*NOTE: The following piece may be
offensive to Christians. It also contains crude words.
A BAD KID
..Aye, well, the boy always
was trouble. I knew he'd come to a bad end. It doesn't surprise me
one bit. Blasphemy and sedition, is it? Oh, the shame of it. He's no
son of mine. No, really, he isn't. I'm only his stepfather, you know.
We let on I was his real Dad, mind, for the sake of the wife's
reputation and that. There's not many men would have taken her on in
her condition, but I stuck by her and look where it got me. You would
think the little whelp would show me some filial devotion and respect
after I'd raised him as my own all those years, but no. Look at what
he calls himself. Jesus 'Christ', for God's sake. The ungrateful
little sod doesn't even use my surname.
..Mind you I was never that keen on the
name Jesus, either. Poncey name if you ask me, the wife's idea of
course. You're asking for trouble giving a kid a fancy name like
that, gives them ideas above their station. A couple of times
during his childhood I tried to shorten it to 'Jez' or 'Jed' but
they never stuck.
..I thought we had a pretty good
father-son relationship at first. One day when he was little I heard
some other kids asking him who his father was and he replied, "I am
the son of God." There was a tear of pride in my eye and a lump in
my throat until the wife said, witheringly, "He doesn't mean you,
.."Well who does he mean?" I demanded.
.."His real father," she said,
rolling her eyes.
..A few direct questions to Jesus
satisfied me that this was in fact the case, so I dragged the
little cur in the house by the scruff of the neck and started to
thrash him with a leather belt. "I'm your father, and don't you
forget it!" I snarled.
..In all the times I had cause to thrash
my stepson during his childhood, adolescence and young manhood, he
almost never stood up to me, the jessy. I suppose in fairness if
he had done I would have put him in hospital, but the way he just
stood there passively, as he did now, looking so bloody meek and
mild and saying, "I forgive you," the superior little sod, used to
enrage me even more.
.."I'll teach you to forgive me, you little
bastard!" I yelled, and leathered him some more.
..On this occasion, for once, I eventually
managed to make him yell back at me. I spent two weeks doing it and
wore out half a dozen leather belts and a carpentry mallet in the
process, but I succeeded in the end. During most of this period my
wife was gliding about the house smiling tranquilly and humming
hosannas to herself, as was her wont, but eventually even she
noticed that all was not sweetness and light.
.."Stop, Joe, stop!" she started scriking.
"Jesus, why do you have to provoke him? The two of you are tearing
.."He's got to stop forgiving me!" I cried,
grimly redoubling my blows. "And he's got to call me Daddy! Call! Me!
Daddy! Call! Me! Daddy!" I snarled, driving home every word with a
fresh thwack from the belt.
.."You're not my Dad!"Jesus blubbered.
"You'll never be my Dad! My Dad's much bigger than you, and he'll
kick your head in one day!"
.."Oh aye?" I said. "Where is he, then?"
.."He fucking will be if I ever catch him,"
I muttered, glaring at my wife while giving Jesus a final backhand.
..This kind of thing went on fairly
regularly for several years - until Jesus was thirty and left home,
in fact. Once I tried family counselling. The shrink explained that
it was quite common for stepchildren to fantasize that their missing
parent was someone important. Understanding the problem at last, I
went home with a new sense of purpose and attempted to beat the
delusions out of him, but to no avail.
..Of course the question of who Jesus' real
father was was something I brooded about a lot. "An angel visited me,"
my wife used to say, dimpling. I've been looking for a blond fucking
dwarf ever since, I'll find the cunt one day.
.."It's not like you think," she'd say with
her usual placid smile. "Nothing happened. The spirit entered
me through my ear."
.."I don't wanna hear this!" I'd
scream, putting my hands over my own ears. The interloper appeared to
have been some imbecile yokel from a place where they didn't have any
sex education. Mind you he found his way around in the end, didn't he,
because nine months later he showed up.
..I suppose the mystery of Jesus' parentage
was part of the reason we didn't quite bond with each other in the
way I at first hoped we would. To be honest, though, even before he
started to manifest his obsession with his real father Jesus was
something of a disappointment to me, not quite what I'd hoped for
in a son. He was a sissy and a mother's boy, he wasn't interested in
sports, he spent far too much time reading books and pressing flowers.
