with zero gods and keep living life like I’ve only got one shot at it. Anyway, Joseph goes on about how great God is for a while, greasing up God’s dick. And finally, just before lunch arrives, he interprets their dreams:
41. O fellow-prisoners, one of you will serve wine to your master, the other will be crucified and the birds will peck at his brain. Determined is the matter of your inquiry.”
…yipes. I bet I know which is which!
42. And (Joseph) asked the man he knew would be released: “Remember me to your lord;” but Satan made him forget to mention this to his lord, and Joseph remained in prison for a number of years.
Oh. Em. Gee. Seriously? God does jack shit while innocent old Joe goes to prison, and then he can’t even help the guy out with one simple request he has? All he wants is for one guy to tell his owner(?) that there’s a guy named Joseph in prison who can interpret dreams. And God, again, doesn’t do shit except blame it on Satan. What the fuck? You’d think Joseph would have the brains to say, “Hey, maybe there really isn’t a God and I’m wasting my time with this shit.” But Joseph most likely didn’t exist, so that’s just silly talk.
Once again, we fast forward to a new time. It could be a week later or a year later. Or 10 years later. Who fucking knows? An unnamed king had a nightmare and he shared it with his courtiers:
43. (One day) the king said (to his courtiers): “I saw seven fat cows in a dream being devoured by seven lean ones, and seven ears of corn that were green and seven others that were seared. O courtiers, tell me the significance of my dream, if you know how to interpret them.”
Seven fat could being eaten by seven lean cows? The fuck? Cows don’t eat cows …oh wait. They kind of do. Mad cow and all. Anyway, this is back in the grass-fed days, and suffice it to say that no cows were eating other cows. (Do they even have teeth capable of ripping into flesh?) And there are seven green ears of corn and seven burnt ears. Sounds like a pretty wild dream to me, but that doesn’t mean it means anything. Dreams are dreams, right?
That’s pretty much what the king’s courtiers said, too. “Who knows? They’re just dreams.” Until one guy suddenly remembers something from a long(?) time ago. I’ll give you two guesses as to who it is. Hint: it’s not the guy who had his brains pecked out by birds.
45. Then the servant, who of the two had been released, remembering (Joseph), said: “I will give you its interpretation; let me go for it.”
Oh now he remembers that guy! How very convenient! So he goes back to prison and asks Joseph to interpret the dream for him. If I was Joseph, I would tell the guy to fuck off. I mean, was it really such a hard thing to remember? You’re in prison and you get a new roomie. You tell him these crazy dreams you had, and he tells you that one of you is going to be crucified. And have birds peck his brains out. That’s not something you just forget. Especially when the guy tells you not to forget it. Just sayin’.
47. He said: “Sow as usual for seven years, and after reaping leave the corn in the ears, except the little you need for food.
48. Then there will come seven years of hardship which will consume the grain you had laid up against them, except a little you may have stored away.
49. This will be followed by a year of rain, and people shall press (the grapes).”
So Joseph’s big advice is eating only the corn you need, saving the rest for later. Isn’t that, like, common sense? I don’t blow my whole paycheck every time I get one? I use only what I need and put the rest in savings. It’s a fucking recession. Only the rich or the reckless are tossing their money around. Joseph’s advice ain’t exactly rocket science, right?
The king asks Joseph to come to him, so he’s finally free (no thanks to God). Joseph asks the king how the women with the cut-up hands are doing, so the king asks them. By the way, Joseph uses the word “guile” when describing them, because he’s a douchebag. The women say Joseph is innocent, and Mrs. Egypt confesses everything. Joseph feels all vindicated, and the king wants him to have a special place in his kingdom. Joseph knows just the spot:
55. “Appoint me over the granaries of the land,” (he said); “I shall be a knowledgeable keeper.”
56. Thus We gave Joseph authority in the land so that he lived wherever he liked. We bestow Our favours on whomsoever We please, and do not allow the reward of those who are good to go waste.
57. And certainly the recompense of the life to come is better for those who believe and follow the right path.
Of course. Now God steps in to take the credit! After he lets Joseph rot in prison for who-knows-how-long, even letting his one shot at escaping go to waste. After Joseph works to get himself cleared of all charges and freed from prison, lands a cushy job with the king. That’s when God steps in and says “Tada! Look what I did!” Perfect! And, even though the Quran doesn’t say so, I bet Joseph reacted the same way all brainless religiots react: by praising God and greasing up his dick some more. Isn’t that how this religion shit works?
That’s it for this installment. More coming up shortly! Thanks for being patient with this stuff, dudes. It’s been a pretty hellish couple of weeks on my end, and it doesn’t look like it’s clearing up anytime soon. I’m hitting the laptop as often as I can. Stay tuned!