THE INFORMATION #951
Every living man is a museum that houses the horrors of the race.–Henry Miller
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART THIRTY-FOUR: DAYS OF WRATH
“I suppose I mought well envision the Second Coming,” said Count Victor Justin to Cadger Tandy, who, despite his unease at this blasphemous line of palaver, struggled to remain poker-faced and unmoved. “I’m supposing, once Jesus arrives in town and makes his way past the usual officious immigration authorities and is quarantined for tuberculosis and syphilis and sprayed for fleas and lice, he will likely be assigned a room in a flophouse and told that thereafter it is his own lookout as to how to earn His crust, and he would be urged to sink, swim or fly.”
“And I can easily imagine Christ coming to Noxtown. That deluded bearded nomad. Not trying to raise a ruckus. Not out to cause no trouble. No rabble-rousing, not this time. No, just trying to find a job; some way to make a living, that’s all. Experience: some light carpentry; a little bit of deep-sea fishing. A short spell as a short order cook. And, of course, public speaking. Some inspirational speechifying, in a modest way. I would imagine, though, that not being able to speaka da English would hold Him back some. Unless you hold with the Southern Baptists and happen to believe that The Bethlehem KId was 100% American and spoke pure unadulterated English all the time–and nothing else.
“Quite naturally, He would have to follow the beaten path, roll with the punches, and run with the pack. He would have to get cleaned up. After all, we can’t have the Messiah going about looking like a low-down Stewbum. And, in most parts of the United States, sandals aren’t exactly considered formal attire. Perhaps a lonely old widder-woman could be persuaded to front the Christ some ooftish to get a decent haircut, and maybe she could give the snorky Nazarene one of her husband’s natty old suits. I suppose that if’n He needed to raise some pocket change, well, we all know that He is a past master of turning water into wine, so I reckon that He could probably earn quite a few coins by providing skid row winos with plenty of their favorite vin ordinaire. I also suppose that then He could work his way up and make quite a racket out of supplying Bohunk weddings with plenty of the good old stuffy-wuffy.
“In my estimation, once He got Himself a small stake, He could take to the road as a traveling huckster, just as I once did. He could be a peripatetic pedlar. An itinerant road-agent. Mush-faker, scissor sharpener, pot-walloper. A wandering hobo–is there any other kind?– who will chop wood and perform other odd jobs around the house, including goosing the stray old maid or maybe even jazzing the grass widow–whose most precious possession just happens to be…a framed picture of Our Lord and Savior! Kind of makes you think, now, don’t it? Yes, if Jesus came to Noxtown he could easily become a prophet of small profit and no fixed address.
“There are natural and unnatural hazards to such a harum-scarum existence, however–an ass full of rock-salt buckshot from Mr. Whiskers, the billygoat-faced farmer, just for starters. He would have to learn to read the signs the hobos leave! Ugh, how I used to dread the stupid gaunt faces of those country younkers when I was a wild drummer boy and a wandering fool. But never fear, Yob, I got my own back on their kind. And in spades.
“I fancy that if Mr. Jesus applies Himself to his job of selling broken toys to sick monkeys with the same dedication as He showed in preaching His well-known Sermon on the Mount, before too long He will have accumulated quite a grouch bag full of pretty, shiny shekels, which He, no doubt, would transfer to a tin box–a wonderful tin box–and I’ll bet He’d commence to watching over it like a hawk. I’m pretty sure that Jesus would be a wise investor: He wouldn’t work for His money; He would make His money work for Him. Never mind all that guff about him turning over all them tables and hollaring about making His Father’s temple into a house of thieves–I’ll bet He was just sore on account of the Jew boys wasn’t giving Him a cut of all the do-re-mi they were pulling in with their money-changing racket.
“Pretty soon, I swan, He would become a real merchant prince. And then the fun would begin. He would entertain three-day-wonders and other out-of-town clients by taking them, on the first night, to the the-ay-ter, probably to see some solemn and boring and thoroughly respectable production of something or t’other. That would no doubt be for the benefit of the chumps as pen the gossip columns. ‘Mr. Jesus K. Reist, the prominent merchant, escorted Mr. K. Herod and Mr. P. Pilate to see a production of Ten Nights in a Bar-Room, now playing an extended run at the Lyceum Theatre.’
“The next night, of course, Jesus and his new Pal would paint the town all manners of red and work their way through every beer garden, gin mill, and bucket of blood from Jivetown to Brand Plaza. And they wouldn’t be drinking dope or any other kind of soda pop. I imagine Mr. The Christ knows His way around wines, even if his knowledge of fine vintages is dated by about 1900 years. In fact, I’ll warrant that Mr. J. knows more than anybody else about the grape, seeing as how His blood is made of wine.
“On the third night, I’m guessing that good old Jerusalem Slim and his client would make a grand tour of all the low down dives, questionable resorts, and gambling hells from Olde Mystick Village to The Ponderosa. Being as how Good Old J.C. has a way with all the Magdalenes, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if his client got his ashes hauled and went home a very happy man–though not without first signing a fat contract with The Merchant Prince of Peace…AND his twelve business partners.”
SCRUFFY THE CAT
BIG FAT MONKEY’S HAT
LUXURY CONDOS COMING TO YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD SOON
“The Welsh are said to be so remarkably fond of cheese, that, in cases of difficulty, their midwives apply a piece of toasted cheese to the janua vitae to attract and entice the young Taffy, who, on smelling it, makes most vigorous efforts to come forth.”
WHAT I WAS ARRESTED FOR
“God-damn Son, you’ve got a knack for making people vicious!”
THE APATHY FESTIVAL
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
HOW TO SUCCEED WITH BRUNETTES (1967)
6* DAILY UTILITY
JASON & THE ARGONAUTS
HELL-BENT FOR ELECTION (1944)
Rumor: Japanese engineers have created a robotic bear to aid in assisted suicides.
THE GREATEST TASTE AROUND (VIDEO)
DON’T FUCK WITH ME, FELLAS
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
CLIVE JAMES ON HUMOR
“My petite amie, who turned up sobbing drunk with a Marine on either arm.”
12* CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE
Muppet creator’s family says fired actor played Kermit as ‘bitter, angry, depressed victim’