"Now let me get this straight ...”, He continued. “You take chicken eggs ... color them different colors after you’ve - what did you say you did, hard-boiled them? - and then you hide the eggs out on your lawn and send little children out to find them?”
Sheepishly, I acknowledged His assessment. Before I could change this nose-diving conversation, He stared at me disbelievingly.
“Is there more?”
“Well ... ehhh ... Chocolate companies and Hallmark Cards have kinda jumped on the bandwagon too ...”
What was I going to say? I couldn’t lie to the guy! Besides, I had a hangover that showed me about as much mercy as an infomercial full of insurance salesman. The last thing I expected to deal with on Easter Sunday morning was to find Jesus Christ Himself lying on my living room floor.
He sipped his Ovaltine and sat quietly for a moment. Almost an hour had passed since I stumbled out from my bedroom and shouted “Jesus Christ”, only to receive an affirmative response. Now I found myself obsessed with what I was going to serve Him for breakfast.
He had discoursed - an none too clearly at that - in metaphysical terms on His sudden appearance in my home. It involved some sort of time-space continuum that essentially came down to the “UP” mechanism malfunctioning. He indicated that it has happened before but that He never landed in this time era.
“I hope you don’t mind, but they like for me to stay wherever I’ve transported to. It makes it easier to work out the problem”.
What was I going to do - tell Him He had to leave? That I was busy? I still hadn’t figured out what He looked like. He had the duende of a William Holden but at a closer, studied glance, He seemed more like a larger, Harry Dean Stanton-type. He could have used a shave but nothing like the most common depiction’s of Him.
With the notion of winning a lot of bar bets, or getting Kresgan-like billing on the talk show circuit, I began to think of some questions that He could give me the inside dirt on. Like, whose idea was it to put sand in the hourglass and how did they know that it was one hour?
Or what about the speculation that is was actually the dog salivating that made Pavlov ring the bell?
“You don’t really expect me to do something like that, do you?", he asked in a very disapproving tone.
Before I could dwell on the implications of His unsolicited response, I choked with panic at the thought of my girlfriend strolling out of the bedroom. Raised eyebrows followed me to the bedroom door as I inched over to see that it was closed. As a distraction, I decided to test Him.
“How do I know You are who You say You are?”
“Ohhh boy I knew this would come up sooner or later.”
“What was Rosebud?”
“Who”, I asked as I secured the bedroom door, “killed Sean Regan?”
“The Big Sleep? - Book or movie?”, He retorted sharply, the glint in His eye told me He knew.
“All right then ... Who’s gonna win the World Series this year?”
“Hey, I thought I’d sneak one in there, ya know ... So ... Ahhh ... Would it be, like ... uncool or whatever ... to ask you to ... You know .... Do something?”
He rolled his eyes and let out a long, deep breath.
“Why should you be any different than the others .. What? Hailstones? ...Locusts? ... The ever-boring thunder-and-lightening routine! ... I wish that once, just once, someone would ask me for something really special - Like a perfect Tango! ... Something!”
“I don’t know then, surprise me”.
“Careful”, He half-laughed. “Remember who you’re saying that to ... You’d be in awe of how many people actually ask for locusts - and always on someone else’s property”.
He sat silently and gazed about the room. No chants. No arm-waving. No earth-moving.
He just sat there and, after a few moments, He stood up.
“Okay, let’s go check”, He announced indifferently.
He led me to my washing machine and motioned for me to open the lid. I couldn’t believe it!
It was filled with socks! Single socks! All colors, sizes, patterns - every sock I ever lost in my life! I turned to say something but He was making his way back to the living room, confidently whistling a little ditty and with a pronounced swagger in His step.
“So”, He said rather coolly, “What else do I have to do around here to get something to eat?”
I apologized profusely and went scurrying to the kitchen. Warding off any meat controversies, I settled on waffles. My hangover was calling for a batch of Bloody Mary’s but I wasn’t sure how that would go over. While preparing breakfast, I could hear Him poking around the living room.
“Try me again”, He shouted “What year is this?”
“Ah, two-thousand-seven, A.D. ... Ehh ... I mean ... You know ... After you ...”
“I see ... Do you have one of those television things that everybody seems to be talking about?”
Forgetting myself, I walked into the living room, handed him the remote control, and walked back into the kitchen. After a few minutes - and not hearing any sounds - I peered into the living room and found Him holding the remote in His hands - staring at it intently.
“Remarkable little thing”, he said noticing me. “But I’m not quite sure that I get it”.
I rushed in and gave Him directions. He was enthralled, flicking away and making His rookie, channel-surfing run. He would study a channel for a few moments before powering onward. And as I went back into the kitchen, I couldn’t help but to notice that there was really something innate and universal to the remote control - He was making like a veritable Luke Skywalker, zapping and shooting at the television.
I continued cooking and suddenly I heard the voice of one of those fire-and-brimstone evangelists booming out. He slowly walked into the kitchen, still with his eyes on the television set.
“Is this what it has come to?”, he asked.
Before I could answer, He raised his hand about waist-high, changed the channel with the remote and walked discontentedly back into the living room. I finished preparing our plates and joined Him.
He was watching a roll call replay on C-SPAN and without taking his eyes off the television, He remarked how the political spectrum hadn’t really changed that much.
“I do have a little experience in dealing with special interests”, He said rather matter-of-factly.
Next, we sat in on the world of WWF Wrestling, which totally baffled Him. After the perfunctory 30-second glance, a flick-of-the-wrist delivered us to the monotone voice of Mr. Spock, pontificating to Captain Kirk. I cleared the plates as He settled into Star Trek.
“You know”, He shouted, referring to the program, “I believe I recognize the parable they’re trying to tell here”.
Abruptly, He began screaming “That’s it! That’s it!” Kirk and company had gotten themselves into some sort of ridiculous trouble and they were calling for Scotty to beam them up.
He ran into the kitchen excitedly.
“I’ve been using the wrong code”, He panted. Noticing the look on my face, He added; “C’mon, like it’s never happened to you - right!”
He thanked me and then hurried back into the living room. In the few seconds it took for me to follow Him, He was gone.
I did a frantic double-check – the hallway, closets even the washing machine - but He was gone. I slumped into the sofa, wondering if anyone would believe me. Kirk and crew were safely aboard with Spock making some profound observation about their experience. The remote control lay in the middle of the floor.
As Spock spoke, a gust of wind rattled the windows and my bedroom door slowly creaked open. I watched anxiously but it was my sleepy-eyed girlfriend emerging, wearing one of my shirts and a Chicago Cubs baseball hat I know I didn’t own.
The Chicago Cubs? No way ... Couldn’t be ...
- 30 -
J. Thomas Duffy
Copyright All Rights Reserved