Unless you are British youth*, you almost certainly know the story of Cain and Abel. That's when Cain, third person to exist on the planet Earth, got upset that God hadn't appreciated the fruit basket he sent and decided to take it out on his brother, Abel, Earthling No. 4.
So, God walks up to Cain after a bit and says, "Where is Abel, thy brother?"
It amuses me that God says it this way. There are four people on the whole of Earth, and God feels it necessary to use a proper noun and state clearly Abel's relationship to Cain. He doesn't ask, "Where is Abel?" or "Where is thy brother?" or "Where's the other one?"
Cain, then famously responds: "I know not; am I my brother's keeper?"
Most people assume Cain's being a smartass here, that he is the originator of the rock attitude because he is so ballsy as to backtalk The Creator Of Everything. But I found myself thinking this morning: what if he was asking a legitimate question? What if he really didn't know?
Already we know that God has to tell Cain who is brother is. That could be a sign that Cain wasn't very bright. And being only the third person to exist ever and the son of the committers of the original sin, it's not like he had the strongest moral upbringing. Hillary Clinton says it takes a village; there was no village -- only Mom and Dad, the Original Sinstas.
Maybe, rather than being the first person to use sarcasm, he was simply asking for clarification: "If you could just clear that up for me, Lord, I'd appreciate it. As you are probably aware, I've gone and killed this one. And that's wrong, is it? Shit. I feel like a right cunt. What? Swearing is bad, too? Wow, you have a lot of rules. Someone should be writing all this down, don't you think?"
*British kids know shockingly little about the Bible. Even if you don't believe a word of it, it is still the foundation for centuries of Western Literature. In terms of understanding literature, knowing fuck all about the Bible is like learning English but skipping over all the words that start with "K."