"I sense a bit of sarcasm there," God said. "I'll cut you some slack because you've been stuck on a boat slightly downscale from a Viking River Cruise."
"I don't mean to be disrespectful, Father: I'm just wondering exactly how evil an animal can be."
"Really?" replied God. "Clearly you are someone who has never owned a cat."
"So are you done now? You're not going to get pissed off again and wash everything away?"
"I promise," God said. "The flood destroyed all wickedness, and the earth will be a paradise from now on." With that, he waved his hands across the sky and a rainbow appeared. "Let this gaudy arc be a symbol of my covenant: Never again will I destroy the entire earth by the waters of a flood."
"Bless you, Father!" exclaimed a dazzled Shemp. "It's beautiful!"
Haim dropped to his knees. "Thank you, Lord!" he said. "We shall all sleep better at night knowing our descendants will never drown in a random God-willed occurrence."
"Wait," God replied. "Dial that back a notch, buddy. I didn't say I wouldn't send floods to kill you: I said I wouldn't destroy the earth. As in totally flood the place all at once. That doesn't mean I won't destroy one part, and then another, and then another, so that over the course of a year or two the whole thing has been demolished. I'll give you a grace period, though, so in between you can run from one safe part to another."
"There are still going to be floods," repeated Haim.
"Yup," said God. "And hurricanes, tsunamis, tornados, and water spouts. Aside from non-water disasters like earthquakes, volcanoes, and asteroids."
"So this rainbow thing doesn't actually mean a whole hell of a lot?"
God thought for a second. "Oh," he said. "You're right. Tell you what: just so we're not totally wasting our time, how about if it signals that there's just been a whole lot of rain? It'll be my way of telling you that you should have covered your lawn furniture."
"Really?" said Jobringo, Shadlump's wife. "This thing will appear AFTER it's rained? AFTER? It'll be your sign that, like, hey, everything on your clothesline is wet again?"
"That's right!" said God before he noticed their irritated faces. "Okay, you're right. I guess I didn't really think this through. Maybe the rainbow won't promise you anything, or warn you about anything. But maybe when you see it in the sky you'll, like, remember how much I love you."
"Yeah," said everybody. "We sure will."