A very saintly, filled with god-sky, and maybe
just a teensy bit sanctimonious good morning to all you guys and gals! Better have your extinguishers ready ’cause I’m tellin’ ya, I’m so stoked to be here today, my glorious raiment is like unto fire!
Hey, I’m only goofin’ around with the bible talk! Is that just so 1611 or what?!
Not forgetting to offer a fruity, full-bodied sip from the chalice to the rest of Dad’s creation, and— last but not least—a cheery yet perplexed shout-out to all those men, women and children, plus their respective farm animals, currently trampling each other to death as they board the ferry scheduled to sink in the Arabian Sea on Boxing Day.
Never change, ferry dudes! Gotta love your stick-to-it-ivity!
First off, I’d like to thank the whole world for dropping everything so we could hang out, and also for the seven billion cappuccinos and “morning glory” muffins, that’s awe-sommmme!
And frankly, the high fibre is just what I need today. You’d think with all the pieces of whole-wheat toast I appear on, I’d be more regular. Well, not the case!
And for the millionth time—are you ready for this?— special memo to the ferry passengers: Please, just this once, could you not get on the fucking ferry.
I know, right? I mean, what is that??!
I can tell by the way some of you are looking at me like so many Sauls on so many collector lanes of the Damascus Freeway that you’re freaked out. It’s OK, I’m used to it. But yes, Mrs Aquino, it really is me, so you can put away the rosary, honey, and— just look up, I’m right here, OK? Sheesh.
Traveling light today, with my accompanying clouds of glory, but minus the sheep and the goats, because— well, I know they need dividing, one from the other, but, like many of you I’m sure, I woke up, took one look at the sunshine and said to myself, “It’s just way too nice a day to be stuck in Purgatory with a bunch of even-toed ungulates.”
And of course, minus the angels. If you’re out of the loop, it’s a collective action thing until we sort out how many of them can dance on the head of a pin without creating a fire hazard, which a certain Heavenly Father, not to mention any names, never got around to deciding.
Plus c’est change—!
Now, the IT department says that many of you have been close to crashing starry-firmament-dot-com with your requests to develop a close, personal relationship with Yours Truly.
Hey, don’t be be nice to me, I can’t take it! L O friggin’ L!
So let’s kick off this getting-acquainted confessional conflab with a little segment I like to call “My Favorite Things”.
I used to call it “I am sixteen, going on seventeen”, but someone pointed out that there’s a limit to what back lighting and too-tight raiment of fire can do for a guy.
And far be it from me you should have “Second Coming Shock”! There’s enough to worry about as it is, right?
Now, when it’s a question of My Favorite Things, let me set the record straight: you can just back off with your raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Gag me with a spoon, Murgatroyd!
Similarly, I’m about five hundred hallelujah’s short of a Handel chorus for any wild geese that fly with the moon—or anything else, for that matter—on their wings.
No way, José!
And make no mistake, it was after a dinner of fine apple strudels, and doorbells and sleighbells and schnitzel with noodles, that Mr Hitler turned to Mrs Hitler and said, “You see that homeless guy over there, in the corner, all glowing white, with the dove flying around his head and holding a cross? That’s Jesus Christ!! Yes siree, and believe it or not— he’s ordering me to kill Jews! All of them! Why the hell would I want to do that?”
And after a moment of quiet reflection she replied, “Job security … ?”
So fuck all that Oscar Hammerstein II—Mary Martin bullshit!
My favorite thing is:
When a whole bunch of innocent people get gunned down in a church.
Call me shallow! Mister Away-In-a-Manger-Irony-Pants, that’s Me!
L O Friggin’ L!
Because nothing, I tell ya, nothing brings people together more effectively or reminds you, in the course of your tedious, workaday life, of what’s really important better than a mass shooting by a deranged civil servant or psychotic fast-food employee who’s gonna kill himself anyway.
Nothing, I tell ya, gets your adrenaline flowing like a hail of bullets erupting as you sing “Amazing Grace”; nothing ups the ante like seeing your loved ones’ blood on the Book of Common Prayer, or hearing your kids screaming in panic as they try to take cover.
