Genesis 26: Whole Lotta Lot (Season 1, Episode 11)

What happens when famine strikes Isaac and his family? A wife gets passed off as a sister (again), God tries to talk down a suicide jumper, and a former king gets drunk and tries to kill someone.

This is the latest episode in a serialised narrative. If jumping into things mid-way doesn’t bother you, ignore this and keep reading. If you like to start from the beginning, check out the archive here.


WARNING

If you are a creationist, evangelist, fundamentalist, or biblical literalist, this will probably offend you.

If you have any sense of propriety, this will probably offend you.

If you have the capacity to be offended, this will probably do the trick.

If you're okay with that, then read on.

If you want to read on just so you can tell me how terrible I am and that I should never write another word ever again, feel free.

Who knows? It might actually work.


Ike and Becca are living the ancient Middle Eastern Dream.

They’ve got their kids, their tents, their livestock. A sweet little spot in the Negev desert, right out in the middle of butt-fuck nowhere.

What more do you need?

I’ll tell you what you don’t need, and that’s a famine.

And that’s exactly what happens just as Ike and Becca are getting comfortable in their new lives as parents and survivors of the zombie apocalypse.

The crops start to die, then the animals, and once they’ve chowed down on their very last goat, Ike’s like, “Fuck....now what?”

Probably something he should have considered a lot earlier, but Ike’s not really a forward-thinking kind of guy. He’s like his son, Esau, who just sold his birthright to Jake for a bowl of stew.

He was hungry, he ate.

Fuck thinking about what you’re gonna eat tomorrow, or the next day. That shit’ll figure itself out.

Also, we have to remember that Ike’s a zombie. People tend to forget that.

So, anyway, there they are, camped in the middle of the desert with no food. They send Esau out to hunt, but all the animals have gone off looking for greener pastures. They’re smart.

Ike – not so smart.

He starts staring at his wife and kids, licking his lips, thinking they look pretty good. There’s only so long he can restrain himself and Becca knows this. She sees that look on his pallid, undead face and she’s like, “Okay, we need to get the hell outta here and find some goddamn food.”

So off they go.

Pack up their tents and hit the road.

They’re heading over into Egypt, which is what you do in a famine, but before they can make any real progress, Ike sees God up ahead. He’s leaned against a tree, smoking a cigarette, just chilling out.

Ike’s like, “What up, man? Can I bum one of those?”

God hands him one, gives him a light. He says, “Listen, dude... I don’t want you going over into Egypt.”

Ike frowns, like, “Why not?”

“I just don’t.”

“You want us to starve to death instead?” He corrects himself. “Well, I suppose I’m the only one who’ll actually starve to death. I’m like a couple hours away from making one of those bread-bowl-and-dip things outta Jake’s stomach...”

“Why Jake?”

“He’s the weakest,” Ike says, simply. “But after that, I’ve only got two other loved ones to eat and then, that’s it. I’m done.”

God’s like, “Of course I don’t want you to starve. I brought you back from the dead, didn’t I?”

“Yeah, I been meaning to thank you for that.”

“You’re welcome,” God says. “But I didn’t bring you back just so you could bail when times got tough.”

“You think I wanna go to Egypt? I don’t have a choice, man – there’s no food here.”

“Your cousin’s got food.”

“Who, Lot?”

“Yeah.”

“Didn’t he overthrow my dad and send him into exile?”

“Yeah, but...come on. You spent any time with your dad?”

Ike shrugs, like, “Yeah, I guess. But that doesn’t mean he won’t kill me and my family the second we show up. He’ll probably think I’ve come to get revenge or reclaim my dad’s throne or some shit.”

God’s like, “Hey, man, I can’t figure everything out for you. All I can do is point you in the right direction.”

Then he takes one last drag, stomps his cigarette out, and disappears back up to heaven.

Ike stands there, smoking, thinking about it. Finally, he’s like, “Fuck it, we don’t have a choice.”

So he turns that wagon around and they head back the way they came.

When they finally reach the city of Gerar, they’re brought before the king, who also happens to be Ike’s cousin, Lot.

And Lot has gained some weight.

Like, a lot of weight.

Remember how Abe turned into Fat Abe, briefly, while he was king of the Philistines? And also how the guy before him was called Fat Abe, too?

Apparently, if you’re king of the Philistines, it’s a requirement that you’re just a colossal tub of shit. And, in keeping with the way we refer to Philistine kings, Lot is now Fat Lot.

He’s lying there in his lounge chair with the grapes and the chins and all that jazz.

Immediately, he’s suspicious, as Ike knew he would be. He’s also a little troubled by the fact that Ike’s clearly one of the walking dead.

