Once upon a
time (back when there was even a remote possibility that these stupid
cards werent going to send me straight to Hell), there was
a simple little village known as Bethlehem. It was a devout little
place, where the gentle Hebrews led simple lives and attended temple
with pious regularity.
lived there hated the dump. There was absolutely nothing to do for
fun. The broken down inn at the center of town was the only place
in the village that could even be remotely considered a diversion,
and the innkeeper there was always turning away travelers in order
to make room for Bondage and Discipline conventions that spilled
over from Jerusalem. And while that was certainly was a boon to
Tom Beaudette, the vile innkeeper, the ticket prices were out of
reach for the simple locals. Desperate for some entertainment, the
town elders went to the skinflint Beaudette, a Sun Worshipper and
therefore not an offensive stereotype.
bored out of our skulls, you cheap Sun Worshipper, you! said
Jehosephat, the eldest elder who always got the best pew at temple,
despite his annoying flatulence that caused local children to mock
him by hiding deadly scorpions in his beard as he slept and then
yell taunts as he ran screaming through the streets. Since
the goat died, the only diversions left to me are prayer and masturbation;
and since one of those damned scorpions bit my pecker, masturbations
not the thrill it used to be. We need you to help us out.
told you before, thundered Beaudette, a vile old fart who
won the inn in a game of Simon Sez many years before, I dont
have the money to pay first class lounge acts to appear here. And
if you think Im going to lay out an extra shekel to make you
clowns happy, youre out of your minds!
piped in Nicodemus, the village sharpener of the Briss knives, What
if we got an act so cheap that you wouldnt have to lay out
have to get an act so bad that theyd appear for a pittance,
thundered the innkeeper, and then we could have our fun by
yelling oaths at them and them pelting them with the scorpions that
Jehosephat shakes out of his beard. Whos so lame that they
would be desperate enough for a gig like that?
At about that
time, a young muse named Jonny M. was being fired from his job as
a cantor at the Temple of Aramithia. So drunk that he was unable
to pronounce the Hebrew words of the hymns he was required to sing,
the obnoxious muse would fake it by scatting pornographic lyrics
to the ancient tunes. As he ran for his life out of the back door
of the Temple with the infuriated worshippers close behind, the
handsome muse opened his copy of Back Stage/Middle East to try and
find a new gig. His eyes were immediately drawn to an ad reading
Lounge Act wanted at Bethlehem Inn. Must be willing to bus
tables and clean chamber pots. Deferred pay, and nudity required.
It looked like the best job he had had in years, and with only the
prospect of a stoning and a speedy crucifixion awaiting him Aramithia,
Jonny high-tailed it to the little town of Bethlehem.
was always a particularly depressing time in Bethlehem, what with
its starless nights and deafening noise from the B&D guys
who were already starting to trickle in for the convention. The
locals began dragging out the old Atari and setting up a Pong tournament
as a desperate diversion, when Jonny M came rolling in on a unicycle
and singing all the words to Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender
Be from the Hamlet episode of Gilligans Island. He stopped
in front of the inn and regarded the gathering crowd.
for the B&D convention is inside, mister, said Nicodemus
as he regarded the muse. Like to be kicked in the face, do
said the noble muse as he made a mental note to make an appointment
with his plastic surgeon when this gig was over. Im
the muse you advertised for. I sing, tell jokes, do magic, juggle,
perform an erotic dance of the seven veils, and tell a very compelling
story about how I had to have a metal plate installed in my penis.
Let me show you a little of what I can do.
The crowd was
riveted as Jonny unleashed a hilarious array of knock-knock jokes;
but just as he was about to begin reciting the epic poem he wrote
while living in Nantucket, Tom Beaudette the innkeeper broke in.
the name of the Sun is going on here, fumed the unbelievably
cheap innkeeper (who Id like to point out one more time is
not an offensive stereotype.) Im trying to set up the
spanking horse for the convention. Who are you?
the muse you hired, beamed Jonny, proud that he finally had
a job in one of these stupid cards that didnt involve mopping
up vomit. Put me to work. Shall I sing a song or do a dance?
things first, thundered Tom Beaudette as he grabbed
the muse by the scruff of the neck and dragged him inside. Ive
got some vomit I need you to mop up.
that he liked the work. True, Tom Beaudette was hard and brutal
taskmaster; but the muse did have occasional spare moments to entertain
the devout townsfolk, and he figured that even submitting to Beaudettes
abuse wasnt as degrading as, say, working in a supermarket.
