written by Mary Rose Betten
Dear Erica Jamieson
Santa assures me you’ve been a good girl so I’ll answer your blog. To be honest with you Erica I’m not exactly sure what blogging means. It sounds like it has to do with snow. Does it involve reindeer? Like tobogganing? Or is it an inside activity like yule logging? Well, sweetie by the time I find out Christmas will be over so I’m just gonna do what you asked and call it blogging. Hope it isn’t something dirty, but then l ike I said, I know you’re a good girl so I’ll do what you asked and describe my interview with the man his followers call, “The voice in the wilderness.” Child, he is a man of few words, well, one word to be exact, whoops, I’m getting ahead of myself. Here is the best I can recall of my interview on the River Jordan…
“Yew, hoo, yew hoo,” I kept callin’ out till I got where I could see him…at first I thought it was a bush…the man never combs his hair…Santa sent him some chocolate-covered locusts, I hollered ‘cross the river…”John, John, the Babptist?”…I thought he was waving, (he might have been swatting at locusts – they just swarm ’round his hair, it’s all matted with honey. “John the Baptizer”.. he’s really sunburned, very, very brown, camels hair, not a coat, a sorta of what to call it? Off the shoulder, camels hair…bushy eyebrows, you wouldn’t wanna be too close if he sneezed. When he yells REPENT he puts his whole self into it, you can see his teeth, course they’re brown too.
“John,” I called, well actually I called, “John….the…Can I call you Jack?”
Again, he kinda waved. “Jack, sweeties, yelling REPENT all the time, it’s pretty tense. How ’bout ‘hello’ first? One quick hello. People don’t cotton to being yelled at. ‘REPENT’ is…kinda… piercing. Ya know? Not festive for Christmas time. So, Jack, hope you like the chocolate covered locusts Santa sent…I didn’t say REPENT.
“Santa wanted me to offer you a makeover this year, ya know? LIke those folks at ‘What Not To War.’ Whadaya say? Replace that camels hair…No…REPLACE, I did not say REPENT!…Jack, you need a hobby. Cross word puzzles! Learn new words!
“These days real fur isn’t…well, it’s just not worn. Fake fur would be good. Cover both shoulders?
“How ’bout this…we print a card, like a business card that says ‘REPENT!?’ That’s all it says. You don’t yell ‘REPENT’ you just hand ’em the business card, stroke your beard, course you’d have to shampoo first so your hand won’t get stuck. Bells, maybe a little jingle jangle?
“Next on the makeover…Jack…I don’t know how to say this…Jack, we need to discuss your breath. All those dead locusts, and …working so close to people.
“And Jack, this constant…’I must decrease. He must increase.’ Where’s your self image? Step outta the widnerness…maybe book your act on a cruise ship? You’d have enough water to dunk everybody…a combo behind you…singing: ‘REPENT, REPENT!’
“Listen Jack, The Messiah is your cousin. You must’ve noticed he told stories, he drank wine. Sure, everybody noticed…it’s there in writing: ‘Jesus, and the twelve apostles went to the wedding feast at Cana. The wine failed.’
“And your diet…Let’s teach you the four food groups. Locusts…are they meat or vegetable?
“You do everything the opposite of the Messiah. Why is that?
“To prepare His way? Prepare His way??? What kinda answer is that? I know all about preparing the way. But you don’t see me riding high, chug-a-lugging hot chocolate, munching home-made cookies, popping out chimneys. Oh no, I’m preparing the way, keeping elves out of egg nog, nobody suggests I go on a cruise ship. Who do you think prepare Santa’s big night in the clouds yelling, ‘ On Dancer, On Prancer?’ while I stumble over elves checkin’ off who’s naughty and nice? Well, I’m spent!! I tell you. I’m spent. I did NOT say REPENT. Don’t start with me. Whatcha coin’ Jack swaying back and forth…is it the wind? The chocolate too rich on the locusts? Sing? Sing with you? You sing, I’ll hum.
“Pre-e-e-pare yee the way of the Lord…Pree e-e pare yes the way of the…Jack we’re dancing’!
“Your breath, Jack, it’s sweeter than wine. I’m sorry I hollered at you dear boy. I really am sorry.
“Your eyes are so clear, but you’re fading. Jack, you’re decreasing. He must be coming.
“Jack, I think I see him!!!
“I do, oh Jack, he’s a little baby, small as a lamb. Jack…Jack, where are you?
“Can you see them? His mother, His dad, and a lamb, a tiny lamb.
“Jack, he has your eyes, the Christmas lamb, he had your eyes.”