The Garden of Eden…(NRSV)

I know I’m not alone when I say that I’ve never understood the creation story in Genesis. Maybe God did create the world in seven days. That’s all fine, but I don’t get the Garden of Eden story.

My problem is that whether it’s literal, mythological, metaphorical or hallucinatory I don’t get the deal about the apple. I’m supposed to believe that God created a garden paradise, then made Adam and placed him in the garden, then fashioned Eve from one of Adam’s ribs to be his companion. So far so good – two perfect, beautiful, naked prototypes in paradise.

Then it gets a little murky; Adam and Eve get set up with everything they could possibly want – fruits, vegetables, beautiful bodies and all that good stuff. There was only one stricture; don’t eat the fruit of one tree – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 

You know how it plays out of course; Eve chats up the snaky Trump loyalist who suggests a little forbidden fruit and Adam, poor dumb schlub that he is, falls for it. The rest is history. Really? An apple? Even Donald Trump, one of God’s dumbest creations, chose the babe with the beautiful body over the knowledge of good and evil.

It’s more than I can get my head around, so I’m proposing a rewrite, an updated version. After all, the Bible has an NRSV (New Revised Standard Version). The editors just didn’t get around to updating the Garden of Eden story. Here’s how I would tweak it; the setup is the same with the garden paradise, trees, beautiful bodies, etc. I might even throw in a beach if it’s going to be perfect. I like beaches. 

I’m taking my cues (and liberties) with Michelle Obama’s “When they go low, we go high” but in my (NRSV) story I’m going with inversion; when Eve goes high for the apple, Adam goes low for the blue agave.

Now we’re talkin’. We’ve got conflict. We’ve got a choice. We’ve got a real story. Apples vs. Agave? Cider vs. Tequila? Sin vs. Obedience? Heaven vs. Hell? Think of how happy Adam and Eve would have been; together forever in paradise, beautiful bodies, luscious fruits, and an endless supply of aged, extra anejo tequila. 

I have a long and checkered history with tequila. Among a certain group of Pan Am pilots I will always be TJ – Tequila Jack – a long scary story that involved pilots, a union strike, too much distilled agave, my head and a cement parking stanchion.

Nevertheless, God was forgiving and I survived. I am still TJ and a devoted tequila drinker. And, as if the taste and pleasure weren’t enough, M, that best of all gift givers, saw a special release in 2003 and gave me birthday bottle of Jose Cuervo de la Familia, top of the line in the Cuervo arsenal. In 1995, Cuervo introduced its artist series to celebrate the brand’s 200th anniversary and served it up in an artist designed box, each bottle numbered, dated, and sealed with wax. 

M’s 2003 gift has special significance because in those years we were going to Europe every year to ride our bikes and the 2003 box showed a bike rider.

Little did we know it would become an annual tradition and collection. We have 11 of the boxes now. Not every year but a bunch. That first purchase was $103 – crazy expensive – but this year’s was $164 – even crazier. Nevertheless, it’s been fun collecting them and drinking up the extra anejo inside.

It turns out my fame as TJ did eventually extend beyond the pilot group, and one night a couple of years ago a dinner guest of ours showed up with his own addition to the artist series and a bottle of Don Julio made to order. A perfect fit. John Bush is my dentist, ski buddy, and an amazing wood worker. Here is what he wrought and brought:

And here are three of my favorite Cuervo boxes:

I know it’s a stretch, but I’m glad Eve and the Trump surrogate snookered Adam into taking a bite of that apple. Otherwise, everything would be perfect, Adam and Eve would still be in Eden and we’d probably be drinking OJ instead of agave’s beautiful amber nectar. 


  1. Thanks, Jack. Your offering are always a treat. I am too cheap to purchase such high-end beverages – but I still have three fingers left in a 950ml bottle of ANTIGUO DE HERADURA REPOSADA, smuggled over the border by our old friend from Beverly Glen – can’t remember if he gifted it or The Chief did so after his passing.

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