But late one evening, as Jonny was applying liniment to the welts
on a B&D guys back from some fun with a cat onine
tails, the muse heard his boss screaming at someone from the front
you, bellowed Tom Beaudette, his shrill voice made even more
annoying by the fact that he had swallowed a kazoo earlier that
morning. Theres no room at the inn! The B&D convention
has taken up every single unit!
Jonny looked over his vile boss shoulder to make out who he
was yelling at. It was a young and very tired-looking couple. The
muses sympathies were particularly raised when he noticed
that the woman was about as pregnant as you could get, and the pool
of water she was standing in indicated that she was not going to
stay that way for long.
minute, boss rushed in Jonny with a stool he offered the young
woman to sit down in. Theres plenty of room in the manger
ever since the goat died. They just have to mind the wet spot, is
sneered Tom Beaudette. You can take them to the manger. Forty-five
bucks for the night, and if you use the cable TV, its extra.
But dont let them make too much noise. Its the last
night of the convention, and Betty Paige is giving an address on
the future of the industry.
The couple smiled
warmly at Jonny as the muse led them to the welcoming barn.
for helping us out, said the man. My names Joseph; Joseph
Christ, and this is my wife Mary.
name is Christ? asked Jonny, figuring that the cover of this
card had already got him in so much trouble that it couldnt
get any worse.
it from Christberg, explained Joseph. It was my agents
idea. We came from Nazareth to watch the crucifixions. Im
thinking of going in the jewelry business, and I think the image
of a guy in agony on a cross would look lovely dangling from a pendant.
I was about to make some preliminary sketches, but Mary went into
labor. Funny, I didnt even realize she was pregnant.
weird thing is, piped in Mary as her husband began timing
contractions, Joe and I have never even done the nasty. Pretty
all, reassured Jonny. The same thing happened to my
mother when one of my brothers was born. The really weird thing
is that when he came out, he was the spitting image of our black
mailman. So what are you going to name the kid?
thinking Elvis, answered Joseph as he applied cold compresses
to his wifes forehead. What do you think?
not bad, said the muse, but a name like that might lead
folks to have too high expectations. How about ...
Jonny was about
to offer a suggestion, when he was silenced by a brilliant shaft
of light blazing through the barn door. And since the average street
lamp was a heretic burning at the side of the road that gave off
painfully insufficient illumination, Jonny thought hed better
check it out. When he beheld the sky, the normally egotistical muse
was overcome with an unfamiliar feeling of humility. For shining
directly above the barn was the brightest star that Jonny had ever
was the brightest star Jonny had ever seen.
screamed the muse. Looks like the government is about nineteen
hundred and forty years ahead on their nuclear testing! What the
hell is that?
a sign that the son of God is being born unto us this night.
Jonny spun around
to see three impressive looking guys standing before him. Remembering
that threesomes got in for half price, the muse was about to direct
them to the B&D convention when he suddenly realized that the
three guys were here for a very different reason.
three wise men, said the spokesman of the group as Jonny tried
to overlook the trios high opinion of their own intellect.
We followed the star here tonight to witness the birth of
our savior. For Mary is the mother of the child, but our Lord God
is the father.
are three wise men."
minute, said Jonny skeptically. You mean God banged
Mary, and she doesnt even remember it? I thought I was a bad
The three wise
men were about to beat the living crap out of the heretical muse,
but they were stopped by the excruciating labor howls of Mary inside
the barn. The compassionate muse ran to her side.
wrong, screamed Joseph. For some reason, the kids
got a halo and its burning up Marys love pie! Do something!
took frequent puke breaks.
thinking, the muse reached up into where no man has gone before,
and worked to ease out the precious infant before any damage could
be done. The kids halo did indeed have the voltage of a Duracell
Copper Top, but the muse heroically struggled to save mother and
child. Jonny had always heard that the glory of a new life coming
into the world was an unparalleled miracle, but the reality was
that the muse was grossed out beyond belief and had to take frequent
puke breaks. But after two hours of intense labor broken only by
Jonnys intermittent breaks to vomit in the corner, he finally
worked the child out and gave the newborn a life-giving swat on
those B&D guys have a point, mused Jonny as the baby gave
out a cry of life. Sometimes spankings can be rewarding.
