Mary and Joseph
Talk to Jesus About His Future
by William Kitcher
Much to Marys
chagrin, Joseph was sanding a chair in the living
room, getting wood shavings all over the new
carpet, when the door opened and closed, and
Jesus came home.
Mary looked up and squinted. Is that you,
Jesus? I cant see you very well because of
Yes, Mother, it is I.
So, did you get a job?
Mother, I was preaching.
About what? You dont know anything,
you lazy good-for-nothing. Its time for you
to get a real job. So youd better get a
haircut and shave that beard off. Do you know
what you look like? Do you know what the Cohens
next door say about you?
I dont care what they say. Izzy Cohen
smells like a bagel factory.
Look, your father taught you to be a
carpenter. So youd better start
Joseph started to squirm.
Jesus and his mother had had this conversation
before but he persisted. I have a greater
purpose in life.
Oh, hanging out with your friends all the
time. Youre over thirty, for heavens
sake, and all youve ever done is backpack
around Europe. When your father
Joseph stopped his sanding for a moment. I
told you. Im not his father.
Mary yelled, Dont start that again!
The Holy Spirit in the middle of the night, my
eye. You were drunk. She turned her
attention back to her son. When your father
was your age, hed been working for twenty
years. He quit prep school to get a job to help
out his family. I dont know whats the
matter with you and the younger generation.
Jesus was exasperated. They just need to be
led. And Im the person to lead them.
Oh, you great leader you. Leading a flock
of sheep like those twelve boys youre
Theyre my disciples.
Mary guffawed. Disciples! Oh, Mister High
and Mighty, arent you special. And by the
way, didnt you know thirteen was unlucky?
Theyre my friends.
Mary snorted. Friends. Bunch of hippies if
you ask me. And I dont trust that Judas boy.
Iscariot. What kind of a name is that anyway? Is
Josephs patience was wearing thin. Mary,
Mary, so contrary. Stop crucifying the boy.
Mary ignored the remark. She was on one of her
usual rolls. And what about that Simon? Or
Peter, whatever the heck his name is. Whats
his name anyway?
His name is Simon, and we call him Peter.
You kids are so flaky. And youre so
exclusive. What happened to your old friends?
What is wrong with you that you dont like
Kyle and Todd and Bradley anymore?
They just dont seem to be the
disciple type. Todd the Disciple?
Joseph was getting tired all of this. And Ill
tell you, young man, you have to stop being seen
with just boys. People are talking.
Let them talk.
Washing their feet. Do you know what that
means to the Pharisees and the Zealots?
Mary pleaded with Jesus. At least get some
female friends to be with you some of the time so
you dont look like a bunch of whoopsies.
What about that very nice Mary Magdalene? Shes
a nice Jewish girl, and comes from a very nice
Jesus gazed into space. I love her very
Shes a tramp! exclaimed Joseph.
Mary turned to her husband. You! Shut up!
Joseph was not to be denied. Shes
given so many boys gonorrhea they call her The
Mary was livid. Shut it! The fact that our
boy here likes any girl is a good start. So, why
dont you settle down, get married, have a
family, make us a bubbie and zaidie?
I choose to be a preacher, Jesus said,
nobly. I want to promote peace.
Peace, Joseph harrumphed, raising his
fist. Ill give you a piece of this.
And love. I want to promote love.
Joseph got up in Jesus grill. Whos
putting all this nonsense into your head? Its
those two brothers. James and John, those fairies,
sons of Zebedee Steinberg. Never did like the way
he buttoned up his shirt.
I have a special gift. I can create
Joseph considered this. We do always
seem to have a lot of wine. By the way, wheres
And I have a special talent with loaves and
Joseph wagged his finger. You steal it, dont
you? Stealing wine and bread and fish and chips.
The Romans are going to catch up with you and
your gang of light-fingered and light-loafered
We dont steal. We dont believe
You filthy commie! exploded Joseph.
I can create miracles. I walked on
water. Everyone saw me walk on water.
It was ice, you dimwit! said Mary.
Theres a big difference between water
and ice. You nimrod.
I brought Lazarus back from the dead.
He was sleeping and you woke him up!
Bringing him back from the dead. Really. Thou
shalt not lie. Do you remember that one?
Thats not one of the commandments.
Oh really, Mr. Biblical Scholar. Then tell
us what the six commandments are.
But I can create
miracles. Let me show you.
Mary shook her head. Jesus Hiram Christ, if
this is another one of your party tricks
Mother, Im going to cure you of your
Yes, possibly. Father, stand behind Mother.
Joseph did so as Jesus put his hands on Marys
head and began to chant. Heal the eyes.
Heal the eyes. Heal the eyes.
skeptical. Suddenly, Jesus hit Mary in the
forehead with the palm of his hand, and she fell
back into Josephs arms. She was unconscious
for a few moments. Jesus was very pleased with
himself. Finally, Mary woke up and shook her head.
Can you see better now, Mother? Have your
No, they havent gone! And now I have
a headache! Did you see how your son hit me?!
Hes not my son
Shut up! All right, thats it. You
leave right now and go look for a job. Theres
a new Roman leader in town, a very nice man named
Pontius Pilate. You ask him for a job or Im
washing my hands of you. And then you come home
right after and pack because were going to
Calvary for Easter.