Joel Osteen looked outside his office window as Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston, Texas. “The way I see it, God gave me a basketball arena and turned it into a church. Then, he took my church and turned it into an ark. Finally, he gave me a flood. I looked at my wife and said, ‘Hell, honey, I’m the Second Coming of Noah and the Ark! We got the humans covered. I trust that God will give me a plan to help the other animals onto the ark. I’ve found my destiny.” He pulled out two doves from his coat pocket, and remarked, “I’m ready to send these suckers out to survey the damage. The only thing I’m concerned about is the marquee outside. I mean this place used to host 16,000 raucous, drunken, sweaty basketball fans. We took down the two championship banners and put up banners of Jesus. And now those sinners come to my services once a week: 16,000 sinners turned into 16,000 lovers of Christ.”

Mattress Mack, a local Houston businessman who opened all of his stores to support people who had lost their houses to Hurricane Harvey, said, “Well, I thought being a devout Christian had to do with being humble. I mean, I don’t know Joel personally, but I do know that I have a ton of mattresses in my store and the only mammal that would make good use of it would be a human. It’s that simple.”

Joel Osteen gazed out at the animals walking among the pupils from his pulpit, “I wonder how Noah handled all the animal crap in his boat. I don’t have any clue on how to take care of animals, so I’m hoping they all take care of themselves. Don’t they know I’m Joel Osteen? I ain’t no Old Macdonald. I’m living in a magnificent ark, not some dinky little barn. EIEIO, hell no! I only ask myself WWJD? I ask Jesus about everything I do. Three Splenda in my coffee, or two? Use the five iron or seven? Paper or plastic?

“I’m real worried about the camels cause they’re huge, they’re always moving, and they’re crapping everywhere. I mean they’re using the pews as their own personal toilet! I’m hoping another animal will step in and stop those camels, but man, they just like to eat, sleep, and shit. Why, sure, it’s a challenging thing to do: gather up all the animals ever known in the world, and bring them to church. Maybe we can radicalize the bastards. Who knows? The road is long and hard, but God damn it, if there’s anyone who can put animals in an ark, it’s Joel Osteen. If there’s anyone who can get these animals to start praying, it’s Joel Osteen. WWJD? What would Joel do? I know I can do it.”

Isaac Winter can be reached at


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