The following could be considered wildly irreverent. Could be? Please accept my apologies in advance. I just hope Hell has visiting hours so you can come see me.
As a test of how much I learned in school, I’m not going to consult Google, the entrails of an owl, or Mr. Fineman from across the street.
I’m also too lazy to open a book.
A good lot of you are preparing for Easter, which is observed the…let me see if I have this straight…first Sunday after the full moon which occurs after the spring equinox (or whenever the calendar says).
Recognized by Christians worldwide as the most sacred day in their calendar, Easter is a time to reflect on the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, a carpenter’s son from Nazareth.
NOTE: Not all Christians mind you. The Eastern Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, or Romanian Orthodox Episcopate know-it-alls use the Julian Calendar (don’t get me started) so, by their reckoning, Easter is a week later. I think. Meh. They’re just showoffs with funny hats anyway.
Gathered together as one (augmented by “twice a year” Christians checking off the first of their churchly obligations-the other being Christmas), they ponder the awesome mysteries of their faith. And how exactly a bunny could lay eggs.
But did you know (okay most do), that Jesus was a rabbi? That He, along with his followers, was in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover, one of the most sacred days of the Jewish calendar? No, he wasn’t Catholic, despite what Sister Mary Gregory of the Titanium Yardstick tried to beat into you.
In fact, as I write this, it is “Holy Thursday,” the night Jesus and his disciples partook of what Christians call “The Last Supper” (so that’s where Da Vinci got it from!). In reality, this was a Passover “Seder.”
Despite what Cecil B. De Mille would have you believe, The Ten Commandments, while playing on ABC annually on Easter Night (God knows-no pun intended-when it’s on now) is not an Easter movie.
King of Kings? Yeah. The Robe? Okay. Ben-Hur? Sure. Ben Gay? Now you’re being silly.
But, The Ten Commandments? Oy.
Passover is a Jewish (I think we’ve already covered that) celebration which commemorates the exodus (so THAT explains the book) of the Hebrews from Egypt, way back when Betty White and Keith Richards were teenagers.
They were led by Charlton Heston, who if he’d only kept his trap shut, could have eventually become Pharaoh (or at least Vice-Pharaoh) and freed the slaves. Along the way, he could also have bagged the hot Nefertiri (not to be confused with ‘Nefertiti.’ Who was in The Mummy. But, she was hot, too. Plus, she’s not dead now, either). Then, Ramses (aka Yul Brynner), inventor of the prophylactic, wouldn’t have donned the royal loincloth and bedded Anne Baxter.
But, noooooo, Moses just had to schlep out into the desert, raise some sheep, marry Lily Munster, open the Midian chapter of the NRA, and meet God (who did not look like George Burns).
Moses, heeding a divine call (not of nature necessarily), decided to go back to Egypt to free the slaves. Imagine Ramses’ chagrin when the “Big Mo” barged into meetings of the Pyramid Planning Commission, waved his stick around (double entendre intended), and ordered his BFF, Aaron, to turn goats into chickens. Or grass stains into dazzling whites.
Moses warned (well, after God sent him a text) that a series of plagues would be visited on Egypt: frogs, locusts, boils (eww), bloody water, the Pelosi Pox, irritable bowel syndrome (double eww), etc. Each were meant to convince
Yul Pharaoh to “let the people go.”
They were actually starting to work, too, until Ramses looked at the latest Gallup poll numbers. Figuring he had to satisfy his “pro-slavery” base, his heart was hardened and he called the whole deal off.
Well, Moses eventually had enough of this crap. He told Ramses that the first-born of Egypt would be slain in punishment for enslaving his people. This included (spoiler alert) the Pharaoh’s own son!
NOTE: I think this was true, at least according to the movie. The film industry was pretty truthful sixty years ago. Even though I didn’t think monkeys could fly, Hollywood wouldn’t lie to me. Is it any wonder I have trust issues?
The Hebrews, feeling pretty damned cocky, painted goat (or sheep?) blood over their doors. They felt quite safe that death would “pass” them “over.” (Get it now?). Mostly because Death got wicked skeeved at the sight of blood.
So, they hung out while the “Destroyer” (depicted by a red cloud. Special effects were kinda cheesy back then. After all, “Industrial Light and Magic” hadn’t been invented yet) went from door to door seeking out Egyptians who won a lottery they hadn’t reckoned on. It was accompanied by a couple of Mormons on bikes who figured it “couldn’t hurt.”
The Hebrews sang songs, prayed prayers, played “Old Testament Yahtzee”, and ate unleavened bread called “matzah” (because Dominos stopped delivering at 10).
When the day dawned and Ramses saw the mess (“Now, we’ll never get that blood out!”), he ordered Moses to pack up his shit and get the hell out.
NOTE: Ramses may not have said ‘shit.’
So, Moses jumped for Joy (his sister-in-law) and convinced everybody to pack their toothbrushes and a change of underwear (“So, where is it we’re exactly going, Mr. Fancy Pants Big Shot?”). He wasn’t exactly sure where they’d be going, though. Unfortunately, Aaron had turned his map into an origami whooping crane.
Bottom line, the Hebrews finally left Egypt. Along the way, the Egyptian Army went for a one-way dip in the Red Sea, Edward G. Robinson talked a lot of smack, Aaron was forced to make some seriously effed-up looking calf, they all got jiggy with their bad selves at the base of Mount Sinai, Moses saw a wicked cool light show on the mountain, and had bread fall out of the sky for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (“So we couldn’t maybe get a nice brisket instead?”).
They were finally allowed to enter the Promised Land after 40 years (the prior tenants had a wicked long-term lease).
Since I’m sure I’ve put you to sleep by now, let me finish by saying that Moses wasn’t even allowed to enter with the rest of his people (he didn’t get his wrist stamped).
He had to watch while Joshua (played in the movie by John Derek. Before he got fat, married Bo, and died) led his people into…Canaan? At any rate, someplace the Iranians would get all hacked off about eventually.
I think it had something to do with smacking a rock to get water. Which was a mistake.
Because, as we all know, paper, not water, covers rock. Now, since I’m probably in hot water with Christians, Jews, and Muslims, I’d better start packing for Purgatory.
I’m sure I’ll be spending a lot of time there.
At least that’s what Sister Mary Gregory said.