I mean, it’s at moments like that when life is revealed in all its gorgeous complexity. But wait! Are you thinking what I’m thinking…? Yep, you got it!
The candlelight vigil is the warm, hemorrhaging heart of an American-as-apple-pie mass shooting incident. It’s the healing moment, the time when America sits itself down, looks itself in the eye, and faces a difficult truth: that we still don’t have enough guns or few enough gun controls for us to feel safe enough to sit ourselves down, look ourselves in the eye and face the difficult truth: that it’s time to forgive ourselves, and move forward after closure, and do everything exactly the same!
When it comes right down to it, the candlelight vigil is why we do mass shootings in the first place, the “raison de ne pas être”, as it were. Awww— ! I dunno about you, but personally, as someone who’s embraced Pontius Pilate, Pol Pot, and everyone in between—I’ve never felt so damned “huggy”!
You know, and can I just say, seriously. Some people don’t appreciate my work, and I try not to pay attention to them or let them bring me down. I just continue making people’s lives a little more holy, holy, holy, a tad more Lamb of God-y, with never a thought for my own fleshly desires or even finding someone to watch Game of Thrones with on a Saturday night.
For example, ever since I figured out that LOL stands for “lots of love”, I try to work it in wherever I can. Like, I just appeared on a crying-old-lady-in-Bosnia’s piece of rye bread covered with apricot preserves—and looking up, you know, into the apricot preserves, I wrote with my tongue—
Žao mi je što je puhasto pregazio tramva LOL!
Which means, in Bosnian, “I’m sorry Fluffy got run over by a tram LOL!”— but then the old lady just kind of freaked out and cried even more.
You either get it, and you’re on the High Speed GO Train of God Bless Our God; or you don’t get it and you’re just walkin’ in place, walkin’ in place in that old soft-shoe routine headed straight to “Welcome to Loserville, population one”.
I could end up with my ego right down the toilet if I listened to every Tom, Dick and Harry. “It only hurts if you think it’s true!” That’s what Charlene, my life coach, told me back in 1993, and I was like, “In which case, Charlene, it won’t hurt when I tell you that, sure, with my stripes ye are healed, but in your case I should have specified vertical.” Oi ve voy!
We’re all adults? I can talk freely? ‘Cause I do have issues. Low self-esteem, social anxiety. Chronic frizzies when it gets even a teensy bit humid out.
I was that typical crucifix-building nerd, you know, scrawny. Bullies kickin’ the Dead Sea in my face when I’d be just minding my own business, trying to even out my tan.
And I was a horny little bugger, but inept. There’s one time, like, I’m about twelve and I see Mary Magdalene at the well, you know, promoting her “Buy One, Your Ten Closest Male Relatives Get It Free!” special. So I approach her, I’m so excited and so shy at the same time, and—she pops her tits out! Well, yeah, OK. I guess they were more or less like juicy pomegranates if you wanna get all Song of Solomon about it.
And what do I do? Instead of, like, just pulling a Weinstein, instead of jumping on her like a pit bull and tit-fucking her like any other normal, red-blooded Israelite of twelve, I’m like, “Nice belt!”
Hot hairy balls on a communion wafer, what a little meshugener faggot! May all the Sons of Abraham lube me up with locusts and honey if she didn’t probably think I was one of those sodomites the Pharisees are always going on about.
Like Bruce bar Lenny, our local combination hair stylist and abomination. This is back in Galilee you understand, where it was soooo provincial. I mean, you wait and wait, the big show finally makes it there, everyone lines up for an absolute eternity for tickets— then they all prance around at intermission sayin’ “Leessa Minooli”. Talk about embarrassing!
Yeah, so anyway this is the new lean, mean Joshua bar Joseph Son O’ God machine, kind of thing. I was getting sick of the eighty-hour weeks, absolutely no “me time”, always exhausted and dropping my iPhone in the hummus, I’m sure you can all identify.
Day in, day out, same old drudgery, then one day I say to myself, Jesus, bro, you are not up to speed with this shit. Game the system, dude! I mean, have you totally forgotten the Eight Beatitudes of Highly Successful People?
