In the year 2006, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in Manchester and said, "Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated and I see the end of all flesh before me. Build another Ark and save two of every living thing along with a few good humans." He gave Noah the plans, saying, "You have six months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights". Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard....but no ark. "Noah", He roared, "I'm about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?" "Forgive me, Lord," begged Noah. "But things have changed. I needed planning permission for change of use from residential to B2. It took 3 months, was refused and it has now been referred to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the appeal will not be heard until late 2008. I've been arguing with the building inspector about the need for a sprinkler system. The DDA officer tells me I will need Disabled toilets and the all the doors have to be1000 mm wide. The ramp up to the Ark cannot exceed 1:20 and it will not fit in the yard. My neighbours claim that I've violated the neighbourhood zoning laws by building the Ark in my yard and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to Planning Department and reapply for planning permission for the Development. Then the Highways Department demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear he passage for the Ark's move to the sea. I argued that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it. Getting the wood was another problem. There's a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the spotted owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls. But no go! When I started gathering the animals, I got sued by an animal rights group. They insisted that I was illegally confining wild animals against their will. They argued too, that the accommodation was too restrictive and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space. Then Environmentalists insisted that I couldn't build the Ark until they'd conducted an environmental impact assessment on your proposed flood. I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I'm supposed to hire for my building crew. Also, the trades unions say I can't use my sons and they insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark-building experience. To make matters worse, the Inland Revenue seized all my assets,claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species. Then I found out that the Customs and Excise would not register me for VAT and so I am not able to recover the VAT on the building materials. So, forgive me, Lord, but it will take at least ten years for me to finish this Ark." Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky. Noah looked up in wonder and asked, "You mean, you're not going to destroy the world?" "No," said the Lord. "It turns out Blair and the bureaucrats have beat me to it!"