“Don’t worry,” says Ike. “I’ve settled down, had a few kids. I’m good.”

Fat Lot’s like, “How do I know you’re not gonna stab me in the back?”

“You mean like how you stabbed my dad in the back?”

Fat Lot’s thinking, “Touché”, but he says, “Didn’t he sacrifice you? Why do you give a fuck if I betrayed him?”

“I don’t,” says Ike. “I’m just saying, you’re not exactly the portrait of honesty, either.”

“Hey, your dad fucked me over plenty of times. Almost literally on one occasion.”

Ike’s shocked. “Jesus, really?”

“Yeah.”

“Wow, I had no idea.”

“Well...he was an asshole.”

“Yeah, I think we can agree on that.”

The king looks over at Ike’s wife and kids.

“And this is your family, I take it?”

Ike goes to answer, then thinks better of it. He remembers something his dad once told him – “If you’re ever travelling in a foreign land and you find yourself talking to a king, tell him your wife is your sister. Trust me.”

As we’ve seen so far, that is objectively terrible advice.

But Ike wasn’t around for the two – not one, two – times that backfired on his dad, so now he’s thinking that Fat Lot’ll be a whole lot more likely to give them food if he thinks he’s going to get a little action out of the deal.

Ike clears his throat. “She’s, uh...my sister.”

Becca shoots him a confused look.

Fat Lot raises an eyebrow, intrigued. “Is she now?”

So that night, Fat Lot’s walking up to the penthouse, where Ike and his ‘sister’ are staying. He has to stop a few times on the way to catch his breath and by the time he gets there, he’s dripping with sweat. The nice clothes he’d put on for his date with Becca are pretty much soaked through.

There’s no way in hell he’s going back down to change, so he opens the door...and sees Ike and Becca having sex right there on the bed.

“Ike!” he says, recoiling in disgust. “That’s your sister.”

Ike and Becca freeze, but they don’t cover themselves up – like this is a momentary interruption, and they’ll get back to it as soon as the king’s gone. Or maybe they’re thinking his vision is based on movement. Hard to say.

“Yeah...” Ike says, sheepishly. “Sorry about that. I just thought you’d be more likely to let us stay if you thought you were gonna get a little action.”

“So, she’s your wife, then?”

“‘Fraid so, man.”

Fat Lot nods sadly and hangs his head. He goes to leave, but Becca’s like, “Hey, where you going?”

He turns.

Becca’s like, “We didn’t say you had to leave.”

Fat Lot raises an eyebrow. He looks at Ike, who’s just as surprised, but says, “Hey, man, if she’s down, I’m down.”

So, Fat Lot peels off his sweat-soaked clothes and joins in.

Next morning, Ike and Becca are tangled up in the sheets. Fat Lot’s standing there, naked. He’s got a dagger in his hand – not that dagger, a real dagger – and he’s weighing up whether or not he should kill this guy.

Ike lied to him, he’s mooching off him. Not to mention he’s Abe’s son.

The whole reason Lot even came to Gerar was because God told him Abe was there and he wanted Abe gone. He wanted Lot to kill Abe and replace him as the patriarch, but once Lot saw the luxury Abe was living in, he decided he wanted that for himself.

Fuck being the father of a great nation.

So when God eventually showed back up and was like, “Look...I asked Abe to sacrifice his son to make him disobey me, but the fucker actually went ahead and did it. So that whole deal we had where you kill Abe and become the new patriarch – that’s not happening anymore. It’s off the table.”

And Lot, who was balls-deep in one of his concubines at that precise moment, shrugged and said, “Meh.”

Then he went right on being a king.

Back in the present day, Fat Lot’s standing there with the dagger in his hand, thinking he’s gonna kill this guy. But just as he goes to plunge the knife into Ike’s chest like he’s a fucking Vampire Zombie™, he hears a noise outside...

Voices, talking...

A lot of them.

He goes to his balcony and looks down into the courtyard, seeing an army gathered there.

His army.

All of them armed and armoured. They go quiet when they see him.

The general, Phicol (who we’ll call Phil), is standing there, looking like an overburdened middle-management guy trying to mediate between the drones and the CEO. Picture Toby from The Office and you’re not far off.

A little embarrassed, he goes, “Your Highness...”

The king’s like, “What the fuck is this?”

Phil’s like, “Look, I been talking with a few of the guys. They were thinking that...” Someone nudges him and he corrects himself. “We were thinking that maybe it’d be good if we had a king who was an actual Philistine.”

“Yeah, not some goddamn immigrant!” yells one of the soldiers, followed by several enthusiastic woops.

Fat Lot’s dumbfounded. He goes, “Jesus...you guys all feel this way?”

Everyone shouts in the affirmative, one guy even going so far as to yell a “Yee-hah.”

When it all dies down, Fat Lot mumbles, “I thought I was a good king...”

“You are,” says Phil, like a parent trying to placate a sulking child. “But you ain’t from here. We figured we ought to have a king who was one of us.”

“Yeah,” shouts someone. “You’re stealing all the jobs!”

“Fuckin’ immigrant!”

All of this is accompanied by more hooting and hollering. Fat Lot doesn’t think it’s a good time to point out that he’s only really stealing one job, or that, under his rule, the unemployment rate has reached an all time low due directly to the reforms he himself introduced.

Instead, he tries a different approach.

“Come on...” the king says, once they settle down a bit. “We’re all immigrants, if you think about it. Our parents or our parents’ parents all had to come from somewhere – they didn’t just spring up out of the ground. They came from distant lands, or across the sea. But it doesn’t matter where they came from, it matters that they came – because that’s how we got here. So, rather than casting me out for being born somewhere else, why not celebrate our collective foreign ancestry? I might be newer to this place than you are, but deep down, aren’t we all the same?”

There’s a pause, as everyone processes what the king has said.

Then someone yells out, “Fuck you, man! I ain’t no goddamn immigrant.”

And with that, the army devolves into a mindless rabble.

When it all dies down, an increasingly stressed-out Phil is like, “Look, man, either you come down peacefully or we’re gonna have to come up there and I don’t think you want that. You gotta choose right now.”

A nervous pause.

“Or...you know, take your time. Let me know when you’ve made an informed decision.”

*

Ike wakes up and sees bars all around him.

He’s in a cell.

And he’s moving...

Jesus, he’s back in that goddamn wagon-cage and it’s wheeling him out into the desert...

Ike begins having Vietnam flashbacks and throws himself against the door.

Surprisingly, it swings open, unlocked, and he goes flying out into the sand.

He picks himself up, looks around.

Becca, Jake and Esau are walking alongside the wagon. None of them have noticed that he’s missing, or they have and don’t care.

Ike runs after them and goes, “What’s happening?”

“Sorry, babe,” says Becca. “I know how you feel about the cage, but there wasn’t anywhere else we could put you. You wouldn’t wake up.”

“Where are we?” says Ike. “Where are we going?”

Becca just points at someone walking out ahead of them. “His army mutinied and sent him into exile.”

Ike squints and sees Fat Lot in the distance. “Why’d they do that?”

“Said they wanted a Philistine king. Seems a little unlikely, though.”

“What does?”

“That they’d rebel just after we arrived. Seems like too much of a coincidence. You think God might’ve done it?”

“Made them rebel?”

Becca shrugs. “I don’t know. Maybe.”

“Why would he have done that?” Ike says. “He was the one who told me to go there.”

“Maybe he didn’t like you passing me off as your sister.”

Ike scoffs, but Becca’s dead serious.

She goes, “What was that all about, by the way?”

“I don’t know...” Ike says. “I thought it’d help us.”

“You mean help you?

He looks over, trying to get a read on her. “I thought you were into it.”

Now it’s Becca’s turn to scoff. “I pretended to be...so he wouldn’t kill us.”

Ike can sense she’s mad, but she doesn’t look mad. As a matter of fact, she looks calm.

Eerily calm.

“What the fuck was I supposed to do?” Ike says.

Becca just keeps walking. Doesn’t say a word.

Ike does the same, but he’s rattled now. Something’s wrong – he can feel it.

They set up camp in the valley outside Gerar, but Fat Lot refuses to join them for dinner. He’s perched on this rock away from the fire, swigging from a wineskin. There’s a full moon out tonight, and the former king’s drunk enough that he’s howling at it like a wolf.

Jake and Esau ask what he’s doing, but Becca tells them to “ignore your uncle Lot, just eat your dinner.”

Later, when the family’s asleep, Fat Lot sneaks into Ike and Becca’s tent. He’s breathing so loud and sluggish that it wakes Ike up just in time to see the fat, fallen king with a dagger in his hand, ready to plunge it down into him...

Ike screams and rolls over onto his wife...

Fat Lot brings the dagger down through the blanket and into the sand, right where Ike’s chest was a moment ago...

Ike rolls onto the other side of his wife. He leaves her there and scrambles away as Becca continues to sleep like nothing even happened.

He backs up into the wall of the tent and says, “Wait! Stop.”

He whispers so he doesn’t wake Becca up. She stirs a little, but otherwise keeps snoozing. Ike breathes a sigh of relief, as if waking his wife up is more dangerous than a drunk, homicidal maniac.

Fat Lot’s back on his feet by this point. He’s swaying a little, but the dagger’s in his hand and he looks pretty intent on using it.

