The Pillars of Creation, 2014 Hubble Space Telescope - NASA

An Interview with the Creator

Nigel Gordon

The lads in the office had pushed me into asking the Creator for an interview. Well, after I had managed to get one with the Lord High Emperor somebody had joked, “He will be trying the Creator next!” So I did.

In actual fact it is not as difficult to get interviews with the high and mighty as most people think. They all have something they want to say, and welcome the chance to say it. Most of the time the reason you do not hear about them giving interviews is that nobody asks them. Most reporters try to avoid doing anything that might upset the really powerful, so they steer clear of asking for interviews. What they do not realise is that by doing so they are upsetting the powerful by ignoring them.

My approach is to ask everybody, but respect their wishes if they say no. This way I have been granted a lot of interviews. It is interesting that even those who say no often come back and give you an interview when they have something to say. They appreciate the fact that you did not pester them.

The surprising thing about getting the interview with the Creator, though, was the speed at which it happened. There I was sitting at my console dictating the letter to be sent to him — or at least his physical representatives on Earth — and the next moment I was being ushered into his presence. Then, he is all powerful and does know everything, or so they say.

I must admit that it was not all plain sailing though. In fact the first problem appeared more insurmountable than getting a Type 45 Astro-cruiser through the Megalanic Gap. (Oh, I know it can be done, but have you tried doing it?) There was I, all four meters fifty of me and there was the Creator, all infinity of him. Well. not quite infinity — actually, nowhere near infinity — but there was an awful lot of him towering above me. However, a few quick inter-spatial adjustments on his part corrected matters and I was quickly able to start asking those questions to which we all wanted answers, such as, “First, how did all this start?”

"I sometimes ask myself that," replied the Creator, as he brought a couple more of his eyes around to look at me. "You see, it was never planned. I didn't intend to create this universe. It just happened." At that point the Creator fell silent. That is the problem with interviewing the powerful: they may have something to say, but it can be hell getting it out of them. I had to do a bit more prodding to get him started.

"You see, I was existing here, quite bored. Well, you know how it is, one millennium is very much like another. Then there was this sudden flash of inspiration. Well, it would have been a flash but something was missing. I thought about it for a millennium or two. Sorry to be so vague about time but it didn't exist then, which made things a bit difficult. I could not work out what was missing. Something just wasn't right. Then, like a bolt from the blue — no, that's not right. I created a bolt from the blue after that, so a bolt from the blue is like it — it came to me. It wasn't a flash, because there was no light. So I said, "Let there be light," and there was light.

"That was a mistake. If you have ever walked out of a dark room into sunlight you will appreciate the situation. There I had been sitting around in the darkness for aeon upon aeon and all of a sudden I had filled the place with light. I had created light, but not sunglasses. I had also created for myself a headache, and there was no aspirin then!

"There is a basic problem with creation: things have to be done in order. Aspirin is made from a natural acid which comes from willows that grow in the earth. At that point there was no earth for the dammed willows to grow in so I could have my aspirin. So there was another thing I had to create, earth.

"I now had the earth and the light. Too much light. So I got rid of it. That was a mistake. Then I was in the dark with this waking great planet floating around. Well, you can guess what happened next. I had a bump the size of a planetoid and an even greater need for aspirin.

"Sitting around in the dark with a planet floating around was out of the question, but there was no way I was going back to that dammed light. What I needed was an in-between state. Then I got an idea. Night. Now you might think that night is day without light, but you would be wrong. Night is not dark, it is just darker. There is light there, twinkling away in the background, or spread around in a soft diffused form.

"Initially I thought up the idea of a couple of billion billion twinkling points of light. If I spread them around well I would be able to see that planet coming from any direction. You might think that would be easy. Have you ever tried making a couple of billion billion twinkling points of light? It was worse than doing the twiddly bits around fjords... and I got outside contractors in to do that job.

"To be quite honest, after a billion or so I got sick and tired of it. I just took all the material, rolled it into a ball and dumped it to one side. It was brilliant. It wasn't just a nice soft defused light in which I could see that dammed planet, it was a nice uniform lump which was easy to control.

"That gave me an idea. I got rid of the darkness and went back to the light. Grabbed hold of it and pushed the whole lot into one waking great ball. Now it was much more manageable, which is more than I can say for my hair."

(Editor's note. The Creator is known to be sensitive about his hair so we have edited out our reporter’s comments.)

"After that things were somewhat easier. I had day and night, the sun and the moon, and a billion or so stars. More were needed but I put that out to outside contractors. What I wanted was some aspirin, which meant growing willows.

