Skip to content

my yuletide gift to you

December 15, 2022

I hope that your December is going well as you prepare for the holidays. Although Jude and I participate minimally in year’s end frivolity, we have much to rejoice in. 2023 is shaping up as steady bad news for Aging Orange and a GOP splitting in two. My beloved San Francisco Giants, after whiffing on signing Aaron Judge, just signed a long-term deal with Carlos Correa. KU is off to its typical hot start as it defends its national championship. The college football bowl schedule features some tantalizing match-ups, especially LSU – Purdue.

We are still locked into a dry, cold weather pattern on the farm, with a Siberian blast on its way. Our log splitter has frozen up, but we have plenty of firewood and manual splitting is brisk exercise anyway. Our Christmas shopping is done in the sense that we don’t celebrate Christmas for reasons that will soon be clear.

I’ve been an agnostic since my youth. My parents were marginal Methodists. I quit the church when I was in high school, largely because the church elders were caught up in fierce debate about the MYF dancing on the premises. Then I went to war, and that was that. Ever since I’ve been solidly ambivalent re: religion. Here’s a chunk of that ambivalence:


(JESUS walks into a bar and sits on a stool. The only other person there is the BARTENDER.)

BARTENDER: Welcome to my place, chum. What can I get ya?

JESUS: Water in a wine glass. please.

(The bartender does so. Jesus touches it and the water turns purple.)

BARTENDER: Say, aren’t you Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Alpha and the Omega, the Messiah and whatnot?

JESUS: (takes a sip) Yeah, but you can call me “Jay”.

BARTENDER: I’m not comfortable with that. Would “Jesus” be alright?

JESUS: Sure. Is it because you’re a Christian?

BARTENDER: More or less. I’m a Unitarian. Should I report this to my faith facilitator?

JESUS: If you must, man, but I’d really appreciate it if you wouldn’t call it in until I leave.

BARTENDER: Understood. I bet you get pestered a lot by lepers.

JESUS: Not so much anymore. It’s just that I’m retiring.

BARTENDER: You can quit being a saviour?

JESUS: Well, it’s not like I signed a contract. I talked it over with Dad, and we agreed that it’s time for me to hang up the crown.

BARTENDER: What are we going to do without you?

JESUS: I assume you’ll just keep doing what you’ve always done. People have been committing the most heinous acts in my name for the past 2000+ years.

BARTENDER: But you’re the basis of our moral system.

JESUS: Whale shit. Do you really think you can cheat on you wife and then absolve yourself with a prayer?

BARTENDER: You saw that?

JESUS: No, just an educated guess. I’m good at what I do, but I don’t keep track of everyone.

(SPARKLE, a hooker, enters the bar.)

BARTENDER: Sparkle, guess who this is!

(Sparkle laughs and hugs Jesus affectionately)

SPARKLE: Hey, Jay! How’s it hangin’?

JESUS (laughs): I’ve had worse days, luv. How’s tricks?

SPARKLE: Great! There’s an evangelical convention in town. This is the first time I’ve stood up in hours.

JESUS: Oh, they of too much faith. Have a seat. Take a load off.

SPARKLE (sits next to Jesus): I’ll gladly take a seat, but I’ve been taking loads off all day.

JESUS: Then you need a drink. What can I get you?

SPARKLE: (sips from Jesus’s glass) Mmmm, that’s a righteous gewurzt, but I’m really craving a brew.

JESUS: (to bartender) A stein of water, please.

BARTENDER: (opens a beer) Never mind. My treat. You’re retiring, after all.

SPARKLE: Yeah, Jay. How’s that going?

BARTENDER: You knew about this, Sparkle?

SPARKLE: To be sure. Jay and I go way back.

JESUS: I always look up my boo when I’m in town.

BARTENDER: I thought you only cavorted with the affluent and powerful.

JESUS: Don’t you read the Bible, bro?

BARTENDER: No. I told you I’m a Unitarian.

JESUS: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19: 23-26. New International Version.

SPARKLE: Also, Mark, 10: 24-27 and Luke 18: 24-27. Kinda redundant there, Jay.

JESUS: (laughs) True, but you try to work with those people.

BARTENDER: So the wealthy won’t make it into heaven?

JESUS: Well, Dad has mellowed over the last few millennia. He’s letting them in now, but they’re confined to a gated community. And he won’t let them in the bowling leagues.

SPARKLE: Bummer!

JESUS (tapping glass on bar) Barkeep, more water, please.

SPARKLE: So, Jay, have you picked out a retirement spot yet?

JESUS: It will definitely be in the desert. I feel really at home there, and it’s good for my sinuses.

BARTENDER: (filling glass) Which one?

JESUS: I don’t name my sinuses.

BARTENDER: Which desert?

SPARKLE: The Sinai?

JESUS: Clever wordplay, sweetcheeks.

BARTENDER: Again, which desert.

JESUS: Arizona’s out. Too many Republicans. Not Utah, either. I don’t want the Mormons bugging me. Probably the Mojave, between Vegas and L.A. I follow the Lakers. And the Angels, too, of course.

(TEDDY T., Sparkle’s pimp, enters the bar.)

TEDDY: Break’s over, Sparkle. The evangelicals are ready for the Second Coming.

JESUS: The lady hasn’t finished her drink, friend.

TEDDY: And who approximately are you, hippie? Her saviour?

JESUS: I used to be. but we’re just buds now.

SPARKLE: He was my first love, Teddy.

TEDDY: Oh, for Christ’s sake!

JESUS: Speaking.

TEDDY: You’re pushin’ it, pal.