One year for his birthday I spent a month making him a full
gladiator's outfit, with sword, flail, trident, the works, did he
ever play with it? Did he shite. For a while as he grew up I
continued to quietly nurse a dream that I might see him in the arena
one day, and when he was a bit older I bought him a spear and a
knackered old goat to practise on, but he stabbed like a girl.
..Any hopes I had that he might one day
follow me into the family business also faded as he grew to manhood.
He was the worst carpenter in the whole of Judaea. I reckon his one
chance on Friday is if they let him build his own cross. He'd likely
come up with a two-foot parallelogram and mumble something about the
grain of the wood being wrong for a cross but he'd made a shelf-unit
instead. That's all he could ever make, those bloody slanted
shelf-units. Chairs, tables, roof-beams, whatever I set him to work
on they all ended up as an out-of-skew shelf-unit. The house was
littered with them. His mother wouldn't throw them out, she encouraged
him. "That's nice, dear," she'd say with a tranquil smile as he
showed her yet another fucking two-foot rhomboid. "We can use it to
keep things in." And then she'd go off to smile and be radiant
somewhere else. I used to thrash him for it, of course. I knew he'd
never make a carpenter no matter how much I did it, but I thrashed
him anyway. For the exercise, mainly.
..When Jesus used tools his left hand never
knew what his right hand was doing. He was forever getting nails
through his hands. "Shit that hurts," he'd yell. "God, God, why are
you picking on me, what the fuck did I do to deserve this?" He
never could take it like a man. He was always showing his wounds off,
though, getting people to put their fingers in and stuff. He had this
mate Thomas and he'd put his hands over his eyes and go, "Guess who?"
and Thomas would go, "There are fucking great holes in the palms of
these hands, so it must be you, Jesus, you klutz."
..Once I ordered a self-assembly flatpack
wardrobe from Jerusalem and let Jesus put it together, reckoning even
he couldn't balls that up. It took him eight hours and when he'd
finished he'd turned into a fishing boat. With a mast and everything.
Don't ask me how, but he did it. "A miracle," said the wife, but it
wasn't, it was just very bad furniture making. We had the bloody thing
sitting in the parlour for six months before I could work out how to
turn it back into a wardrobe. We used to have to sit in it to eat
dinner. I thrashed him with a belt daily during this period, of
course, and twice on Saturdays.
..By this point Jesus had grown into a
fragile, pallid young man with long floppy hair falling over his
face and a dreamy, otherworldly gaze, the cunt. I thought he'd
probably become a musician. Reasoning that this might be a means of
turning his adolescent weltschmertz and burgeoning messianic
complex into a profitable career, and that he was probably already
on drugs anyway, I actually bought him a lyre, but he was never
able to master anything beyond the first three bars of The Song Of
Solomon. As much as he irritated me, I could see how his brand of
junkie chic might be appealing to a certain kind of female, and
with a brief return to my early paternal pride I looked forward to
the day when he would ask if he could borrow the donkey to take
some bird out. I remembered how I used to borrow my dad's
donkey to pick Mary up, how I'd take her out to some secluded
hilltop and pretend to run out of carrots, not that it ever got
me anywhere. The night I found out someone else had got into her
I went out on it blind drunk and wrote it off, took a corner too
fast and rolled it three times and put it in a ditch upside down.
..But anyway, Jesus didn't seem to be
interested in girls. He was too much of a prig and goody two-shoes.
I remember once when he was young he found some of his schoolmates
writing 'Mary Magdalene will show you her bum for two denarii' on a
wall and he made them rub it off. "Hey, come on, that's not fair," he
said. "If you've never shown your bum to anyone then you can
talk." Now he was older he spent a lot of time hanging round the
town bikes trying to convince them they didn't have to take their
drawers down to be popular. At first I thought he must be queer on
top of everything else, but then one day I came home to find Jesus
sitting there with one of these loose birds kneeling before him
massaging his feet with olive oil and looking up at him adoringly.
One of his poncey bookworm mates was standing there looking shocked.
