James had always been interested in design. He was more than interested; he was passionate. And he was extremely self-opinionated. No architect, no engineer, no fashion expert, could satisfy the high standards he considered should be the norm. His judgement alone was the sole criteria for design excellence. In short, he was an arrogant bastard. He denied it vehemently. When he died, he therefore considered it a great honour that God approached him and asked him personally to design a planet from scratch. This planet was to be in a smallish solar system, in a smallish galaxy, on the other side of the universe from earth.
It took James just over a year to come up with the design. There were some very good design elements: there were wasps, for example, that didn’t sting humans, but stung and killed those annoying house flies. Alcoholic beverages caused merriment but not a hangover. The human male’s urethra didn’t pass through the prostate gland, so there was never the difficulty in having a pee. The design list went on and on. James was rather pleased. He submitted the designs to God.
“These are copies,” said God. “They’re slight adjustments to what already exists. I wanted something original.”
James went back to the drawing board. No matter how hard he thought, he couldn’t come up with a single completely different thing.
“One hundred trillion universes come into existence every billionth of a second,” said God. “Every one of them unique; each one different. And you couldn’t come up with a single new idea.” It was then that James understood that his commission to design a planet wasn’t a reward, it was a punishment; more perhaps a purification. He realized he had, after all, been an arrogant bastard.