Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Away in a Manger

I was a bearded, nine year-old 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 baby Jesus-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 giggling 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, 0000.
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?
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?
Shepherd #3: I think it’s a type of gum resin.
Shepherd #2: Who the hell gives gum resin to a baby?
Angels: (in three-part harmony) Aaaahhhhhh! Aaaaahhhhh!
Shepherd #1: (clutching his chest) Holy crap! That scared the hell out me.
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.
Shepherd # 2: Where the hell did you find myrrh anyway?
Wise Man #3: We were late getting our Christmas shopping done, so I stopped at the Myrrh Emporium at the outlet mall just outside Bethlehem.
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: (rolling her eyes) God, get me outta here . . . Joseph! Did you remember to call the sitter?

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At 4:28 PM , Blogger Speck said...

>Who the hell gives gum resin to a baby?


Hubby wanted to know what I was cackling about so I read him the entire post aloud, complete with singing the angelic Aaaaahhhhs in three-part harmony. (I'm assuming the second Aaahhh went up one step, at least that's how I sang it.)

I think you should round up six or eight of your closest drunken friends and film this scene for UTube. It would go viral in a matter of hours. Miss Healthypants could be the Virgin Mary.

At 4:00 PM , Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

I still LOVE this story!! LOL!! :)

Hey, I would like to play the Virgin Mary--let's do it! :)

(My pink snuggie could be her robe.) *grin*


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