Wednesday, January 6, 2016

On the Twelth Day of Christmas

     We have Epiphany!
   
"A frikkin' star?  Couldn't get a trip-tik like a normal person, could you?"

    Quick, who forgot to get their "Epiphany" cards? 
   
    Today is January 6th (you may know this) to everyone who is
"January 6th, you say?  Good to know. 
Genius."
slogging through their first week back to work.  Meanwhile, Christians throughout the world celebrate it as the day of Epiphany, which comes from the Greek for "Striking Appearance" or "I Guess I Oughta Take the Christmas Decorations Down Now." 

 
    Incidentally (I didn't know this), the Monday after Epiphany is called "Plough Monday."

    No, I don't know why.

"Hot Dog!"

"It's  not 'Plow' Monday, you idiot!"
 

  


    As is my wont, I'm taking the knowledge I gleaned from a seven
"You'll be wanting to watch
 what you use to type, boyo!"
year sentence at Penguin Academy to provide you with facts about this holy day.  That, and a naked frolic (hey, I'm alone) through the Internet and I've compiled just enough information to guarantee you a failing score on the History Advance Placement Exam.

   
    You're welcome.
   
    Even though Epiphany is mainly an Eastern Orthodox kind of thing, regular Catholics (and "Heathen Protestants," according to Sister Mary Flatulence) celebrate it, too.
    
"Okay, you guys are kind of weird,
but you have cool hats."

    Sometime after the little Baby Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem because there was no room at the inn (I think Linus told us this story in "A Charlie Brown Christmas"), they hightailed back to Nazareth, because Mary had set up the baby's room, complete with a new crib and the newest "Walk on Water" bassinet from the Nazareth Walmart.  Besides, the local chapter of the Judea Carpenter's Union only gave Joseph a couple days off from work.
   
    Meanwhile, drawn by a bright star in the Western (I think) sky, three kings (or so the Christmas carol says) began their journey to visit the new king.  Even though they were kings already, I gotta wonder, why would they care?  Maybe cable was out or they were itching for a road trip.
   
    The kings (aka "Three Wise Men" or "Magi") were:
Melchior from Persia.  What Iran used to be called, once and future home of crazy people.
Balthazar from Babylonia, which became Iraq, another once and future home of crazy people. 
Caspar from India (since he was the dude with the longest trip, I
There wasn't a spare camel
for Casper the Friendly Wise Man.
guess we should cut the guys some slack for taking so long).  Future home of Bollywood.

   
    With them, they brought gifts for the king:  gold, frankincense, and myrrh (whatever the frik that is.  It's tough enough remembering how to spell it).  This, despite Mary clearly stating in the birth announcement that she wanted diapers, wipes, and "Bob the Builder" onesies.
   
    Since Balthazar lost the map, they had to go through Jerusalem to ask for directions.  They told King Herod they were looking for a new king.  Of course, the king, being a king, was a little peeved.  He told them he didn't know, but when they found out, they needed to let him know.  That way, he could go honor him.
   
    Politicians lying.  Yeah, I'm totally shocked, too.

    As most of you probably know, this was a lie.  Herod, when the Magi didn't get back to him, went nuts and ordered the slaughter of a grunch of innocent children.

***NOTE:  This is the serious part of the story.  I won't be joking here.  Hope you understand.***

 
"Said we need to go through the first
Roman triumphal arch we come to,
then take a left at the next traffic circle. 
It will be the first house past
the Feinberg Deli on Holy Family Court. 
Said we can't miss it, it'll be all glowing and shit."
   Anyway, the Three Kings visited Joseph, Mary, and Jesus once they found out how they could find the Christ house from an unemployed shepherd named Schlomo.


    Mary, always the gracious hostess, offered them bagels and coffee cake that she bought with the gold they brought while they took turns burping the baby.  

    Since she had no frikkin' idea what myrrh was, she fed it to their goats.

    Who, unfortunately, all died.

