When cable tv aired a Christmas special about Biblical times, was it really necessary to run a disclaimer, “This is a re-enactment.” Well, no kidding. I thought the entire Bible was a Broadway show produced by God, directed by the late great director Cecil B. DeMille. I can imagine DeMille calling God to let him know how the filming was progressing.
“God? DeMille here. Listen, we’ve got big problems. If we don’t make some changes, we’ll never make deadline. In Act 1, Genesis, The Citizens for Public Decency is on my back about Adam and Eve’s outfits. They said it’s gratuitous nudity, not integral to the plot. If we don’t put flesh-colored Lycra body suits on them, they’ll stage a boycot 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 leaves instead? Wouldn’t that itch, Sir? This whole first act is killing us, Chief. How am I supposed to create a universe in only 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? No, not the tv series; the Birth of the Universe Theory. I think I can get a demolition expert at a reasonable rate. No? There’s no reason to get testy, Boss.
“Also, Lot’s wife refuses to be turned into a pillar of salt. She has high blood pressure and is on a low-salt diet. She has a note from her doctor.
“Moses’ agent called and said Moses pulled a muscle at rehearsal and refuses to carry more than eight commandments. He also insists on delivering the Sermon on the Mount rap-style. He wants top billing, creative control, and a percentage of the gross.
“Matthew refuses to be in the Last Supper scene if there’s going to be wine, meat, and bread on the table. He just got out of rehab and claims he’s vegan and has a gluten allergy.
“And, God, about the Parting of the Red Sea stuff? No can do. The Environmental Protection Agency said we didn’t file our environmental impact statement on time and we might disturb the zebra mussel beds. Besides, the Corps of Engineers said we’re not permitted to disrupt barge traffic. I talked to the management of Sea World of Florida, though, and I may be able to get a permit to part their walrus tank instead. No? Ok, forget that.
“The Cosmetologists’ Union said Delilah can’t cut Samson’s hair unless she gets her cosmetologist’s license. She took the test three times, but kept failing the manicure finals. I told them she wouldn’t be polishing his nails, but they were 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 couple who checked in right after them was able to get a room. The innkeeper filed a counter suit for defamation of character and libel.
“According to child labor laws, Baby Jesus can lie in the manger for only ten minutes at a time without a stand-in. Do you think you can come up with an infant stunt double by December 25th? No?
“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 wearing a robe and sandals, he wants to wear leather boots and a tee-shirt that says, ‘Born to Raise Lazarus.’
“Well, there’s no need to lose your temper, Your Holiness. Yes, Sir, I’m aware that vengeance is thine. I’ve heard thee sayeth it. Fire, famine, and pestilence? No, Sir, I’d rather not. What four horsemen? I didn’t see that in the script. If I have to hire more stuntment and horses, I’m going to need a bigger budget and a permit from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
“Hello? Hello? Are you still there, God? Must be a bad connection.”