Saturday, October 06, 2007

With Much Thanks, and A Lame Short-short Christmas Story

Thank you very much to all those who submitted genre stories for the special PGS Holiday issue, due out early December this year (*crosses fingers*). Upon a first, cursory reading, they all seem wonderfully imaginative, and we promise we'll get back to you quickly so we can hit the presses as soon as possible. There were a few stragglers that sent in their work a day after the deadline, but in the spirit of the tardy Fourth Magi, we'll take them in too. Again, thank you very much!

To all the stragglers: you're lucky I have a special fondness for the Fourth Magi, not because I'm always late like he is, but because way before I even knew of his existence or tale--which was also made into a movie, by the way--I told my own version of it to my religion teacher as an irreverent high-schooler:

The Fourth Magi (or The First Christmas Dinner)

The Fourth Magi was running late, as usual ("You did tell him we'd leave before dawn, right?"), so much so that the other three got pissed off and left ahead. They were kind enough to leave him a note tacked to a fig tree: "Dear slowpoke, just follow the star--even you can do that, can't you?".

So of course when he finally set off after them he did his best to catch up, first spurring his camel on with kind words and encouragement ("You can do it you magnificent, mighty beast! We'll catch up with those jerks, we will!"), then with invectives and insults ("Hurry up! Move faster you son of a..a...camel! Or I'll trade you in for a second-hand hookah!"). But by the time he got to the manger in Bethlehem all flustered and bothered and in a rush, the Heavenly Host were done with the first Christmas carols (without pay, tambourines, or synthesizers) and were back in Heaven; the other three Magi were done giving away the first set of white-elephant Christmas gifts (except for the gold) and had already left for home; Joseph, Mary, the Baby Jesus, and the family donkey were on their way to Egypt to escape Herod's wrath; and even the shepherds had gone to bed, leaving him alone with just a few insomniac sheep.

The Fourth Magi tore his beard out in frustration. "Why am I always late?" he screamed to the sky. "It's your fault!" he shouted at his camel, who gave him a baleful look. He brought out his gift for the Baby Jesus, cooking herbs and spices (What is it with these Magi? What would a baby do with frankincense, myrrh, and cooking herbs and spices? But the gold's all right; gold's good for everyone!), and was about to hurl them to the wind when one of the insomniac sheep bleated.

"Baah," it said.

"Oh he**, why not?" the Fourth Magi said. So with an urgent need to vent, and being practical if not punctual, he butchered the sheep, started a fire, and had lamb chops seasoned in herbs and spices for the first Christmas dinner.

My religion teacher was far from amused, and thought it was lame, even for me ("That's not very funny," she said, but I thought otherwise). My only excuse is I was still in high-school at the time, but even up to now I still chuckle whenever I remember her expression after I told her this story.

So, thanks again to all who sent in their Christmas stories, and look out for the PGS Holiday issue soon!


Blogger Charles said...

Another LOL but looking forward to PGS 4. Congrats with the digest and Town Drunk!

1:10 PM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...


1:31 PM  

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