BARTENDER: Teddy T., you really don’t want to mess with this dude.

TEDDY: Nobody troubles my turf.

JESUS: Might I interest you in a nice glass of gewurtz?

TEDDY: On your feet, punk!

JESUS (stands up): I could make you a nice margarita, instead.

TEDDY: I’m gonna knock you out of those stupid sandals, wise ass!

(Teddy takes a swing at Jesus, but his arm freezes short of Jesus’s face. Jesus tickles Teddy’s armpit.)

JESUS: Who’s a bad pimp? Who’s a bad pimp?

TEDDY (laughing): Stop that!

JESUS: Then kindly answer my question.

TEDDY (laughing): I am.

JESUS: Tell me more.

TEDDY (laughing): I’m a bad pimp! A very bad pimp now stop!

JESUS: I haven’t heard the magic word, pilgrim.

TEDDY (laughing): Please! Please stop! PLEASE! Before I piss my silky skivvies!

(Jesus waves his hand and Teddy unfreezes.)

TEDDY: I’m gonna carve my initials on your forehead, asshole!

(Teddy reaches into a coat pocket and pulls out a Hello, Kitty doll.)

TEDDY: What the fuck? Okay, David Blaine, see if you can eat bullets!

(Teddy reaches into another pocket and pulls out a Super Soaker.)

JESUS: Feeling a tad confused, are we, Teddy?

TEDDY: Quite honestly, yes.

JESUS: Then ye must be borne again. Baptise yourself.

(Teddy shoots himself in the face with the Super Soaker.)

TEDDY: Oh, crap! My very expensive shirt! (sits down in shame)

JESUS: Everybody listen up! I am the Alpha and the Omega, so here’s my finale. Barkeep, this dive is about to become the toniest gay bar in the city. Teddy, I’m going to spot you 50 more IQ points so you can finally get that doctorate in anthropology you’ve wanted for so long.

TEDDY: Thank you, Jesus. I think I would have done better if I hadn’t gone to parochial school.

SPARKLE: What about me, Jay?

JESUS: Sparkle, my dear, you can take over Teddy’s turf, and Large Leroy’s turf, as well. Leroy is about to meet an ugly though humourous death. He will be run over by a group of Japanese tourists on Segways later tonight. (pause) So my work here is done and I’m off to the desert to clear my sinuses. (starts to leave)


JESUS: Yes, luv.

SPARKLE: I have significant allergy problems.

(Jesus smiles and takes Sparkle’s hand. As they exit, the bar lights up and “I Will Survive” starts playing.)

  1. Judith permalink
    December 15, 2022 8:09 pm

    Did you write that piece? Great!
    I also went to MYF and really had fun. Many of my best friends are from the MYF group and we are all now Atheists. Unfortunately, the Methodists teach you to question everything, thinking you will come around with the knowledge you have gained and be a stronger believer than you were before. What happens we question and answer ourselves right out of the church. My neighbour from Georgia was also in MYF and those were some of the best times of his teen life.
    Happy Holidays to you and Jude we will be staying home as usual. Still glad we are not in the US.

    • December 16, 2022 11:29 am

      Yes, I wrote it, but it would never be produced on Quadra. It is nigh on impossible to make it as a playwright unless you live in a major market like New York, L.A. or Toronto. Maybe when the GOP takes over the House next month, the good and righteous people of the Freedom Caucus will investigate why the MYF produces so many atheists. Happy holidays to you kids, as well.

  2. Joe permalink
    December 15, 2022 8:22 pm

    ‘Tis the Season to be Cynical
    La-La La-La…

    • December 16, 2022 11:31 am

      Cynical? Yes. Realistic? Yes. Hopeful? No. TTYS

      • Anonymous permalink
        December 16, 2022 8:09 pm

        Seriously… This season makes me cynical!

  3. Joe permalink
    December 16, 2022 8:10 pm


  4. John Bozich permalink
    December 16, 2022 9:08 pm

    AP-I meant to write you last evening as we arrived back home late from KC area-I thought for a moment that I did actually write you but seeing no response in the blog, I will finish my thoughts (if I did write you already, I guess the mind is slipping but at least my intentions shall be met!) I, too, was thinking this must be AP original screenplay: quite reminiscent of the “days of yore” UMHE gigs you so graciously offered Pittsburg while we had you…being presumptuous, I have already shared this skit with JT Knoll who is my favorite Buddhist Catholic hybrid…he and I continue to sing ( if Kristofferson, Dylan or Arlo Guthrie are really singers, too) on Saturday mornings occasionally at the Pittsburg Farmers Market where Iattempt to vend plants and glass art from Spring through the Summer (recalling Melody Matinee perhaps as you satire such in your productions). Loving your continued writing-would have sworn you once published in Esquire-life is dreamy indeed…semper fi

    • December 20, 2022 11:50 am

      JB, The only play of mine produced in the states, “Laughing Too Loud”, was performed by Pittsburg Community Theater and Foolkiller repertory group in Kansas City. Whoever did the publicity for Foolkiller told the KC Star and/or Times that I’d been published in Esquire. I have not ever had the distinction. I did get two articles published in Cavalier magazine satirizing letters to Penthouse. Please give my best to JT. If he can cause any trouble with “Jesus . . .”, he has my blessings.

      • John Bozich permalink
        December 20, 2022 12:45 pm

        Well, then I guess I prefer Cavalier magazine for its discerning taste in article authors! Supposed to get to -7 degrees F here overnight Thursday/early Fri a.m. Hoping for an error in forecast but it IS winter in Kansas…

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: