Virgin Birth

The year is 2018. In February, upon attempting to create a faster space shuttle, NASA scientists discover the secret to time-travel. On April 18, the President of the United States deems the machine “tested and ready” for public viewing.

A team is assembled for the first official mission. Two astronauts are accompanied by three members of the United Stated Special Forces; an Army Ranger, a Navy Seal, and a soldier from the Psy OPS team. To his surprise, talk show host Maury Povich is asked to join and serve as the world’s journalist; he brings along a trusted cameraman. The seven men enter the time machine and wave to family members and television cameras.

The machine works flawlessly and the group disappears after fifteen seconds of spinning. Audiences all over the world wait patiently for the voyagers to return. Three weeks elapse before they reappear inside of the capsule. To the astonishment of the audience, the group is accompanied by a woman, her male toddler, and a man. As expected, everyone is whisked away quickly to an undisclosed location, for debriefing.

On June 23rd, after days of silence, Maury Povich hosts a televised special. The world will finally hear the information discovered by the group. Who are the people in the capsule? Where do they come from? Why were they chosen?

Maury Povich appears on the stage, seated in a chair, with three empty seats to his left.

Maury: “Welcome everyone. Today I will finally reveal the destination of our secret mission.”

[A loud cheer erupts, and the camera pans-out to a large crowd, seated in front of him.]

Maury: “The President of the United States insisted that Jerusalem, in the year 3ad, be the first official mission.”

[crowd applauds]

Maury: “I’m sure most of you are wondering about the identity of the three people that returned with us. The woman’s name is Mary and the man’s name is Joseph. The child is Jesus.”

[the audience gasps]

Maury: “That’s right. We brought back the ‘Holy Family.’ Apparently, everything that we know about Joseph is incorrect – he never believed Mary’s story about the birth of Jesus. The family agreed to come back with us in order to finally prove that Mary is telling the truth.”

[the audience applauds]

Maury: “Before I bring out my first guest, take a look at what she has to say.”

Mary: [yelling in Aramaic – subtitles appear on the screen] “I’m sick and tired of Joseph questioning my story. He knows that I’ve always been faithful to him and he knows that Jesus is the ‘Son of God,’ not the ‘son of one of our neighbors.’ When the test finally comes back, I want Joseph to kiss my ass.”

[audience applauds and screams] {video ends}

Maury: “Everyone please welcome Mary to the stage.”

[Mary walks out to audience applauding and sits next to Maury]

Maury: “Now let me get this straight. Joseph doesn’t believe your story about the Virgin Birth?”

Mary: [through translator] “Yes Maury. Ever since I became pregnant, he has been impossible. He knows that I would never hurt him. We have been through everything together and I need him to be supportive. He knows that being a virgin is important to me and I don’t know why he doesn’t believe me. I don’t understand why he keeps questioning me. Just because I never slept with him, doesn’t mean that I’ve been sleeping with someone else. Why would I sleep with some random guy? He knows that I was visited by the angel Gabriel.”

Maury: “This is crazy because millions of Christians around the world know about the Virgin Birth, and no one has ever heard anything about Joseph questioning it. It was always believed that he was supportive throughout Jesus’ life.”

Mary: “No Maury. He hasn’t been supportive at all. Every time we go anywhere, he constantly accuses me of sleeping with any guy who says ‘hi’ to me; it’s getting really annoying!”

Maury: “Well, let’s hear what Joseph has to say.”

Joseph: [also yelling in Aramaic] “I’m tired of Mary’s lies. She thinks that I’m an idiot, but I know that she has been sleeping around with men behind my back. As a matter of fact, I already walked in on her making out with some guy on our couch. She says that it was a moment of weakness and nothing else happened, but I DON’T BELIEVE HER! I can’t wait to get the test results so I can finally know the truth. And no Maury, I don’t need to get tested. I never slept with her…she’s a ‘virgin,’ remember.”

Maury: “Everyone, welcome Joseph to the stage.”

[crowd boos while Joseph walks to his seat]

Joseph: [waving arms and yelling to audience – in Aramaic] “You don’t know me. She’s a liar.”

Maury: “Now Joseph, what’s this I hear about you not believing Mary? For over two thousand years, Christians have always believed that you were supportive. When did you start having doubts?”

Joseph: [also through translator] “Well Maury, I started questioning her ever since I came home from work early one day, and found her on our couch making out with one of our neighbors. People always use to tell me that she was a whore, but I always trusted her. That day changed everything. I can’t trust her, Maury.”

Mary: “People make mistakes. It was only one time and I feel bad about it. I don’t know why you don’t believe me.”

Joseph: “Mistake? You’re being ridiculous. I’ve been with you from the beginning and you always tell me that I have to wait until your ready for sex, and to top it all off I have to find out that you are with other guys? I can’t believe you would do this to me.”

