God’s Suggestion Box

suggestion boxI carry a small notebook everywhere I go.  I use it to jot things down.

It’s organized by topic and indexed with little tabs; one of those tabs reads: Things to Discuss with God.

You have to understand, I was a systems architect by profession, so a lot of my thoughts are about design, especially human design and over the years I have made notes on the good, the bad and the ugly in God’s work.

For instance, I give God high marks for employing redundancy.

Our basic configuration comes with two eyes, two ears, two nostrils and two kidneys. Very solid design, especially for a species as clumsy and violent as ours.

Other aspects of human design are not so well thought out. In this category, I place both pain and sex (two features that are all too frequently entwined).

At a basic level, pain is a good thing. It gets our attention and focuses our minds on things that are important (a real plus for procrastinators like me).

But how about an “off” switch?

Pain should go away as soon as you have made the call to the clinic or set up a dentist appointment. This is the kind of system integration I would love to talk to God about. I think I could be very helpful there.

Another area I would like to discuss with God is sex.

Ask a child about it and their reaction is  EEE-WWW!! As a system architect, I couldn’t put it any more succinctly.

Sex is the worst kind of hack. The whole thing reeks of novice design.  It is all high concept and zero analysis.

First off, what moron came up with the idea of dual use for sexual organs?

I think we all know exactly how that came to be. During a three hour power-point presentation, nature’s CFO snorted himself awake and with all eyes upon him, felt he had to come up with something brilliant.

“Let’s combine reproduction and bladder functions,” he said, “it’ll save a bundle, right?”

And as these things always go, no one objected because no one thought such a stupid idea could make it into production.

Well, it did.

Next, think about this: if we can’t trust a fourteen year old with cigarettes, alcohol and cars, why does nature arm them with fully loaded sexual organs?

Whose idea was that? Marketing? So how do we fix it?

This is what I’m going to suggest to God: a simple child-safety switch like what we have in our cars to lock the windows and doors. Just think how pleasant it would be to have all those teenage urges completely switched off. No more hormonal howling, no more weepy angst, no more unpleasant surprises.


Now imagine this.  On the day when our kids leave home, after the last of their possessions have been loaded into their car and we have given them our final hug, we say, “Oh yeah, and one more thing – CLICK!

Author: Almost Iowa


42 thoughts on “God’s Suggestion Box”

  1. These are great suggestions, Greg. The only issue I see is having the power to flip the switch. What time is the right time for that? And if you see that it isn’t going well, can you flip it back? These are good questions for God on your walks with Scooter.

    1. I am definitely on board for making the sex switch a toggle. It might even be helpful for one to toggle their own switch, such as when the brain says one thing and everything else screams something different.

  2. HAHAHA! Brilliant analysis! That dual function is a curse for sure. And your switch suggestion for children would be very helpful.

  3. Solid ideas, although that on switch scares me a little. It should have a warning system built in, to warn any innocent bystanders that years of pent up angst and hormones are about to be released.
    Or maybe a way to bank those hormones – I could use a few of those that were spent so freely all those years ago.

    1. A warning system? Perhaps a siren…. Hmmmm, imagine what that would be like in a college town.

      Or maybe a way to bank those hormones – I could use a few of those that were spent so freely all those years ago.

      I hear you on that!

  4. You know I always enjoy your posts, but this one in particular struck a chord. I have always thought that God must have been having a bad day when certain things were designed, not the least of which was the day he decided that the sex organs and basic human plumbing could be combined. No wonder children say “Ewwww” when they get the first inkling of what sex is really all about! (And why do teenagers need hormones on overdrive? What purpose does that serve?) As for pain, yes, the minute it is recognized and dealt with it can stop. Immediately. And what in the world was the thought behind mosquitoes? No two ways about it, God has some explaining to do. If I ever make it to heaven, I’m bringing a whole list of questions.

    1. While walking with Scooter.
      Me: I’ve been thinking, why mosquitoes?
      God: You’ve been thinking?
      Me: Sure.
      God: That’s a first.
      Me: I liked it better when I talked and you listened.

  5. That is the perfect idea. The ultimate turn-off. And an interesting point – sex is the El Camino of cars. Dual use. Like a shoe skate. Only it worked out better than both of those design flaws.

  6. And that is exactly why life is so hectic these days. The deity who humors such queries has more important tasks at hand. Like constructing the world of ‘we will get it right this time. there is no way the inhabitants will mess up this planet.’ So life will stay hectic until design and implementation is done. Then interuptive questions to the supreme may be resumed.

  7. Fascinating … I always used to wonder why everything is in twos instead of threes. Now I’m older; I’m glad I only have two knees to ache and two eyes to water when smoke gets in …

    1. On my long walks with Scooter, God and I talk frequently. Like always, it is usually me doing the talking and someone else doing the listening. I know people who do it the other way around but I will never be in that class, besides few of them have a buddy named Stan.


      “Let’s talk about mosquitoes.”

  8. Exactly! And female reproductive anatomy was CLEARLY some kind of add-on to appease male constituents -I know you were going with office analogies, but couldn’t think which department would fudge up that badly.

  9. Redundancy (lack thereof) and manual override (lack thereof) seem to be at the heart of the Boeing crashes. I think you’re onto something Greg. Now, the problem, for you, is that scheduling that meeting with the Almighty might require a change in your situation. Still, every future middle school teacher would be in your debt if you could get that off switch installed. There’s already a St. Gregory, but St. Almost Iowa seems to be open.

    1. Lack of redundancy certainly was a problem with the 737 Max crash. A single fouled sensor fooled the MCAS system into misbehaving – but then I have to ask, why didn’t the MCAS system know that the sensor was fouled? C’mon, even the first COBOL program I wrote back in the 1970’s knew when it was receiving garbage data.

      An even better system question is why didn’t the pilots of the fatal Lion Air crash know that hours before, the MCAS had been switched off because it responded incorrectly to a fouled sensor?

      Airplanes designed by pilots behave differently than airplanes designed by engineers.

  10. Good laugh this morning. Your system on-off switch has a lot of merit. In fact, if it was user-friendly as well as parent activated it would save a lot of heartaches. Thanks, Greg.

  11. You contemplate much different things than I do. That being said, I bet God looks forward to your design upgrade suggestions. Good job, Almost Iowa.

    1. The scary thing will be in design review when God gets to explain his design and I get to realize how dumb my brilliant ideas really are. I’ve seen this happen too often in business – where something that seems utterly moronic, is in fact, totally brilliant and wise. It is when and where designers learn humility.

  12. Excellent suggestions. I always thought we should change the sex rules to read, never to be entered into after marriage, it would save a lot of disappointment…

    1. I am thinking of several clever responses to your proposed changes to the sex rules – but my wife is looking over my shoulder… 🙂

  13. Oh! Now that last sentence reeks of vindictiveness! Or did I miss something?
    Personally, I think God is a woman, with a warped sense of humour.
    The whole human design system reeks of ineptness. Take the male plumbing system for instance……hmmmm…..

      1. Why do I have to wait for those three to go before me ? ! ? And what the blankety blank has mathematics got to do with this….

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