When cable tv airs a Christmas special about Biblical times, is it really necessary to run a disclaimer in the caption that informs the viewer that, “This is a re-enactment”?
Well, no kidding. I thought the entire Bible was a Broadway production produced by God, directed by the late great director Cecil B. DeMille, and filmed by Twentieth Century Fox.
I can imagine DeMille calling God on the phone to let him know how the picture was progressing. There were many issues.
“God? DeMille here. Listen, we’ve got big problems. If we don’t make some changes, we’ll never make the deadline.
“In Act 1, Genesis, the Citizens for Public Decency are on my back about Adam and Eve’s outfits. They said it is gratuitous nudity, not integral to the plot. If we do not put flesh-colored Lycra bodysuits on them, they will stage a boycott of our main sponsor, The United Fig Growers.
“What’s that, God? You don’t give a fig about the fig growers? Use poison ivy? Wouldn’t that itch, Sir?
“This whole first act is killing us, Chief. How am I supposed to create a universe in six days? It’ll run us way over budget. How about if we scratch the Holy Creation idea and go with the big bang theory? Not the tv series; the birth of the universe theory. I think I can get hold of a demolition expert at a reasonable price. No? There’s no need to get testy, Boss.
“Also, Lot’s wife refuses to be turned into a pillar of salt. She’s hypertensive and on a low salt diet. She has a note from her doctor.
“Then Moses’s agent called and said that Moses pulled a muscle in his back in rehearsal and refuses to carry more than eight commandments. He also insists on delivering the Sermon on the Mount rap-style. He also wants top billing, creative control, and a percentage of the gross.
“Matthew refuses to be in the last supper scene if there is going to be wine and meat on the table. He just got out of the Betty Ford Clinic and he’s gone vegan.
“And, God, about that parting of the Red Sea stuff? No can do. The Environmental Protection Agency says that we didn’t file our environmental impact statement on time and we might disturb the zebra mussel beds. Besides, the Corps of Engineers says that we are not permitted to disrupt barge traffic. I talked to the management of Sea World of Orlando, Florida, though, and I may be able to get a permit to part the walrus tank. No? Ok, forget it.
“The Cosmetologist Union says that Delilah can’t cut Samson’s hair unless she gets a cosmetologist’s license. She took the test three times, but she keeps failing the manicure finals. I told them she would not be polishing Samson’s nails, just cutting his hair, but they are real hard-line.
“And Chief, the Christmas manger scene is turning into a real headache. Joseph and Mary have filed a racial discrimination suit against the inn because the Hebrew couple who checked in right after them was able to get a room. The innkeeper is countersuing for defamation of character and libel.
“According to child labor laws, Baby Jesus can lie in the manger for only 10 minutes without a stand-in. Do you think you could come up with an infant stunt double by December 25th? No?
“Also, God, The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is picketing the stable because the animals are not wearing approved knee pads when they fall on their knees in adoration of the Christ Child. They are threatening to shut us down.
“One of the Wise Men refuses to ride a camel. He recently joined a motorcycle club and wants to ride up to the stable on his Harley. Instead of a robe and sandals, he wants to wear his Air Jordans and a t-shirt that says, ‘Born to Raise Lazarus.’
“Well, there is no need to lose your temper, Your Holiness. Yes, Sir, I am aware that vengeance is thine. I have heard thee sayeth it. Fire, famine, and pestilence? No, Sir, I would rather not.
“What four horsemen? I didn’t see that in the script. If I have to hire more stuntmen and horses, I am going to need a bigger budget and a permit from PETA.
“Hello? Hello? Are you still there, God? Must be a bad connection.