Columns - 2009

    The Original Ten

    by Doug Brook
    Deep South Jewish Voice columnist

    In the beginning, the Big G created a girlfriend, because His life was a void and empty. Nobody knows this because all the records were expunged as part of Their eventual settlement. (Look, we all say we'll be together forever, but for Them "forever" is a lot longer to cope with.)

    One of the expunged records, never known to man or woman, was a written agreement She provided to Him. The agreement included a list of ten things that She felt She needed Him to abide by in Their relationship. This was the first pre-nuptial known to whatever-you-call-everything-that-existed-before-Creation.

    Interestingly, He later resurrected this list, after a fashion, as the basis of another popular set of directives which has been the subject of numerous movies, novels, and state capital monuments.

    There is no record of how long this agreement might have lasted between Them, partially because of the aforementioned expunging, and partially because no measures of time had been created yet. While there was similarly no existence yet of tense -- neither past, present, nor future -- it is reasonable to presume that this agreement nonetheless made things tense.

    The agreement, titled "Prevention of Exodus," was as follows:

    Number One: I am the Woman who brought You out of the land of bachelorhood, and will not just stay in this house all day like slavery.

    Number Two: Thou shalt have no other women before Me, whether in the form of anything heavenly, or down-to-earth, or a Pisces.

    Not only does this mean no other women instead of Me, it also means that You never had any other women prior to Me. Maybe You did, maybe You didn't. But I never want to hear about them. Or others to hear about them. Even if You're "just friends" now. They didn't exist, they don't exist. Got it?

    You shall not bow down to them or worship them, for I Your Wife am a jealous Wife, and will punish You for three or four generations if You mess this one up. I'm not kidding.

    Number Three: Thou shalt not make wrongful use of My name. I will not acquit You for misusing My name. Or taking it in vain. Especially if I'm in earshot. And I'm all-hearing. Thanks for that, by the way.

    Number Four: Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. For six days I labor and do all Your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath for Me, and I'm resting. I shall not do any work, but You've got a list of chores. And breakfast in bed would be nice once in a while, too.

    Number Five: Honor My father and mother, so that Our days aren't as long as they might feel otherwise. And they're paying for the wedding, after all.

    Number Six: Thou shalt not kill Our relationship.

    Number Seven: Thou shalt not commit adultery. (This might seem redundant to Number Two. However, Talmudic scholars, if they'd ever been exposed to this list, would have argued that She just really meant it.)

    Number Eight: Thou shalt not steal glances at other women. Yes, I'm trying to make a point. Do what You want, but remember that there's consequences. Every stolen glance can result in a glancing blow.

    Number Nine: Thou shalt not bear false witness against Your neighbor. Unless I need You to. You shall also not be witnessed bare by the neighbors. Keep the blinds closed.

    Number Ten: Thou shalt not covet Your neighbor's house. Thou shalt not covet Your neighbor's wife, or slave, or wife, or ox, or wife, or ass, or wife's ass, or anything that belongs to Your neighbor. Or his wife.

    In another instance of foreshadowing, upon reading these directives for the first time, the Big G took two tablets, smashed them up, and then had two more.

    Doug Brook is a writer in Silicon Valley who encourages any woman to use this as her own agreement or wedding vow if she likes, as long as she is not marrying him. He wants you to become a fan of The Beholder's Eye on Facebook. For more information, past columns, other writings, and more, visit

    Copyright Doug Brook. All rights reserved.