Shuffling the Decalogue:
10 New York Commandments

Shay Sheridan

Believe it or not, I wrote this for work

1. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, who brought you to Zabar’s and gave you nova. You shall have no other gods before me.

2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. You shall, however, be very kind to your hairstylist, secretary, building super and mother-in-law. For I am a jealous God, but they can really mess up your life.

3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, but shall strive instead to say “Oh, horsefeathers!” and “By all that’s chocolate!” and “Well, poke me with a silly stick!” You shall thereafter learn to love mockery.

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the day called “Errands.” In some quarters it is known as “Couch Potato,” “Going to the Hamptons,” “Taylor Has Soccer Practice,” “Finally Got in a Golf Game,” “Do My Taxes,” “Dinner and a Movie,” “Shopping” or “Finish the Work I Didn’t Complete Friday.” In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and seriously, do you have more to do than He did?

5. Honor your father and mother, for someday you, too, shall be eating Early Bird dinners in Florida, dressed in white shoes and pants up under your armpits or a velveteen sweat suit with rhinestones. Surely you’ll expect your ungrateful children to honor you, right?

6. You shall not murder, although sometimes you shall think seriously about it while watching the Mets.

7. You shall not commit adultery even if you make a gazillion dollars a year playing golf, nor shall you send messages to a girlfriend via Twitter and certainly you shall never list the phone number of your girlfriend on your cellphone where your wife (who is smarter than you will ever be) can find it. Further, you shall not join a dating service as “Marriedbutlooking” because, dude, that’s just cheesy.

8. You shall not steal your neighbor’s Sunday Times, even if he hasn’t taken it in by noon. Some people just sleep late; get thee over it.

9. You shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor, even if you’re sure he’s the one playing loud music until 3 AM and leaving open garbage in the incinerator room, but shall wait to revel in schadenfreude when the toilets overflow in the apartment above his and a bagpiper moves in below.

10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s apartment, the one that hasn’t had its view obscured by that Trump building; you shall not covet the figure of the woman down the street, for lo, there was more than the Lord’s handiwork involved there; nor shall you covet your neighbor’s personal trainer, nor her Bottega Veneta Nappa leather hobo bag, nor the fact her children all got into Harvard …but you may feel free to covet your neighbor’s parking space and take whatever means necessary to obtain it, because, hey, this is New York City.

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