Jonny was interrupted
by a choir of angels who suddenly appeared singing joyously of the
newborns arrival. The muse stared earnestly down upon the
babe, who up until then he had planned to sell to some gay Egyptian
acquaintances as a sex slave. He looked up to the childs parents
for an explanation.
was interrupted by a choir of angels.
God, Jr.? asked Mary to her husband. Of course, Id
have to okay it with his father, first.
The reality of the situation finally sunk in on Jonny, who was awe-struck
at the gentle child laying quietly in his arms. The noble muse began
to utter a prayer, but was suddenly quieted by the newborns
puking all over him. Jonny handed the child to his mothers
waiting arms, and only then noticed that he was covered from head
to foot in afterbirth goo.
screamed the muse as he regarded the mess. I hope this stuff
washes out. I dont think this berg has a dry cleaners.
answered Joseph. Hey, thats not bad. I think well
name the kid Jesus. Jesus Howard, after the most underrated stooge,
H. Christ, pondered the muse. I like it. Sounds like
just the thing to scream out when I slam the car door on my hand.
The three wise
men finally couldnt take it any more, and held the geeklike
muse down and began brutally pummeling him. Just as one of their
blows drove the bones from Jonnys nose up into his brain,
the ruckus was aborted by the bombastic entrance of the infuriated
figure of Tom Beaudette the innkeeper.
hells going on? fumed the vile Sun Worshipper. The
screams in here are louder than the ones at the inn, and one of
those guys has a stiletto heel up his rectum. I ought to kick you
people out of here right this second...
rants were suddenly quieted by the sight of the newborn infant lying
in the manger. Tom Beaudette had seen plenty of babies in his day,
usually in paternity suits that saw the kid chopped in two; with
a half being awarded to each of the complaining parties, as was
the judicial custom of the time; but this child was different. One
look at the infants sweet face made Beaudette realize that
he would have to start living his life differently. And of course
the choir of angels trumpeting away didnt exactly take away
from the spectacle, either.
renounce my Sun Worshipping ways, said Beaudette, who was
always quick to jump on a bandwagon when he saw one. I will
follow this child, and study his teachings. But do you think we
could lose the umbilical chord? Thats going to look like hell
on stained glass.
too have changed my ways, proclaimed Jonny as he gave one
final retch. Never again will I mock the solemn ritual of
Christmas with these stupid and offensive cards, but instead will
honor the day with reverence and keep its holy message in
my heart all of the year long.
asked Joseph in surprise.
no, laughed Jonny. I only said that so religious types
wont lynch my ass because of this idiotic card. Were
already at work on next years issue: Jonnys Concentration
Camp Christmas. Hitler and I make gingerbread men in the bunker.
great, said the wise men spokesman. And to celebrate
this momentous occasion, we have brought gifts of gold, frankincense
have the receipt for that? asked Mary. Muirs great,
but I think Id like to exchange it for some flannel underwear
and maybe some Beanie Babies.
So all was happiness
in Bethlehem. Tom Beaudette converted to Christianity and moved
to Crete, was he had a great career as lion food. The Three Wise
Men went into tag team wrestling, and later challenged Stone Cold
Steve Austin for the WWF title. Joseph and Mary got a recording
contract as the Joseph and Mary Chain. The people of Bethlehem got
rich off of tourism, and bought so many goats that they were never
bored or lonely again. And little Jesus became the Savior of Mankind,
unless youre a Jew, Buddhist, atheist or Moslem, in which
case he was just a nice Jewish boy who went into his fathers
business. And a great tradition of Christmas was born, giving happiness,
joy and hope to generations; not to mention a huge boon for the
burgeoning eggnog and fruitcake industries.
of all was Jonny M. As he looked around at the joyous celebration
around him, he took a special pride in knowing that he had contributed
to it. So with a happy wink to his newfound friends, the muse opened
a copy of Paradise Lost to see what parts of Hell he should visit
after this idiotic card sealed his fate, and walked off into the
desert night, where the bright star turned out to be an alien space
ship that kidnapped Jonny and probed his rectum so brutally that
he spent the next two years in a wheelchair.
And love and
joy to you, gentle reader. Whether you be celebrating the birth
of Jesus, the arrival of Santa Claus, Hanukkah, Kwansa, Jonnys
birthday on December 15th, or simply the opportunity to have one
last party before Y2K knocks us all back to the stone age, know
that you always have a loving and devoted friend in Jonny M.
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