Bearing a Cross

Jesus Christ himself was recently found in Manhattan, bearing His cross while begging for alms and talking to passers by.

Homeless and stuck on a cross, Jesus Christ was standing on a street corner in downtown Manhattan.

Jesus Christ on a cross in Manhattan
Mashup of images by Melissa Johnson (Manhattan scene) and psychodelicacy (Jesus Christ on cross), both from flickr.com, Creative Commons.

With his free hand, he would extend a coffee cup at a passersby and jiggle its meager change. Every time he got a few coins, he’d bow toward the person who gave him the offering and, more often than not, bonk that person the head with his cross… accidentally, of course.

At one point, a Catholic priest approached him. “Shouldn’t you be on Golgotha, turning the other cheek?” the priest asked him.

“Been there, done that,” Jesus replied.

The priest stuffed several bills in Our Lord’s cup, presumably to allay his guilt at having assaulted half a dozen choirboys as well as a French poodle. In response, Jesus bowed toward the fellow and, not surprisingly, bonked him with his cross. Before passing out, the priest uttered this somewhat paradoxical statement: “I’ve seen the light.”

Having heard about several of the cross-related assaults, a policeman wearing a “I LOVE GEORGE FLOYD” shirt came up to Jesus and said, “If you don’t stop knocking people on the head, I’ll have to arrest you.”

“You can’t arrest the Son of God,” Jesus asserted.

“If you’re the Son of God, then I’m Attila the Hun,” the cop said with an exasperated look on his face. Before he walked away, he said, “You better be careful with that effin’ cross.”

Jesus went back to begging for money. “Please give me some dough,” he said to a passersby.

The fellow, who was a Mexican, stuck a tamale into the Messiah’s coffee cup. This was not an inappropriate offering, since tamales are in fact unleavened dough.

“I don’t mean that sort of dough,” Jesus told the man. “I mean the kind you can buy a burro with.”

A woke-minded individual happened to hear these words and yelled “Racist!” at the Messiah.

“Sorry,” Jesus yelled back, “but I can’t do any racing with this damn cross on my back…”

Another woke-minded person, a psychotherapist, offered the Son of God a drive-by therapy session. “So tell me about your parents,” the shrink asked.

“Dad didn’t have a body, but this didn’t stop him from smiting people,” Jesus replied. “Mom remained a virgin even though she gave birth to me.”

“No wonder you’re messed up. Ever thought about practicing yoga?”

“I can’t do any yoga. After all, I’m nailed to this cross, and it would make yoga a very difficult proposition.”

“Well, we all have our crosses to bear,” the shrink said as he walked away.

Jesus wished he could go home to Bethlehem. But he didn’t even have enough money to go to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

“I can’t even afford a Big Mac anymore,” a hungry Jesus announced to no one in particular as he stood on the street corner. He wondered whether these would be his seven last words on the cross, but when he counted the words, he realized there were eight of them. He was relieved, albeit only slightly.

Jesus jiggled his change at a man in a three piece suit who was carrying a copy of the Wall Street Journal under his arm. The fellow stopped and scrutinized him, then proclaimed, “Well, as I live and breathe, if it isn’t Jesus of Naza-reth himself!”

“The same,” Jesus replied.

“That’s quite a nice cross you’ve got there,” the man said.

“I wish I wasn’t stuck to it…”

Upon hearing these words, the man got out his cellphone. A few minutes later, a Mercedes Sprinter ambulance pulled up, and out came a doctor wearing a Ralph Lauren scrub. The doctor gave Jesus an anesthetic, then used his state-of-the-art surgical pliers to remove the nails from Our Lord.

“There you go, J-Dog,” the doctor announced as the cross clattered to the ground.

I’m free at last! exclaimed Jesus to himself. Then he bowed toward both men without (mirabile dictu!) bonking either of them on the head.

A final note: Jesus’s cross later sold for the sum of $175,000,000 at a Sotheby’s auction.


This article was excerpted from The Last Voyage of Baron Munchausen & Other Wayward Tales by Lawrence Millman.

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