Maury: “While we were in Jerusalem, Joseph helped us compile a list of 6 men that he thinks may be the father of three year-old Jesus. We have DNA samples from the men and the results of the test are in. Today we will finally discover if Mary’s account of the Virgin Birth is true. Mary also agreed to take a lie detector test.”

[The audience applauds and an assistant hands Maury a folder]

Maury: “When asked if she loves Joseph, Mary replied ‘yes’ and the lie detector determined that she was…telling the truth.”

[Audience applauds]

Mary: “I told you. I don’t know why you keep questioning me.”

Joseph: “That’s just one question. I want to hear about the cheating.”

Maury: “Other than the one time Joseph knows about, have you ever had any sexual relations with any men? Mary said ‘no’ and the lie detector determined that…that was a lie.”

[crowd oos and aws]

Joseph: “I knew it! She’s a slut Maury.”

Mary: “No, I never did anything with anyone. It was just the one time. I swear.”

Maury: “Mary was asked, have you ever had sex with any man? she replied ‘no’ and the lie detector determined…that’s a lie. She had sex with more than 20 men over 100 times.”

[crowd boos]

Joseph: “WHAT! 20 fucking guys! You fucking-lying-bitch.”

[Mary runs off the stage. After several hysterical minutes, Maury convinces her to return to her seat]

Maury: “Is there anything that you want to say to Joseph?”

Mary: “It’s not true. I never did anything with anyone. I want to take the test again.”

Joseph: “Are you kidding me? All of a sudden the lie detector is lying? C’mon, give me a break!”

Maury: “We can give you the test again, but I don’t think the results will be different. Joseph, I know you’re upset but that’s not the main reason we’re here. We want to know who Jesus’ father is – that’s the important question.”

[an assistant hands Maury another envelope]

Maury: “I have the DNA results.”

Joseph: “Yeah, I can’t wait to finally know the truth.”

Maury: “In the case of 3 year-old baby Jesus, the first guy tested, a man named Lysimachus is…NOT the father.”

[Audience applauds]

Mary: “I told you.”

Joseph: “That’s just one guy. Let’s hear the rest, Maury.”

Maury: “The second man tested, a guy named Mahazioth is…NOT the father.”

Mary: “Do you believe me now?”

Joseph: “Let’s go Maury, we still have 4 more.”

Maury: “Now this next one is strange. These three men are brothers, and they live across the street from the two of you.”

Joseph: “Yes, and it can be any of them. To make it even worst, one of the brothers is named Joseph.”

[audience boos]

Joseph: “You guys don’t know anything.” [yelling in Aramaic]

Mary: “This is so embarrassing. I don’t know why he’s putting me through this. I would never cheat on you, Joe.”

Maury: “We tested three brothers, Barnabus, Zedekiah, and Joseph. In the case of three year-old babyJesus…neither of the three brothers is the father.”

[audience applauds]

Maury: [turns to Joseph] “Well Joseph, do you have anything to say. It’s not looking good for you?”

Joseph: “I don’t know Maury, maybe it was another guy that I don’t know about. Either way, I know she’s a whore.”

Mary: “I can’t believe you are acting like this. What happened to you?”

Maury: “I guess we’ll all know the truth after this.”

[audience applauds wildly]

Maury: “In the case of three year-old baby Jesus…the sixth and final man to be tested, a farmer named Lesu…IS the father.”

[crowd erupts and Mary runs off the stage]

Joseph: “I knew it. ‘God,’ my ass. I knew she was a lying-slut. I can’t believe this bullshit! All this time she was lying. This is messed up, Maury.”

Maury: [Maury grabs Joseph’s hand] “Listen Joseph, I know this is bad news, but you have to think about that child. I have a son in my house and I’m not his birth father but I love him like my own…you can still build that relationship.”

Joseph: “Are you crazy? Ever since we came to the future, all I’ve been hearing about is how Jesus is the ‘Son of God’ and how there are millions and millions of people who are Christians, because of him. And how this is the ‘Second Coming.’ The whole world should be pissed. That lying-slut has a lot to apologize for!”

[He runs backstage]

Joseph: “I can’t believe you did this to me…after all this time of not giving me any sex? Ah man. This is some BULLSHIT!”

Mary: “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I just didn’t want you to think I was a whore.”

Joseph: “WHAT? Not a whore? Do you realize that your lie created a freaking religion. I’m done with you and the baby! At least I’m not the only fool to believe your bullshit. There are millions of people who are going to want to say a few things to you.”

Mary: [yells out] “I’m Sorry, Joe.”

[Joseph starts to walk away]

Maury: “Joseph, hold on. Before the two of you leave here, I want you to sit with my counselor. This relationship can still be saved.”

