Friday, November 18, 2005

Away in a Manger . . .

I was a bearded Joseph at my church's nativity play and my friend, Beth, got to be Mary. All we had to do was to walk out, stand there, and gaze at the baby Jesus which consisted of a doll in a cradle festooned with hay. Beth was to kneel beside the cradle and I was to stand beside her with my hand on her shoulder while the shepherds and wise men did their thing. That's it! However, some pranksters (i.e. my younger brother and his friends) had crossed the eyes on the doll just before the play began. Beth and I had to gaze at this psychotic-looking doll the entire time. Needless to say, we turned into a couple of out-of-control nine year olds by the time the narrator read, "and wrapped him in swaddling clothes."

That got me to thinking about the manger scenes that are displayed every year, especially the original one on December 25, '00.

Everyone is always displayed gazing upon the baby Jesus with these looks of adoration, but I've often thought, "just how long did they have to do this?" Our nativity play took about 15 minutes, tops, yet it seemed like forever. So, how long did everyone really stand there gazing at the baby? An hour? Two? Until sunrise? And who decided how long they had to do this? Did they get bathroom breaks?

I can just imagine how it went:

Shepherd #1: (pokes Shepherd #2) "Psssst! Say, how long are we supposed to stand here and look at this kid?"

Shepherd #2: "Beats me. Maybe that guy with the myrrh knows something. "

Shepherd #1: What is myrrh, anyway?

Angels: (in three-part harmony) Aaaahhhhhh! Aaaaahhhhh!

Mary: "If Joseph suggests this 'natural child-birth' thing next time, he's gonna end up with that staff around his neck. God I wish I'd gone with the epidural. . . .

(Donkey pees all over the straw)

Shepherd #3: "Hey. Did you guys remember to shut the gate on the flocks we were watching by night?"

Shepherd #1: I told Shepherd #2 to get it on the way out. We're good.

Angels: Aaaahhhhhh! Aaaaahhhhh!

Wise Man #2: The kid's still crying. I don't think he likes frankincense

Wise Man #3: He didn't seem to care for the myrrh either.

Wise Man #1: (looking up in the sky) Where'd that star go? Hey. You guy's know the way back?

Wise Man #2: Beats me. I'm terrible with directions.

Mary: (sigh) It's East, you fool!

Wise Man #1: Mee-oww! Chill out, lady.

Shepherd #1: Seriously guys. Just how long are we supposed to hang around? I'm hungry!

Angels: Aaaahhhhhh! Aaaaahhhhh! (cough! cough!) Did anyone bring any Sucrets?

Mary: God, get me outta here . . . Joseph! Did you remember to call the sitter?


At 7:43 PM , Blogger Iwanski said...

If I remember correctly from the manger scene that was under the tree when I grew up, the shepherds and wise men got bored pretty quick and wound up flying in the Millenium Falcon next to Chewbacca.

At 9:56 PM , Blogger Mom said...

And baby Jesus got hungry and was howling to be fed, and Mary was wishing all these men would leave and give a girl some privacy. She had just birthed a baby and was too tired to put up with all this uninvited company.


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