Sunday, April 8, 2007

Easter: No Joking Matter

My mother-in-law called today to wish us a happy Easter. I said, "Every time I think of the crucifixion, I commit the sin of envy." Simone Weil, fucked up Catholic that she was, actually says this in her autobiography. I've always found that screamingly funny.

But then, I have a peculiar sense of humor, which this particular mother-in-law lacks. "What?" she said, "is that supposed to be funny?"

Apparently, she's a serious Christian. How was I to know?

So, in her honor, here's my Easter blog post. The three best Jesus jokes on the internet, sez me, in ascending order.

Best Jesus Joke: Third Place
Three departed souls were standing at the gates of heaven. Saint Peter said to them, "In order to enter these gates, you must first tell me the meaning of Easter." The first soul stepped up and said, "Easter is a time when families come together to enjoy a turkey dinner and give thanks for their many blessings." St. Peter pointed downward and with that the soul vanished.
The second soul stepped up and said, "Easter is a holiday where people decorate a pine tree and place presents under it." Again St. Peter pointed downward and the soul vanished.
The third soul stepped up and said, "Easter is all about a man named Jesus who lived about 2,000 years ago. He spoke of the coming of God's kingdom and he performed many miracles. Soon the leaders of the temple became angry at him, so they had him put to death. Three days later, he arose from the dead and stepped out of his tomb...." At this, Saint Peter began to smile, until the soul continued... " Then Jesus saw his shadow and we had 6 more weeks of winter."

Best Jesus Joke: Second Place
So Jesus is hanging on the cross, all of his disciples are gone. Hiding in Jerusalem is Peter, trying to escape the Roman soldiers. All of a sudden Peter hears "Peter, Peter, it's me Jesus, come here." Instantly, Peter tries to run to him but he gets caught by the soldiers, they cut his leg off and take him to the village saying, "If we catch you again you're dead." Hours pass and again he hears, "Peter, Peter, come to me." Peter immediately tries to hop over to the cross but he's caught again. The soldiers cut of his other leg saying, "Is this a joke to you? One more time and you're dead!" They have mercy and throw him back in the village. Hours pass and again he hears, "Peter, you gotta come here, PETER!!" Peter builds up his courage, crawls and sneaks past the soldiers. Finally reaching Jesus he says, "Lord I made it, what is it?" Jesus opens his eyes and says. " I can see your house from here"

Best Jesus Joke Ever: First Place Winner!
Q: Why did Jesus cross the road?
A: He was nailed to a chicken.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They say you're known for your keen sense of humor? Three for you. From one mother-in-law in defence of another...

I've mastered the great art of separation
amidst the bare unbraided pleas of night,
those lingerings while oxen chew their ration,
the watchful town's last eyelid's shutting tight.
And I revere that midnight rooster's descant
When shouldering the wayfarer's sack of wrong
eyes stained with tears were peering at the distance
and wonen's wailings were the Muse's song.

Who is to tell when hearing "separation"
what kind of parting this may resonate,
foreshadowed by a rooster's exclamation
as candles twist the temple's colonade;
why at the dawn of some new life, new era
when oxen chew their ration in the stall
that wakeful rooster, a new life's new town crier
flaps its torn wings atop the city wall.

And I adore the worsted yarn's behaviour:
the shuttle bustles and the spindle hums;
look how young Delia, barefooted, braver
than down of swans, glides straight into your arms!

Oh, our life's lamentable coarse fabric,
how poor the language of our joy indeed.
What happened once becomes a worn-out matrix.
Yet, recognition is intensely sweet!

So be it thus: a small translucent figure
spreads like a squirrel pelt across a clean clay plate; a girl bends over it, her eager gaze scrutinizes what the clay may mean.

To ponder Erebus, that's not for our acumen.
To women, wax is as to men steel's shine.
Our lot is drawn only in war; to women
it's given to meet death while they divine.
Osip Mandelstam 1916
trans. J. Brodsky

I will win you away from every earth, from every sky,
For the woods are my place of birth, and the place to die,
For while standing on earth I touch it with but one foot,
For I'll sing your worth as nobody could or would.

I will win you from every time and from every night,
From all banners that throb and shine, from all swords held tight;
I'll drive dogs outside, hurl the keys into dark and fog,
For in the mortal night I'm a more faithful dog.

I will win you from all my rivals, and from the one;
You will never enjoy a bridal, nor I a man.
And in the final struggle I will take you- don't make a sound!-
From him by whom Jacob stood on the darkened ground.

But until I cross your fingers upon your breast
You possess- what a curse!- you possess yourself: you are self-possessed;
Both your wings ,as they yearn for the ether, become unfurled,
For the world's your cradle, and your grave's the world.
Marina Tstvetaeva
trans. J. Brodsky

This World is not Conclusion.
A Species stands beyond
Invisible as Music
But positive as Sound
It beckons, and it baffles
Philosophy don't know
And through a Riddle, at the last
Sagacity, must go
To guess it, puzzles scholars
To gain it, Men have borne
Contempt of Generations
And Crucifixion, shown
Faith slips- and laughs, and rallies
Blushes, if any see
Plucks at at twig of Evidence
And asks a Vane the way
Much Gesture, from the Pulpit
Strong Hallejahs roll
Narcotics cannot still the Tooth
That nibbles at the soul.
E. Dickinson 1862