Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Posts Tagged ‘Bible

Insurance Claim: One Magic Staff

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IsisFrom: Beerontep, Chief Sorcerer

To: Royal Insurance Corp.

Subject: Reimbursement for destruction of magical staff by Hebrews (policy no. 3045-223)

To whom it may concern:

On Sunday, 22 June, my magic staff was swallowed by a rival magic staff, wielded by one Aaron, son of Amram, a Hebrew. The incident occurred in the course of fulfilling my regular professional duties, in my capacity as His Divine Majesty Pharaoh’s chief sorcerer.

Two Hebrew provocateurs, Moses and Aaron, the sons of the aforementioned Amram, entered the royal court and made several demands of His Divine Majesty. In doing so they made a demonstration of some supernatural phenomena at their disposal, namely the transformation of a staff into a serpent. As chief sorcerer, my duty compelled me to demonstrate equal mastery of witchcraft, and my associates and I transformed our magical staffs into serpents.

However, the demonstration on the part of these Hebrews did not end with the transformation of the staff, as Aaron swiftly transformed his serpent back into a staff, but in doing so had his serpent-staff swallow the staffs of mine and of my associates’.

It is my understanding that the circumstances of the incident adequately meet the criteria for an ‘Act of God’ as defined in the policy, and as such, request reimbursement for the full value of the staff: 1200 gold coins, as assessed by a representative of your company. The model of the staff in question, an Isis-900, retails at 1000 gold coins, but the staff that was swallowed, in addition to its manifest spiritual power, held tremendous sentimental value to me, as it was a wedding gift from Pharaoh Himself.

I would appreciate your prompt attention to this matter, as the Hebrews Moses and Aaron have already demonstrated their intent to continue performing their own magic, and I will need all the necessary equipment to counter their spells. Already they have transformed the Nile waters into blood, which I and my associates have been able to duplicate without recourse to a magic staff, but I fear they will again perform some supernatural feat that will necessitate my use of a potent staff such as the Isis-900. Please process this request forthwith so I may perform my royal duties fully.

Yours,

Beerontep the Sorcerer

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Written by Thag

December 23, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Pharaoh’s Butler Resentful Of Upstart Hebrew Ex-Slave Dream Expert

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We were unable to find an actual photo of either the butler or of Tzafenat Pa'aneakh, so here's a different image that we'll just all have to agree is a bust of Yul Brynner.

We were unable to find an actual photo of either the butler or of Tzafenat Pa’aneakh, so here’s a different image that we’ll just all have to agree is a bust of Yul Brynner.

Memphis, Egypt (AP) – Semillontep, the veteran butler of Pharaoh’s palace, nurses a grudge against viceroy Tzafenat Pa’aneakh, who, he claims, has failed to show sufficient appreciation for the butler’s efforts to free him from the royal prison.

When Pharaoh had a disturbing set of dreams, Semillontep recalled that two years earlier, a Hebrew slave was able to correctly interpret the mysterious dreams that the butler and chief baker had while they were in prison. He humbly suggested to the king that the Hebrew, known then as Joseph, might be able to perform a similar feat for His Highness where the court soothsayers had failed. Accordingly, Pharaoh summoned Joseph from jail, and indeed, the Hebrew gave a convincing, accurate explanation of the royal dreams, along with an astute set of administrative instructions to prepare for the epic events that the dreams portended. Semillontep anticipated a proper recognition for this act of generosity, which was not forthcoming.

As a result of his thankless efforts, says Semillontep, Pharaoh appointed the thirty-year-old Joseph as viceroy to administer the very system he had envisioned, and renamed him Tzafenat Pa’aneakh, “the decoder of the mysterious.” The butler understood that Pharaoh himself would not give more than a token expression of gratitude for his referral to Joseph, as he was obligated to serve his master loyally in any case. Moreover, Semillontep owed his own debt of gratitude to the king for the amnesty that spared him while his colleague the baker was executed – the very fate that Joseph had foretold in interpreting the pair’s dreams. But Semillontep still feels left behind in the face of the rapid advance of this lowly Hebrew nobody to whom everyone is suddenly genuflecting.

“I made him who he is,” hissed Semillontep to his wife, Sirrah. “And here I am, still stuck in a dead-end job with the threat of a death sentence hanging over me if I screw up one more time,” he lamented, recalling the episode that got him in trouble several years earlier, when Pharaoh found a fly in the royal wine goblet.

