We Three Things of Orient Bizarre


Here’s the story of a baby, Three Wise Men, and camels.

Mother, father and I were like the Three Wise Men, except one was a woman and none of us had gold, frankincense and myrrh. And to be honest, we weren’t going to see the baby Jesus because we don’t have a time machine. But apart from all that. One of my cousins has just had an adorable baby girl. I’ve never held a baby that small. Only six days old. It was a Christmas miracle. Well, Christmas expectancy. My cousin knew it was coming – it wasn’t a surprise. Well, I say that, but the baby was two weeks early. Full head of ginger hair, bright blue eyes, only five pounds – she didn’t have a clue what was going on. We drove to the house in a car and brought gifts such as a rattle and baby clothes. Damn sight more useful than what the Three Wise Men brought. Wise? Like ‘ell they were…

Okay, I mean, fair enough, they didn’t have cars back then. That we know of. They may have had a DeLorean. The story probably had a certain degree of artistic licence. I’ve ridden a camel, in Lanzarote, which is a landscape similar to the one the Wise Men would’ve ridden their camels in. A vast desert of volcanic ash and mountainous regions are similar to the sandy desert sand dunes of Judea. The men rode for days and they got off those camels and went to see Jesus. No problems whatsoever. That’s not realistic! I rode a camel for twenty minutes and when I got off, I collapsed in a heap on the floor, curling up into a ball with my genitals firmly cupped in my hands as I screamed in agony. And I was using a modern saddle! God only knows how bruised those three men must have been! “Ah, you’ve arrived to see the baby.” “Yes.” “Care to sit?” “On the floor?” “Yes.” “Erm, don’t happen to have a pillow, do you?”

And camels don’t forgive you, either. Fair enough, you’ve ridden them for days, but do they really need to spit in your face? It’s a horrifying experience. Imagine the scene when Joseph greeted the three men. That camel would’ve spat in their faces. It’s an unpleasant and painful experience. “ARRRRGH! MY EYES! JESUS CHRIST!” “He’s in the stable.” “NOT NOW, JOSEPH!”

I haven’t even got onto the frankincense and myrrh yet. What kind of person brings a baby frankincense and myrrh? Never mind the fact He’s the Son of God. They were very popular in the Middle East back then, so that’s okay, my issue is with what they are. They are fragrances. Things that give out a pleasing odour. Christmas hasn’t changed at all in 2,014 years has it? We’re still buying one another smelling salts, bath fragrances, deodorant, perfume – and all the rest of it – at Christmas. It’s an unknown Christmas tradition we’re all taking part in and were not even aware we’re doing it.

So why would you give these gubbins to a baby? Sure, it’s the thought that counts. But are you trying to say the baby smells bed? That’s ludicrous. Babies smell lovely. Maybe it was a mistake. Maybe the men heard about the stables and presumed they’d smell of cow shit so they took some fragrances to liven it up a bit. “Aww, are these for the little one?” “Erm, sure.” Right now, these Three Wise Men are coming across as little more than opportunists.

Right now, gold is looking like the only legitimate present they actually brought. It’s like when you go to a Christening and you and your partner buy a gift for the baby from both of you. And you sincerely hope you don’t come across as cheap. Three Wise Men and two of them brought fragrances. Imagine that! They were probably doing their shopping and just couldn’t think of a gift idea. So they said, “Hey! Let’s split up, each buy something and meet up in one hour.” And they did. One brought gold and the other two some mystery fragrances. “Oh sod it, let’s just give them the gold on behalf of all of us.”

It’s funny, isn’t it, how, in our own little ways, we still do the things the Three Wise Men did. Travelling great distances to see something as small and precious as a newborn. I don’t think there’s anything else on this planet that has that kind of power. That baby, my newest relative, wasn’t even a foot long. To hold something so fragile in one’s arms doesn’t half make you realise how unbelievably brittle life is. Yet so full of joy, innocence and sweetness. Not yet poisoned by the darkness this very Earth often seems like it’s enveloped in. As that little baby wrapped her half inch long fingers around one of mine, I realised that we never really lose that infant hope. It’s easy to forget that, but if there’s a time to remember it, surely it’s Christmas.

Oh, and before I forget to mention it, you’ll be delighted to hear that I decorated the tree this year without serious injury. Those of you who’ve been here a while will know I tend to incur injury when I put the tree up and decorate it. I tripped over it a few years ago and sprained my wrist. But this year? Nope. Nothing. Nada. Fine. Well, I did trip over something and fall on to it, but I wasn’t injured and it only took ten minutes to get it upright again. The point is, I wasn’t injured. You may still categorise this year’s tree as a failure like all the years previous, but without injury, I’m willing to consider it a massive improvement on previous years.

Anyway, I hope you have a very happy, merry and jolly Christmas. And if you’re not Christian, then I hope you have a great Thursday…

American comedian, social critic, actor and author, George Carlin (1937-2008), once said: “When I ask how old your toddler is, I don’t need to hear ‘27 months.’ ‘He’s two’ will do just fine. He’s not a cheese. And I didn’t really care in the first place.”

Peace Out :|:

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. You can leave a comment and/or like this post below, or by clicking the title on the top of this post if you are on the archives page. Likes and follows greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other two blogs:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
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Hark Around the Words
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