“You don’t wanna do this, man,” whispers Ike.

“It’s the only way... I’ve got nothing... Only way to...”

“Ssssh!” Ike says.

Fat Lot’s slurring his words and not making much sense at all, but enough that Ike thinks he might know what the problem is.

“Look, man... I know you think you wanna be the father of a great nation. And I know you think killing me is the way to do that. But, say you do kill me and God makes you his guy – you’re never gonna take possession of Canaan. Neither will your children, or your children’s children, or your children’s children’s children. It’ll be another five, six hundred years before that lease is up.”

“What?” Fat Lot remembers the sleeping Becca and lowers his voice to a whisper. “What?

“Yeah, man. I had troubling getting my head around it, too.”

Fat Lot doesn’t want to believe it. “You’re lying...”

“I wish I was. Unfortunately, it looks like it’s gonna be a lot of just...this. Wandering around, living in tents and shit.”

The anger in Fat Lot’s face slowly fades and gives way to crushing hopelessness. He drops the knife and staggers out of the tent.

Ike lets out a sigh of relief. “Jesus Christ...”

He looks down at the still-sleeping Becca, thinking, “That is one deep slumber.”

He’s glad she didn’t wake up, not because she gets real grumpy on those occasions (although that does tend to happen), and not because he wanted to spare her the terror of dealing with a murderous former king, but because of how he put her in between them as a barrier.

That would not have gone down well.

“That was a close one,” he thinks. “Way to play it cool, Ike.”

Next morning, Fat Lot’s nowhere to be found.

To be fair, Ike and his family don’t spend a whole lot of time looking for him.

None, in fact.

They take a look around, shrug their shoulders, and get the fuck out of there before he decides to come back.

A few hours later, they take a break in the shade of a rocky cliff. They’re sitting there, chilling out, when all of a sudden, Esau’s like, “What’s that?”

He’s looking up at the top of the cliff, where there’s someone standing at the very edge.

“Jesus Christ...” says Becca. “It’s Lot! It looks like he’s gonna jump.”

“Good,” says Ike. “I hope he does.”

“Ike!”

“What?” Then he remembers she doesn’t know about the midnight attempted murder.

Becca’s like, “He’s clearly going through something. And he’s family. Go up and talk to him.”

Ike lets out a long, exaggerated sigh.

He’s already exhausted from walking all morning – now he has to trudge up the mountain and deal with this asshole?

But Becca’s still mad at him about the whole wife-sister thing, and he knows he ought to set a good example for the kids.

Maybe he’ll give Fat Lot a nudge and say he jumped. He tried to talk him out of it, but what could he do? The guy was committed.

“Goddamn it, ” says Ike, and up he goes.

He finds Fat Lot standing at the precipice, God about ten feet back from the edge, trying to talk him down.

God’s like, “Listen, buddy...I know we got off on the wrong foot, but...you don’t need to do this.”

“I’ve got nothing else to live for,” says Fat Lot. “I’ve got no family, I’m not a king anymore, I’m not gonna be the father of a great nation...”

“You wanna be the father of a great nation? You can be the father of a great nation. Just say the word and I’ll make it happen.”

“What’s the point?” Fat Lot says. “My descendants won’t even take possession of the land for another 600 years.”

God pauses, trying to keep his poker face intact. “That’s bullshit,” he says. “Who told you that?”

“I did,” says Ike, stepping forward.

God turns around, shooting daggers at him.

“That was supposed to stay between me and Abe,” he says.

“I feel like we deserve to know that this ‘great nation’ we’re allegedly going to be isn’t gonna materialise for another 600 years. Why can’t we know?”

“Because...” God says, through gritted teeth. “You’re supposed to have faith. If you know something’s gonna happen, you don’t need to have any fucking faith, do you?”

“Well, what’s so good about faith? Why do we even need it?”

“Because that’s how you prove you’re worthy of becoming a great nation in the first place, you asshole.”

Ike thinks about it.

“Ohhhhhh,” he says, coming to the realisation. “Makes sense.”

“So we’re in agreement? You won’t tell your sons about the whole 600 years thing.”

“I don’t know...” says Ike. “It just feels so deceptive.”

But God’s like, “Hey, man...that’s what faith’s all about.”

They pause for a moment, then, at the same time, look over to where Fat Lot’s standing.

Or rather, where he was standing.

Down below, Becca’s breaking off chunks of bread and handing them to her sons. Fat Lot hits the ground between them and explodes like a watermelon...

Blood and guts go everywhere.

Becca, Jake and Esau just sit there, dripping, frozen in shock. The donkey shakes its head like a dog, flicking the blood from its fur.

Up above, God turns to Ike, unimpressed. “Nice going, man.”


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