Tzafenat Pa’aneakh was unavailable for comment. His representative said the viceroy was busy traveling to all the major cities and towns of Egypt to oversee the grain-amassing project that he had proposed in order to prepare the land and region for an anticipated famine. Pa’aneakh’s spokesman claimed no knowledge of the butler’s contention, but he did note that Semillontep had for some reason forgotten about the languishing Hebrew in the prison for two years before mentioning anything to Pharaoh.

“One rather suspects motives other than the mere feeling of being slighted,” suggested the spokesman, noting that it was not unusual for native Egyptians to discriminate against people of other ethnicities, and to enslave them. “One has to wonder whether the same resentment would exist if His Excellency Tzafenat Pa’aneakh were born and raised in Egypt instead of Canaan.”

Written by Thag

November 25, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Midianites Regret Not Getting Receipt For Purchase Of Joseph

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20 silver piecesMemphis, Egypt (AP) – Despite getting a good deal on the purchase of a Hebrew youth, a group of Midianite traders is having second thoughts after spending the last several hundred miles listening to the boy prattle on about sheaves, stars, and dreams.

The caravan, on its way to Egypt, was transporting spices and fragrances to sell there when they encountered a group of herders near the Central Canaanite town of Dothan offering a healthy-looking, seventeen-year-old named Joseph for sale at the too-good-to-believe price of twenty silver pieces. Despite the low price, the traders found no physical defects in the youth, and decided to pool their cash to sell this Joseph at a handsome profit once they reached their destination. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

November 19, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Conservative Jewish Environmentalists To Pollute Only In Public

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JTSNew York (AP) – In keeping with the template of their religious observance, the leading institution of Conservative Jews has endorsed a pattern of environmentally conscious behavior that calls for maintaining an eco-friendly home, but adhering to society’s wider mores when outside. They will therefore adopt such practices as composting, recycling, and cutting waste while in the privacy of their residences, but in the street and at work they will continue to litter, drive fossil-fuel-guzzling behemoths, and place glass bottles in the regular trash. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

November 15, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Art Historians Question Realism Of Picasso’s Portraits

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PicassoNew York NY (AP) – An emerging movement in art circles is casting doubt on whether the people depicted in some of Pablo Picasso’s most famous painted works in fact looked anything like the figures in those paintings. The contention of those scholars threatens to undermine decades of established consensus on the artist’s work and significance.

Since Picasso first reached prominence in the early 20th century, experts and laypeople alike have marveled at the Spaniard’s ability to find and capture on canvas a striking number of deformed, strangely pigmented subjects. He specifically sought out people – almost always women, it would seem, but even that is not clearly visible in several cases – whose abnormally large facial features were not properly aligned, or whose physical proportions gave them a grotesque, almost cartoonish character. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

October 13, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Man’s Prayers Answered: ‘Shut Up Already’

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Gary BonnerRockville Centre, NY (AP) – The Lord God Almighty finally responded to repeated entreaties by a local man, instructing the 27-year-old to stop pestering Him and do something to improve his own life for once.

Gary Bonner, currently unemployed, has been praying for a windfall since he lost his job as a welder in late 2012. Rather than immediately seek another position, Bonner elected to place his trust entirely in the Lord, restricting his own revenue-related efforts to collecting unemployment benefits and buying various tickets from the New York State Lottery.

“Any God Who can provide for me by arranging a working position can also engineer events so that I don’t have to do any work to have a steady income, as well,” he reasoned, ignoring the Lord’s own pronouncements regarding the sweat of man’s brow as the default method for gaining bread.

Fed up, as it were, by the man’s attitude, the Lord appeared in a vision to Bonner and instructed him to cease all petition until he takes measures to indicate active participation in the live he was given. “I did not create thee to sit around on thy duff, waiting, as doth a goldfish in a tank, for magical food flakes to float down from Heaven,” the Creator of the universe informed the misguided soul. “Go forth and seek sustenance by thine own hand, and wait not, for thou art not a fetus in the womb that thy provisions be pumped directly into thy bloodstream.”

Unswayed from his lassitude, Bonner attempted to argue with the Almighty, citing the precedents of Elijah being brought food by the ravens, and the Israelites in the wilderness receiving a daily allotment of manna. “Lord, You’ve shown before that not everyone needs to work – why can’t I be one of those people, instead of the loser I am now?”

Although the Lord’s last serious debate occurred in the second millennium BCE, He demonstrated that He had lost none of His rhetorical sharpness. “Art thou Abraham, who beseeched Me to spare to wicked city of Sodom, that thou wouldst now engage in dispute?” the Lord retorted. “When was the last time thou sought to save anyone, let alone those whom others have dismissed as unworthy?”

