Eons before Wham-O brought us the Slip ‘n Slide, God brought us the rainbow. With childish glee, who hasn’t waited impatiently for a rainstorm to end, just so he or she can race to the top of the rainbow and leisurely slide back down to earth?
From the Care Bears to our own childhood, it is a simple pleasure that has been enjoyed by almost everyone at one point or another. But were rainbows always meant to serve as nature’s answer to the playground slide?
Yes, of course they were.
As we all know, God invented the rainbow sometime during the 14th century. According to Pope Innocent VI, God’s intention for the rainbow was to “lessen the pain” of all those who were then suffering from the Black Death (thus all the colors). This was achieved, 1) by looking at “all the pretty colors,” and 2) by sliding down it “on yon buttocks.”
So, in essence, it might be said that the rainbow was the world’s first antidepressant.
Given God’s all-knowing wisdom, one would think that He might have been able to surmise that an actual cure for the Black Death would be a better prescription than rainbows. Still, the novelty of sliding down a bowed spectrum of color by the seat of the pantaloons did much to divert the ailing population’s attention from their rotting, open sores and bloody pools of vomit.
And indeed we see that rainbows still serve as important mood boosters in the modern world. After Hurricane Katrina, sliding down rainbows served both as an early mood booster to those who had lost everything, and the motivation that finally brought President Bush to visit the ravaged flood zone of New Orleans.
So, in essence, we can conclude that rainbows are much more than just a means of amusement. They also serve as a natural antidepressant that is just as powerful as any prescribed medication.*
*Warning: sliding down rainbows may cause uncontrollable laughter, skin discoloration, leprechaun attacks, dry mouth and the Black Death.
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