The Missing Tablets


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By Sue Wighton- Accidental Writer…..Website and blog:

So, in January 2022 did you take stock of the year that was and resolve to do better this year? I’ve never been one for elaborate new year resolutions. And in these trying times, I reckon just scraping through in spite of modern abominations – COVID, the proliferation of rogue apostrophes in public life, G-strings, MyGov – is good enough.

And now we’ve endured a flood of ‘Biblical’ proportions. Thus, sayeth the mainstream media.

in our Western tradition, these rules first appeared on tablets. Of course, we take tablets for granted these days. Mainly the technological ones I mean. They’re so light and powerful and packed with information. And then there is the other kind – the ones we take for various ailments. My motto for life has ever been, ‘Just keep taking the tablets’! I seriously love a good tablet.

But once upon a time in a land far away, there was another heavier, more rustic kind of tablet, also very powerful and carrying important information. On a special two of these tablets were etched the ten commandments we all try to live by.

We can thank Moses for delivering the tablets with their inspiring messages to us as chronicled in the Old Testament.

What many people don’t realise is that Moses had four tablets when he started out. Wild hey? He stumbled on his way down the mountain. Well, you try carrying four stone tablets down a rocky mountain with no trolley. They’re bloody heavy. Awkward too. So, two of the tablets were smashed into smithereens, Moses very nearly broke a hip, and the commandments on the smashed tablets (another ten as it turns out) were lost to eternity.

Until now. Recently a team of archaeologists discovered the fragments in a hidden valley in the Holy Land and have painstakingly pieced them together. We’re all familiar with the first ten commandments – no idols, no swearing, adultery, don’t murder, yah da, yah da, blah, blah, blah. And I’m getting better every year at accommodating most (well, some) of these in my life. But it now gives me great pleasure to pass on to you the additional ten that Moses dropped – the ones you never knew existed. I give these to you in good faith secure in the belief that over this year, you will follow these injunctions wisely. Surely then your 2022 will be better than 2021.

Let’s pick up after the tenth commandment about coveting thy neighbours’ kerbside rubbish. (Well, it’s something like that.) Commandment Eleven: Men – thou shalt never wear a beard without an accompanying moustache. Thou willst look like a garden gnome. Unless you’re National Treasure, Thomas Kenneally. We love you, Tom. Women – beards are optional.

Twelve: Thou shalt neither talk nor text on thy mobile phone whilst perambulating in the fields. Misfortune in the form of marauding bulls or random serial killers willst befall you, as surely as night follows day. Thirteen: Thou shalt honour the mighty choc top ice cream. Always consume one of these delicacies in the moving picture theatre. Even though most will end up on thy shirt. Because the Lord made the choc top in all its divine and myriad flavours and, yea verily, it is good.

Fourteen: Thou shalt not check thy emails on thy mobile phone/ do thy make-up/ read the last chapter of thy book / whilst in a supermarket parking lot – knowing that someone is waiting, engine running, to snaffle your park. Fifteen: Thou shalt not wear sandals and socks. That way lies madness.

Sixteen: Thou shalt swim between the flags. Mostly. Seventeen: Thou shalt not bang on and on about thy grandchildren; neither willst thou post copious images of them on social media. Eighteen: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s air fryer. Get thine own.

Nineteen: Thou shalt not form a folk or rock band out of nostalgia or desire alone. Talent and musical skills are required. For God will smite thee for thy lack of musical ability and for inflicting it on the rest of us philistines. Twenty: Thou shalt eschew the packet gravy. Make it from scratch. Thus, saith the Lord. And Moses’ final word? Just keep taking the tablets.