The Lord tells Adam and Eve that they may eat of the fruit of any tree in the Garden of Eden, except for the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, for on the day they eat from that tree they will die. But the serpent convinces Eve that the only negative the fruit has is an excess of carbs, which might make a beeline for her hips, but surely won’t kill her. Eve tastes the forbidden fruit, likes it, and gives some to Adam. Having eaten, they suddenly become aware of their nakedness, and they are ashamed.

They can’t spend all their time holding their hands over their differences so they invent clothes. They have to improvise, because they have nothing from which to copy, so they sew together fig leaves and drape them over their privates.

The Lord sees that they have lost the innocence of ignorance, which means they have eaten the forbidden fruit. This transgression cannot go unpunished, so He expels them from the Garden of Eden.

Unlike Eden, which is climate-controlled at a constant 76 degrees, the outside world has seasons, and fig leaves are poor insulation against a falling thermometer, so the Lord makes them garments of skins.

Having eaten of the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve can differentiate good from evil. They know warm clothes are good, but they can be a magnet that attracts evil, for they have had a vision of a fearsome creature called the PETA, which has a thousand glands from which to exude spray paint on humans clad in animal pelts. This foreboding makes them sore afraid.

They retain their fig-leaf garments perchance the PETA should suddenly appear, which would necessitate an instant change.

And it comes to pass that their fear of the PETA wanes and the carbon dioxide they exhale triggers global warming. Skins can still be worn comfortably but neither is it too cool for fig leaves. Now they have an option, and they know that options are good. They can alternate their outfits, wearing skins one day and fig leaves the next. In order to keep track of what to wear when, Adam invents the first calendar. It is very basic, however, having only a two-day week: Leafday and Skinday.

As Eve awakens one morning she observes Adam getting dressed and she is aghast. “What are you wearing?” she asks. He smiles and points to the calendar, to which he has added a third day, Mixmatchday. For he has donned his fig-leaf shorts with his deer-hide shirt.

“Do you really intend to go out of the hut dressed like that?”

“What’s wrong with it?” Adam asks, setting a precedent for answering a question with a question.

“If that’s how you want to look, go right ahead,” Eve replies. Adam knows that when his wife tells him to go ahead and do something, he’d better not. He doesn’t understand how, since they both ate from the same Tree of Knowledge, she developed an eye for fashion while, to him, anything that covers and isn’t ready for the wash is appropriate. Genetics are beyond their ken, so neither is capable of understanding that the forbidden fruit mutated a gene in Eve’s X chromosome, creating a trait that would be passed from mother to daughter unto the thousandth generation.

Adam examines his apparel for stains and, not finding any, is confused. He knows that if he asks Eve what’s wrong with what he’s wearing she’ll just say, “If it isn’t obvious to you, I’m not going to tell you.”

He shrugs and asks, “What do you think I should wear?”

“You can wear anything you like,” Eve tells him, “But it’s a good thing nobody else exists to see you wearing a cockamamie outfit like that.”

And all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, during all of which time his attempts to be dapper were frustrated by Eve’s dress code.

We were dressing to go to a cousin’s wedding. I had just finished tying my shoelaces when my wife looked up and said, “You’re not going to wear that shirt, are you?” Since I had already put on a tie it should have been evident that I intended to wear that shirt.

“It doesn’t go with your suit,” she said. I didn’t want her sulking all through the affair so I took off my jacket and tie, removed my shirt, and replaced it with a white one –– white goes with everything, right? I then knotted my tie and presented myself for inspection.

“That tie is too wrinkled,” she said. When you unknot then re-knot a tie, of course it’s going to get wrinkled. “Okay,” I said, “I’ll change it.”

After changing my tie I had to change my socks, which didn’t go with the tie, and shoes, which didn’t go with the socks. We finally left the house and got to the wedding half an hour late. Our hosts just gave me a blank look when I told them we were late because Eve cheated on her diet.

Allen Appel is a humor columnist and feature writer for “Encore Speaks,” the monthly publication of the Encore Monroe Adult Community in Monroe Township. He is a retired systems professional. His work has been printed in past Summer Fiction issues as well as in the Interchange section of U.S. 1.

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