|For Sale: Contents of a Clay Pot
Author: Ed Harley PM
Random tales from the junk drawer.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor - Chapters: 22 - Words: 14,065 - Reviews: 71 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 03-03-13 - Published: 12-22-11 - id: 2981707
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I'm now offering for sale a collection of bizarre writings that I found sealed in a clay pot. It's scrawled in the hand of an unknown writer, and judging from the incoherent content, the person must have been completely detached from reality. I'm not sure what it's worth... make me an offer.
Ed the village rat killer
The Nerds of the Magi
It was time for the annual Christmas pageant at the Plainsboro Methodist Church. A nine-year-old Tee was dressed as the Virgin Mary with a swaddled baby doll in her lap; Arthur was a thirteen-year-old wise man in a robe and long white beard. His mom and dad sat in the front row. They looked so proud of their kids... at first.
Arthur had been determined to make 1995 the last year that his mother forced him to act in a church play. That year, he decided to add a little intrigue to the birth of the Savior, changing the plot to make it into a sort of a 'who done it' mystery.
The wise man backed up against the wall where he could reach the light switch, the stage went dark, the Virgin Mary screamed out dramatically. The lights came on again, the audience murmured and poor Joseph sat with his mouth open as a series of surprising developments occurred around the manger.
"What's going on here?" The wise man pointed dramatically. "The baby Jesus is Gone!"
"Oh no!" Tee jumped up, shaking her little fist at the audience. "Somebody stole my baby!"
The wise man stepped out to center stage. "Don't worry, Virgin Mary, I'll find your baby..." Then the wise man noticed something on the floor. "What's this... could it be a clue?"
Most of the audience sat in awkward silence as their mother scrambled up on stage to put a stop to it. Arthur's uncle slumped down in the second row nearly asphyxiating from inappropriate laughter.
"Theresa Anne Liggett!" their mother whispered loud enough to make an echo. "You go find the baby Jesus Right This Minute!"
Meanwhile, the wise man was slowly backing off stage; he badly wanted to go tend to the camels, guard the frankincense or... something.
"Arthur!" His mother trapped him in the corner, wagging a finger in his face. The lecture was too frantic to make out the words. At one point she glanced at the audience. Then, not wanting to make a scene, she grabbed hold of the Virgin Mary's arm and the wise man's ear and dragged them both back stage.
After a very tense five-minute absence, the wise man shuffled back on stage again; his face was bright red and he kept his eyes on the floor. The Virgin Mary followed him, sniffling, with tears running down her face; she carried the baby Jesus upside down by a leg.
Virtually everyone in the church heard her mother whisper from offstage: "You're dragging Jesus... you hold him right!" Tee sat in her chair, put the doll in her lap and cried.
Then the play restarted. The first wise man gave gold, the second gave myrrh, and then it was time for Arthur to do his line. He started to step forward and present his gift to the Savior but there was a problem. His gift was gone.
He didn't see his jar of frankincense anywhere but he did see his mother glaring at him from just off stage. Arthur felt everyone in the audience looking at him, expecting him to give a gift to Jesus. He slipped a hand inside his robe to see if there was something in his pocket. Arthur walked out to center stage and knelt down in front of Joseph and Mary.
"From the Far East I brought this... um" Arthur put out his hands and cringed. "This gift of... um… grape-flavored Nerds... for the Savior to enjoy."
There was more inappropriate laughter from the audience. Tee was still mad at Arthur for getting her in trouble; she grabbed the box of Nerds and threw it at him but it flew over the wise man's head and into the audience. Tee sat there pouting with her arms crossed. At that point, the minister's wife decided to cut their losses and close the curtains.
It was raining and cold that night so his father went out to warm up the car. Arthur and Tee wanted to get away from their mom so they went with him. They climbed in the backseat and waited.
Their dad wasn't easy to read; it was really hard to tell when he was angry. He got the heater going, turned on the defrost and adjusted the rear view mirror. "So Arthur," his father said. "I don't recall reading anything in the New Testament about grape-flavored Nerds."
"Yeah," Arthur admitted, "it was kind of a surprise for me too."
His dad pretended to re-adjust the mirror as Arthur's mother reached the car.
She was already in mid-sentence: "...been so humiliated in ALL MY LIFE!"