Joseph: “No Maury, there’s no ‘saving.’ I’m done with her and her kid.”

[Maury looks into the camera]

Maury: “This is an unbelievable development. What will the Pope have to say about this? I’ll do my best to get the answers. Until next time, America!”

Do not be a following-idiot. He who is blind and follows faithfully, shall be led on a nonsensical journey.

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Why I Laugh

A myth is defined as a traditional story, usually focusing on the deeds of gods or heroes. The story of Santa Claus is a myth that is familiar to most people. When children first learn about Santa, they believe in his existence unequivocally. Eventually, these same children get older and their belief in the jolly toy-deliverer fades; he becomes a harmless fib. Sometimes, there are situations in which the belief in myths does not dissipate. This can be an extremely dangerous occurrence. The longer someone accepts a myth to be true, the harder it will be for he or she to become a disbeliever.

Imagine that you are single. No children and very few responsibilities. You are employed at a large corporation and your next assignment is to move to a small town in northern Canada, Fable; population 13,293. Your goal is to live amongst the people for three months and determine whether the company should expand to the area. All of your living expenses are covered, and you are given three thousand dollars a week, as spending money.

Fable seems perfect — Except for one thing. As outlandishly ludicrous as it may seem, the people never discovered that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. It’s the funniest thing that you have ever witnessed. It’s almost as if you want to shake each person and yell, “ARE YOU *expletive deleted* KIDDING ME!” After every encounter with one of the locals, you always hear the same thing, “I know Santa is watching, so I always try to do my best.” You can’t stop laughing. No matter how intelligent a person may seem, everything that comes out of their mouth loses total credibility, the second Santa is mentioned.

While watching the televised game of a local high school football championship, the star player is interviewed and he says, “The entire time, I just kept telling myself to give it my all because I know Santa was watching.” The footage causes you to spit out your drink and you roll around on the floor uncontrollably; you finally understand the acronym LOL.

When you first hear about their belief in good old Saint Nick, you immediately think that it is a joke. You can’t stop laughing. It takes a week before you finally grasp the fact that the people of Fable are serious. You constantly try to tell them that Santa doesn’t exist, but they keep replying, “You know Santa can hear you; I don’t think your going to get a Christmas gift.”

There are those, in Fable, who believe in Santa but still act out in a show of defiance. They are the “bad people” of the community; they never get Christmas gifts. The funny thing is, even the anti-establishment folk believe in Santa – they just choose not to follow his rules. It is comical for you to listen to these people talk about how “cool” they are because of their dissent.

There is also a small group of “rebels.” These are the people who know that Santa is fake — they do everything within their power to preach the truth, but are shunned by society. Parents teach their kids about these “naughty ones.” It is often said that they hate Santa.

It turns out that there is a small cluster of “official helpers.” The main purpose of the group, is to keep the belief in Santa alive. These selected few are also responsible for handing out presents, during Christmas. Fable actually has a Guru, who has the job of answering any and all questions about Santa. The Guru is also the person who is approached whenever a person begins to question his or her belief in Father Christmas.

You discover that the people of Fable often struggle with their belief in Santa. They frequently say, “I know that the existence of Santa is implausible, but every time I try to stop believing, I feel deep down that he is watching me. I can’t go to bed without talking to Santa in order to apologize for my daily mistakes.” The Guru does his best to strengthen their faith but if he can see that the individual is having a difficult inner struggle, he will finally reveal the truth. The person can either pledge to become one of the enlightened official helpers, or has to agree to leave Fable.

The Guru explains, to you, “all over the world, children struggle with the belief in Santa. There always comes a time when the truth is finally discovered. Even though the truth is revealed, there is no light-switch moment. The belief in Santa is something that is ingrained in each child, so it will take time to let go of the myth. Even when the belief is at its highest, there is still an inner struggle in which the child will question his or her certainty. The reason why most of the helpers struggle to let go of their belief in Santa, is because the myth has been ingrained in them for so many years. There are helpers who sometimes will forget reality for a short time and catch themselves reverting back to their old behavior. I know it seems like we are evil for lying to our townspeople, but the myth gives them something to believe in, and keeps people from mistreating one another.”

It is the Guru, who creates the propaganda which keeps the naughty ones from revealing the truth. In a way, because Santa never appears, Fable’s Guru becomes an iconic figure whose celebrity almost rivals Santa Claus’.

Even after three long months, in Fable, you can’t help but laugh whenever someone mentions Santa Claus. It is the most nonsensical place that you could ever imagine. You determine that, although the people are intelligent, there is no way anyone would ever take them seriously because of their belief in Santa Claus. You find it impossible to stop laughing whenever Santa is mentioned.

I GET IT! You believe in “God.” Do you get why I can’t stop LAUGHING!