“And as for your invocation of Elijah,” continued God, “when I see that thou hast devoted thy life to uprooting idolatrous practices and oppression of the meek, then shall I consider providing thee with thy daily bread through less effort of thine own,” admonished He Who spoke and the world was created. “And thou comparest thyself to the Israelites, My chosen people? The ones who followed Me into the wilderness, ready to accept My covenant of devotion when all other nations preferred to mire themselves in their orgies of oppression, castes, human sacrifice, and unbridled pursuit of power?”

According to witnesses, Bonner hesitated only a moment, but persisted nonetheless. “Lord, plenty of people have it easy, and they don’t seem to be doing anything worthy with their lives. Celebrities. Playboys. Bankers. I just want to be one of them instead!”

“Shut up already,” answered God, dismissing Bonner’s argument with a wave of His metaphorical hand. “Trust Me: if thou had any potential as an avatar of iniquity, thou wouldst already be decades into a life of debauched vanity. Now, for the second time, get off thy duff and seek gainful employment!”

At press time, Bonner was scouring the classified section of Newsday for available positions as corrupt dictator of a small Latin American country.

Written by Thag

September 27, 2013 at 10:26 am

Man To Reenact Ancient Yom Kippur Ritual By Flinging Cat Off Roof

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Guri and Tuli. Which of them is the evil twin remains undetermined.

Guri and Tuli. Which of them is the evil twin remains undetermined.

Jerusalem, Israel (AP) – A Jerusalem resident Intends to launch a cat off the roof of his apartment building this Saturday to commemorate an ancient Jewish atonement rite involving goats.

Gidon Levi, 40, will partially reenact the Biblical scapegoat ritual for the Jewish Day of Atonement, which this year begins this Friday evening just before sundown.

The practice, mentioned in Leviticus and given detail in the ancient text of Jewish law called the Mishna, has the High Priest use lots to select one of two identical he-goats upon which to symbolically place all the sins of the people. The goat is subsequently sent out into the wilderness and pushed backwards over a jagged cliff, becoming dismembered on the way down. The ritual has not been performed since the Second Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in the year 70 CE.

In the absence of the Temple – its site now occupied by the Muslim shrine the Dome of the Rock – and given the impracticalities of obtaining two identical, unblemished, one-year-old male goats on short notice in an urban setting, Mr. Levi will instead fling one of his two one-year-old kittens, Guri and Tuli, off the roof of his sixth-floor walkup and down into the rocky valley along the western approach to the city.

The ritual, known as Azazel, once served as a way for the people to express their desire to distance themselves from sin and devote themselves to God, explained Levi. “One animal was sacrificed on the altar as an expression of our reaffirmed dedication to serving God, while the other, identical goat, another part of ourselves, takes our iniquities away to be banished forever, an expression of our aspiration to rid ourselves of the failings that drive a wedge between us and God.”

Levi will use kittens, specifically, both because of their easy availability – there are thousands of feral cats in his Har Nof neighborhood alone – and because they come closest to evoking the vibe that goats did in the ancient world. “The Hebrew word for ‘goat’ is the same word used for ‘demon,’ and cats are similarly associated with all things dark and evil,” he noted.

On Saturday morning Levi will select which of the two kittens to launch to a grisly death by means of a lottery drawing. He will place two pieces of wood inside a box, pieces of wood identical in every respect but the words written on them: “For the Lord” and “For Azazel,” respectively, in Hebrew text. The term Azazel refers to the high, mighty cliff from which the animal is pushed, he explained.

Levi will swiftly pull out the two blocks and immediately assign them without looking, to ensure randomness, to the kittens, one of which will be marked with a red strip of wool to identify it as the Azazel animal. He will march the kitten upstairs onto the roof, and there, between the water-heating solar panels and the neighbors’ satellite TV dish, he will push the animal off.

If the ritual goes as planned, the kitten will travel down the seven stories that account for the height of the building, plus two stories of the hill’s natural severe slope, until impact, where Levi expects the descent to continue for several dozen meters until the animal is torn limb from limb, and atonement achieved.

The Jerusalem native seemed unperturbed by the notion that his intended activity constitutes cruelty to animals, noting that only a few radical activists would object to something that reduced the number of cats in the city. “They’re a plague,” he lamented, comparing the niche feral cats occupy to that of the raccoon in North America.

“I might raise a few eyebrows with the gory way in which I do it,” he conceded, “but this is the Middle East. The brutal slaughter of other creatures is a daily ritual in Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and sometimes Lebanon, so people are basically used to this kind of thing.”

Written by Thag

September 10, 2013 at 2:23 pm