Of plays and flagellation

2008-03-26 00:00

TED dropped in unexpectedly on Easter Sunday. He was in a shocking condition. He said it all started on Good Friday when Mary forced him to watch SABC 1. “Grounds for divorce,” I said, pouring him a shot of cheap whiskey.

Ted shook his head glumly. “It gets worse,” he said. It turns out that Mary made him sit through a gospel music extravaganza.

But that wasn’t the end of it. After an hour of what Ted described as “a living hell on Earth”, Mary went to bed leaving him sitting there paralysed from the neck up. Before he could regain the full use of his brain, the next programme came on. It was Kill Bill Vol 1.

Between gulping whiskey and crying uncontrollably, he said he began noticing disturbing similarities between Quentin Tarantino’s gorefest and the story of Jesus.

He said that Uma Thurman was obviously the Virgin Mary. After Mary fell in with a bad crowd of right-wing Christian soldiers called the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, she mysteriously fell pregnant after spending the night with David Carradine who was made up to look like Joseph. Coming to her senses, she fled to Bethlehem where she hooked up with a minstrel and agreed to marry him but on her wedding day a jealous Joseph pitched up and shot her in the head. Mary woke up from a coma five years later and went off to the Gaza Strip where she discovered that her baby, Jesus, was still alive and then the movie ended.

Ted was shaking so much that I had to pour whiskey into his mouth. Then he bit me and screamed: “Jesus is out there. We have to find her.”

There was only one way to snap him out of his confusion. We had to stage our own

Passion play.

“You need to get your perspective back. The first thing we need is a cross,” I said.

We trawled the house and came up with enough wood to cobble together a decent-sized cross. “Mel Gibson’s cross was much bigger.”

“So was his budget. Now lie down so that I can nail you to it.”

This simple instruction sparked a terrible argument. I explained to Ted that the human hand had soft bones that provided no hindrance to a nail.

He insisted that I flagellate myself so I dug out the whip that has been in storage since my honeymoon. I had to use it on Ted several times to encourage him to carry the cross like a man.

“Now I have to betray you,” said Ted. “Call me Judas.” Without warning he lashed his mad foam-flecked lips to mine. “Open your eyes. You’re not meant to be enjoying this.”

I gave us both a quick flagellation to cleanse us.

“Now we shall visit the 14 Stations of the Cross,” I said, “starting at Fish Hoek station.”

It took us a while to get there because people kept asking if we were in the Two Oceans Marathon. Exhausted, we stopped at a church and pounded on the door until a priest opened it. He wouldn’t let us in. “We’re not open till six,” he said.

“We have come a long way,” said Ted.

“Give us the body of Christ,” I said.

“I don’t have it,” said the priest.

Instead, he gave us a bottle of wine and half a loaf of bread and told us to bugger off.

By the time we reached the station, I had flagellated my shirt clean off my back.

“Two tickets to Golgotha, please,” I said.

“You can’t go to Gugulethu from here,” said the heathen behind the counter.

A man in a yellow bib gave us the lazy eye. “You can’t take that thing on the train.”

We went outside and sat on a bench. “Now what?” said Ted.

“Dunno,” I said. “Can’t remember how it ends.”

I uncuffed Ted and we sold the cross to a Congolese car guard and went for a beer.

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