Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

Yet another holiday rerun. Merry Christmas!


The guy in the Jesus suit
occupied space at the end of the bar
exuding waves of beneficence
and winey fumes
to all and sundry.

The suit fit comfortably,
38 Regular, relaxed-fit pleat pants,
with a seven-and-a-quarter halo
on the side.
He muttered of Old Testament doom
and it wasn’t even Sunday.

“I’m only here to fulfill prophecy,”
he remarked to the bartender,
who was taking his money from the bar.
On the jukebox Bing began to croon
‘White Christmas’ and Jesus started to say,

“I’m very disappointed in you all,”
he turned to me and glared,
“As usual, you people just got it all wrong:
I was actually born in June,
and died at the end of May.”

“I was a Jew preaching to Jews,
and so were all twelve original Apostles,
and then along comes Paul,
who was something of a loon,
and gives to the Gentiles a way

“to get into heaven.
Hey, the only person I said was saved
was a thief hanging next to me,
sometime before noon,
on my crucifixion day.

“And you can’t even follow
the few simple words,
that I spoke in the Sermon on the Mount,
instead you fight about theological trivia
and spread horrifying gloom
and tell people there’ll be hell to pay,

“Where any of you got the idea
you were wise enough
to judge anyone else,
I’ll never know,
I talked about humankind’s boon,
and said you should all
acknowledge your feet of clay,

“But, of course, you got it wrong again,
instead of being kinder and forgiving,
you dare use my name to
despise and complain
and drone the timeless tired human tune
of hate, vengeance,
and compelling others to obey.

“It doesn’t matter how many times you are
born again, for, in truth,
you are born only once;
and it doesn’t matter what
pious guise your words assume
nor any other homilies you bray,

“If you can’t act on my philosophy,
you can baptize yourself ’til you drown,
and sing hymns until hoarse,
and cry to the stars and moon,
and it won’t make even a whit’s difference,
whatever you pray.

“You could, indeed, make of
this world a paradise,
but you choose differently,
but maybe someday you’ll learn,
probably later rather than soon,
what a pity it is that
you could have created this world
two thousand years ago
or yesterday.”

He finished his drink
and got up to leave the bar,
then sighed deeply and said:
“Whatever webs you weave
on deception’s loom,
remember just this of what I say;
peace and love for one another
remain the only way.”

Copyright 1999-2008 R.S. Janes


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Ken Carman
15 years ago

Think I saw him yesterday. We were at Goodwill, buying clothes. Back in the pots/pans/coffee maker section a bearded homeless man in scruffy clothes, listening to music on one of their cassette players with headphones; pan on his head for a hat. He smiled when I complimented him on his head wear. Most people kept as far as possible from him. Ah, the “Christmas spirit” of John and Mary Q. Public. Got to love it… or not.

RS Janes
15 years ago

That man may have been the Ghost of Christmas Future for John and Mary — and what were they doing shopping at Goodwill anyway? Did the Walmart burn down?

Hope you enjoyed the holiday, Ken.

Ken Carman
15 years ago

Unless it’s professional clothes, I do. Something about spending $20 plus for a pair of pants gorphs me out: shirts too. Plus, maybe I’m doing some good? Salvation Army around here charges almost as much as the stores and they have some evangelizing issues, IMO. Goodwill does give jobs to those who need them and have no where else to go. Don’t know much else about the corporation. I do shop at Wally world, but try to avoid it when I can.

Happy Ho de Ho to you too. Tomorrow homebrewers gather to share the holidays in a event we host. Should be a jolly time.

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