"I got hold of the earth, and immediately regretted it. I've always thought that creating the earth was a mistake. Have you ever grabbed hold of a megaton ball of mud?"

The Creator was expecting an answer so I gave him one in the negative.

"Don't, is my advice. Your arms simply sink into it and you have one hell of a job getting the dammed stuff off. Also, because such actions had not been required before, I had nothing to wash in. So I separated the land from the water and washed my arms in the Pacific whilst rinsing my hair in the Medterranean.

"Another mistake. If you think it is polluted now, you should have seen it then. There were asteroids dropping in from all over the place and you could not be certain what they carried. All sorts of things drop off stars when you are making them.

"What was needed was something around the earth, a sort of protective bubble, a mass of gas. Now things were coming together. I would be able to get my aspirin as soon as I had some willows growing."

The Creator stopped speaking. There was no sign of an answer so I asked, "Why — if you just wanted willows — did you create so many life forms?"

"What do you think I am? All-powerful, all-knowing, always right?. Have you ever tried creating? It's not that easy. There is a knack to it, and one does tend to make mistakes at first.

"It is all a matter of getting the balance right. First of all I tried the direct approach. I created a willow tree, stuck in the middle of a waking great expanse of earth — I think you call it North America — and waited for it to produce the raw material for aspirin. No grass, no animals, no nothing; just this willow. It needed water, of course, so I sent across a couple of rain clouds. It rained; the water washed away the soil, and off went the tree.

"You just can't do it without balance. To get that you try all sorts of things. I thought I had cracked it with the dinosaurs. Everything seemed nice and balanced and the first set of plants that would turn into willows and give me aspirin were just starting to grow. So I turned my back for a couple of hundred million years to touch up the artwork on the Great Red Spot and they went and ate the lot.

"Right back to square one, I was. Is it any wonder that I plumped for mammals? Even then I made a couple of mistakes." The Creator paused. For a moment it seemed as if he had no wish to go on. Feeling that this was the critical point, I put the question.

"No, no, my dear boy, I never set out to create mankind; he just sort of happened. Once it happened, of course, it seemed too good an opportunity to miss. Now where did it happen?

"Ah, yes, it was just to the left of that rather long gap which is going to open up in Africa in a couple of million years. Slightly below the desert. That's where she came from. Eve, the first woman — and was she a woman!

"Actually she wasn't the first, or even the second. There had been a number of earlier tries, but none of them had really got going. Oh, they had done all right for a time, but something always seemed flawed in their basic make-up. That generally was the problem, make-up: the females were generally more interested in making themselves look good with five or six shades of mud than anything else. They had no interest in breeding. Every time a man came near them they would warn him off with words to the effect that he would crack their latest hairdo. No wonder those races died out.

"Eve was different. She could smell a man a day’s march away and she would be off after him. You must remember there were not that many men around then. And after Eve had been around for a bit there were even fewer, although there were plenty of children.

"That woman kept me entertained for ages. It was the men who were the problem. They were weak-willed and only came into season once or twice a year. I had to do something about that. The answer, of course, was a man who could really keep it up. I made Adam. Now he was some man. Unfortunately there are very few of his direct descendants left now, though I think there are some in the desert areas of Botswana and South West Africa.

"Anyway, with Eve and Adam I had a really good show going, and to enjoy the whole thing better I put them in the garden where I was growing my willow.

"Of course, things were just too good to last. Having given Eve a man who could match her sexual demands, I found that Eve was not able to match Adam's. Pretty soon Eve was complaining of headaches, much to Adam's annoyance.

"Now, I don't know who it was who told Adam about it, but the next thing he was boiling down the sap of the willow to make aspirin. Well, that was one thing I was not having. That aspirin was for me! After all, who was it who had had the headache for two hundred billion years, Adam? I threw the pair of them out, and drank the aspirin.

"Well, that is what it was all about, really. I just needed some aspirin, so had to create the earth and everything which went with it."

I asked the Creator about the day-to-day management.

"Oh, I quickly got bored with that. Appointed a manager. Good chap, though he did tend to show favouritism to a small tribe on the south eastern shores of the Med. Had a bit of trouble with one of his sons at one point; otherwise no problems. Couldn't do with all that administrative work myself."

At that point the Creator stood up, returning to normal size. Making it quite clear that the interview was at an end, he turned round, flicked his tail over his arm and walked off — presumably to get his horns sharpened, and his hooves polished.

Copyright © 2015 Nigel Gordon

My thanks to Alien Son for his assistance in editing. The mistakes are mine; I did not follow all his suggestions.

And yes, I do acknowledge that ‘twiddly bits around fjords’ is from Douglas Adams, where else do you think I got the idea of outside contractors from?