Angry monkey with a chaingun. I’ve been there.
Angry monkey with a chaingun. I’ve been there.
Jesus was visiting a lost valley that was reputed to hold a few holy men who separated themselves from the rest of the world so they could better understand the nature of God. He was hoping to talk to them alone, but he’d made the mistake of healing a few of the sick (he couldn’t remember if they were lepers, blind or tone-deaf cantors) in the town nearby.
So instead of a quick Messiah-to-Hermit conference, he’d accumulated a large crowd.
“What do you think we should do, Oh Son of God?” Peter asked Jesus. (Peter was always kissing his ass.)
“I don’t know, why don’t we try the Beatitudes? It always does well with an outdoor crowd. Remember how it killed on the mountain?”
Peter nodded. Unctuous as ever.
So Jesus climbed a large boulder, so the crowd could see him. They’d stopped in some tall grass just inside the entrance to the valley.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,” Jesus began, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. And blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
He paused dramatically, because the next one always got them where they lived: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
You could feel the ripple of excitement at that thought shiver through the crowd.
Or was it something else?
The tall grass separated in a dozen places, and suddenly, there were screams of horror and agony as they were pulled down.
“Dragons!” somebody in the crowd shouted.
“Save us from the dragons, O Messiah!”
Just then, one of the dragons — actually a velociraptor, a predatory dinosaur about the size of a turkey — appeared at the bottom of the boulder where Jesus had been Beatituding.
“Stay away from my flock!” Jesus commanded the dinosaur.
It ignored him and proceeded to jump on Peter, who was screaming hysterically; the fifty-pound dinosaur then used its powerful, razor-sharp second claw to rip open the Apostle’s stomach. It’s sharp teeth chomped on Peter’s neck.
Jesus had always thought that Peter was a bit of a brown-noser, but he did not like seeing the fisherman disemboweled. He jumped off his boulder, grabbed up his staff, and brought it down on the velociraptor’s head as it gnawed on Peter.
Jesus smashed its skull with the blow.
“Blessed are those who crush the skulls of the dragons, for they shall save their neighbors!” Jesus shouted.
The assembled believers took this one to heart — even more than that excellent meekness promise — and proceeded to defend themselves from the small dinosaurs. The velociraptors grabbed what pieces of the believers they could and ran away.
Judas appeared, his sword drawn and dripping with blood. Father, I hope that’s raptor blood, Jesus thought.
“Those things are pretty easy to kill Jesus, but what the hell are they?”
“Creatures that we thought had been eradicated by the Flood. They must have survived in this lost valley,” the Saviour said.
“Well, I think we should leave. What if there are bigger Dragons?” Judas said.
“O Master,” Luke said, “can you heal the wounded? Raise those consumed by the Beasts?”
“Not now,” Jesus said. “I used up all my spell points this morning on the lepers, or were they blind?”
“No, they were off-key priests, O Messiah,” Simon said. “It was a blessed relief.”
“Shit, look at Peter,” Judas said. “What a fucking mess!”
“Language!” Jesus admonished. “I’m afraid I won’t be able to raise him until tomorrow,” Jesus explained.
“But why O Messiah?” Mark asked.
“Spell points. Haven’t you been listening,” Jesus said to Mark. Father, why did you make him so thick? “I shall raise him from the dead tomorrow, when I have my daily power back.”
“Really? After what happened to Lazarus?” Judas asked. “I wouldn’t. That fucker is just disturbing now.”
Jesus rubbed his temple. Judas and his potty-mouth.
“I mean, Peter is bit creepy to start with, but give him a day in the underworld, and, well, is it a good idea to raise him at all?” Judas suggested.
Jesus ignored the obvious power-play by Judas. The crowd had gathered around the Messiah and his Apostles. Only a few had been killed by the dinosaurs, but they were worried about them coming back.
“We shall take him with us, and visit the holy men later,” Jesus decided. “Let us leave this lost valley. Blessed are the wise, for discretion is the better part of valor.”
The crowd murmured in agreement.
Then the T-Rex smelled the blood, and trumpeted its hideous, terrifying hunting call.
“Blessed are the swift of foot,” Jesus said, “for they shall not be eaten.”
“But I’m lame!” shouted someone in the crowd.
“I’ve got a bad limp.”
“I’ve lost my sandals.”
The ground shook. People held their ears as the nearby hunting call hit 130 decibels. The 40-foot, 7-ton carnivore appeared, its savage head low as it ran through the grass.
The Believers unable to run from the creature looked at Jesus expectantly.
“Spell points!” the Saviour shouted, “don’t you get it?”
Clearly they did not, so he said: “Blessed are the lame and those without quality footwear for they shall see the Kingdom of Heaven.”
And then he ran.
The lecture goes on, but unfortunately the video doesn’t; this is too bad, because then Vonnegut describes Kafka’s The Metamorphosis:
Poor old Gregor Samsa. Not only does he start really low on the GI-axis (good fortune, ill fortune), he turns into a cockroach and experiences infinite ill-fortune.
The full text of Vonnegut’s lecture can be found at Lapham’s Quarterly, where he goes on to explain why Hamlet is still regarded as one of the world’s great bits of literature.