    After spending a night in the Christs' guest room, they decided to return home before their wives discovered they really weren't going out for milk and a paper.  Once Balthasar told Melchior he wasn't allowed to take the towels, that is.  However, they took a different way.  Not only did they want to avoid any uncomfortable conversations with Herod, that prissy Caspar wanted to take the "scenic" route.

    He also wanted to take as much time as he could before having to take down his Santa Claus and reindeer decorations from the front yard.
"You didn't learn any of that at Saint Stanislaus! 
Knuckles, if you please, Mr. Penwasser!"

27 comments:

  1. Bummer about the goats. And was there ever a time when WalMart didn't exist?

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    1. Been around as long as China, I suppose.

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  2. Thank you for explaining the "Epiphany" to this Jew--it was never taught in Temple!!

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    1. Education. It's what I do. Okay, not really,
      You may like my post about Easter, then. It'll be a repost.

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  3. this day is the 12th day of Christmas too-is that "lords a leaping" which I think Richard Simmons would enjoy. Frankincense comes in handy after Joseph visits the bathroom. Mary was quite pleased with that scent as matches always made the hut burn down

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    1. Didn't Boris Karloff play Frankincense?

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  4. and I wish that Little Drummer boy would stop with that banging...that's my Epiphany. Thank you for the story.

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    Replies
    1. Especially since he insisted on banging the thing New Years morning!

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    2. Believe it or not, there ARE some facts scattered here and there.

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  5. Not sure what to say here, other than thank God we have you to explain these goofy holidays. Any ideas on national pick-a-melon day?

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    Replies
    1. I'll have to find a holiday somewhere along the way. I think Iceland has rotted shark head day or some other such thing next month.

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  6. Epiphany is a thing? Guess so. The poor goats need to be remembered somehow and Walmart needs its history recorded.

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    Replies
    1. Apparently. Most Nativity scenes are wrong. The Three Wise Guys wouldn't blow into town for another 12 days.

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  7. Merry Christmas Eve, comrade!

    (Christmas is tomorrow in Eastern Europe)

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  8. If I had only seen this before the Epiphany service last night! I could have added a rich backstory that needed told.

    Al, still loving ya!

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    Replies
    1. No kidding, you went to one? That WOULD have given a cool backstory!

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  9. I'm pretty sure myrrh was an aphrodisiac, so it's the last thing her goats needed. How typical of a virgin to make people horny without intending to.

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    Replies
    1. Horny goats?
      Easier to catch than horny toads, I guess.

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  10. Who knew they had bagels and coffee cake in those days?

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    Replies
    1. Only the well-heeled of the downtrodden did.

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  11. Maybe it's because I'm tired, but I still have no idea what Epiphany day is.

    But I'm glad there was food. Every good holiday needs food.

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    Replies
    1. And baklava. Gotta have a mess of baklava.

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  12. I enjoyed your history of Epiphany. My father was an Armenian brought up in the Eastern Christian Orthodox faith and this year that church celebrates Christmas on January 6, as several millions of Armenians do. They follow the Julian calendar which was in use until 1582 when the Gregorian calendar was introduced and used by most Christians. But many Christian Orthodox churches still follow the Julian calendar, like the Copts, Russia, Ethiopia, Greece, Bulgaria and many others. The only thing I remember from growing up in France is that on the 6th we had “la fete des rois” the kings’ feast and we bought a very nice galette – la galette des rois. It was not until years later that I learnt that the galette had anything to do with religion – Paris people are not very religious…

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    Replies
    1. Any excuse to celebrate has to be a good thing, though.
      Welcome to Penwasser Place! You may get the sense I'm a tad irreverent most times.

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  13. Sister Mary Flatulence, and the unemployed shepherd named Schlomo?! Glad she had enough bagels and coffee cake for everyone from Feinberg's deli on Holy Family Court. You certainly know your shtick Mr. Penwasser! Hahaha!

    Julie

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    Replies
    1. Well, she only had one bagel and half a pot of coffee. But, Jesus took care of that.
      Oh, I am soooo going to Hell.

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