So I started pumpin’ iron, cuttin’ down on the saturated fat. Screw loaves and fishes, I bulked up on rice cakes. Compared to which, frankly, styrofoam would be tastier.
No more freebies, either. Who’s gonna work if they got everything handed to them on a plate? Seriously. Food miracle queens! The Riviera’s full of ’em!
And I initiated some time-saving strategies. Now, instead of giving babies original sin individually—I mean, bespoke is all very well, but that shit’s just not scalable—I came up with, we line up a few hundred thousand in a grid, and then Adam and Eve, and sometimes Steve, can just piss on all of them at once.
So yeah, I cut down on the human resources, too. Got five disciples doin’ the work of twelve. Now that I’m ripped, of course, John gets hissy fits whenever Judas gives me the old hairy eyeball, and I tell ya! Those gingers! We’re talkin’ trouser snake, major, and when they say that cock crowed three times — sometimes four! Whoa!
So I end up with some leisure time, and at first it’s fun. I get together with Milton Friedman, that old schlemozzel! And once the old blood and water’s flowing from my pierc-èd side, and he’s stuck his fingers in for proof, we have a ‘trickle-down’ contest.
Good times, man. Good times.
So, whatever. Leisure is for the masses, but when you got ambition—! I decide to do a hard-hitting exposé of corruption among the Pharisees, and the people are like, “Are you nuts? They’ll crucify you!” How the hell was I supposed to know they meant it literally?
Around the same time, I create this new religion spin-off with my buddy Mohammed, and we do some A-B testing. Will people like the latkes, or will they like the tabbouli, kind of thing. Pants and shirts or kaftans? Donkeys or mules? Oppressed women or oppressed women?
But then I find Mo’s been fiddling with the concept, he’s added all kinds of crazy perqs for the tin-foil hatters.
I mean, nine-year-old brides? Right. Maybe you’re fooling the Age of Aquarius crowd with that “girls got the curse earlier in those days” shtick. But I say let her tinker with her “Jihad Barbie Dream Caravan” for a couple more years, OK?
Like my mom, Ave Maria, used to say:
“A nicely brought up little girl should never give birth to anything larger than her own head. Unless she’s a shiksa, in which case I hope every ten-year-old chick on the Left Bank should pop out a camel!”
So yeah, I joined the NRA, just ’cause I love when some pansy called Beauregard gets his panties in a twist about packing a rocket launcher in his hand luggage. And I indulge in a little target practice: San Antonio one week, Las Vegas the next.
Orlando, now, that was different. I’m crying with laughter when some genius suggests it woulda been better if they’d all had guns.
Are you fuckin’ retarded? Boys and girls who flounced off to the disco for a fun time are sprawled on the floor in a pool of blood, and you’re suggesting a hundred screaming queens messed up on crystal fighting back with automatic weapons? It’d be like “All About Eve” meets “Saving Private Ryan”!
So what I do is, I stand next to them in my Invisibility Cloak, help the guys aim, whisper in their ears who to pick off next.
Fourteen-year-old preacher’s daughter. BAM! J. F. K.— BAM BAM! Yeah, I can finally come out about Dallas.
Good to have a creative hobby, it’s like, I’m top of the pyramid in Maslow’s Hierarchy, self-actualization, and it’s not many guys in sandals can say that.
No one achieves anything on their own, but as long as I get the credit, I don’t care. Ten years ago I invested heavily in a vanilla-scented candle operation, cornered the market in adorable stuffed animals and launched my event planning division, “Vigils by Emmanuel!” which has already won two “Smarmies” and a “Dead Teddie” for “Best Grieving by Ten or More Hysterical Survivors”.
I tell ya. Americans can make sausage out of anything!
Anyhoo, tomorrow’s an early start. Looking forward to appearing on some Aunt Jemima pancakes drenched in maple syrup, that’s always been like my Holy Grail.
Holy Grail! What the fuck, ha ha HA!
I tell ya, I don’t know where it all comes from. It’s like mom used to say, Josh, she’d say. You’re a natural! You like, totally nailed it!
And that, my friends, is why they pay me the big bucks.