"Jesus, Jesus," he said, "why are you letting that naughty lady mess
around with your feet?" "She's a very misunderstood girl," said Jesus
dreamily, a big smile on his face, "and don't knock it till you've
tried it." "That's my boy," I thought, affectionately taking my belt
off and thrashing him, the girl, and his mate.
..By now it was apparent that Jesus was
no ordinary kid, even for a sissy. For one thing there was an
increasing incidence of what the wife referred to as miracles and
I called showing off. Looking back I suppose the first miracle was
when he was four or five, when I threw him into the River Jordan to
teach him to swim, and instead of swimming, or sinking, he just
sort of stood on it. After giving the matter due consideration I
decided to leather him for being a smart-arse and say no more about
..Another incident that strikes me as
unusual in retrospect was the time he went on a school outing, up a
mountain looking at flowers or something. That evening his teacher
came back to the house with him, carrying a basket full of bread and
.."What's this?" I said.
.."A most peculiar thing," said the teacher.
"When we got there it turned out some of the children had forgotten
to bring anything to eat, so Jesus started passing round loaves and
fishes out of his satchel. There was enough to feed everyone and
this much left over."
..I looked at Jesus, at the loaves and
fishes, and then at my wife.
..I said, "What kind of a fucking packed
lunch did you make that boy? He was going on a day trip, not to
bastard China. You mean he's fed every cunt in the class out of my
fucking larder? You want your fucking head examining, woman." She
just simpered. God, she gets on my wick at times. Sitting on her
arse all day smiling and being tranquil and radiant and full of
grace, and glowing a bit. I've never liked to talk about this much,
but she definitely glows. Does your wife glow? No, I didn't
think so. Mine does. No, you can't notice it so much in daylight,
but at night you can read a book by it. Come to think of it, he
never needs a candle when he gets up for a piss either. What a
fucking family. What really gets me goat is the way she's always
going on about being a virgin. "How do you do, I'm the Virgin Mary,"
to every bastard she meets, I mean me mates and everyone. Aye, the
Virgin Mary, and this is my husband, the Incredibly Frustrated
Joseph, his bollocks are scheduled to explode any day now. Meanwhile
the proof that she isn't a virgin is eating me out of house
and home. God I got a bum deal. I take on her and her kid and she'll
never let me touch her, she just lies there next to me glowing in the
dark. I married a night-light, not a fucking wife. Anyway I
leathered Jesus to sleep that night too.
..A while after that we went on a family
holiday to the Sea of Galilee. One day we were down by the shore
watching the fishing boats. They were having a slow morning, and
suddenly Jesus says, "Look, Mum! I'm going to create some fish."
"That's nice, dear," said his mother placidly. And bugger me if he
didn't do it. All of a sudden the nets were bulging with fish, fish
were leaping out of the water and hurling themselves onto the boats,
they were practically wriggling up on shore and jumping into frying
pans, you have never seen so many fish in your life. Of course the
price of fish plummeted until you could hardly give the things away,
and the fishermen tried to lynch him. That night I endeavoured to
teach Jesus a few basic economic realities; luckily I'd brought
along a trunk full of my favourite belts and some good knobbly
pieces of oak, just in case.
..As Jesus got older his merry pranks
became more and more difficult to ignore, and my right arm grew
weary from chastising him. Once we were at the wedding of one of my
wife's relatives and he turned the water into wine, the little
shithouse. There were teetotal dowagers standing on tables doing
the dance of the seven veils left, right and centre, and an uncle
who wasn't supposed to touch a drop because of an allergy vomited
on the bride.
..Another time he made a complete arse of
us by ruining a funeral. Everyone's there in their best mourning
gear, the catering's already paid for, and right in the middle of
it laughing boy goes and resurrects the corpse. Made a hollow
charade of the whole thing. Nobody knew what to do or where to
look. The rabbi tried to carry on as though nothing had happened,
trying to hold the corpse down with one hand while he was saying the
prayers. "I'm alive, I'm alive," said the corpse. "No you're not,
lie down," said the rabbi. What a fucking shambles.
..He was forever resurrecting local kids
who'd died. The neighbours complained in the end, they couldn't
afford to feed them all. They were sleeping fourteen to a bed in
some houses in our street thanks to his one-man war on infant
mortality. And he'd heal all the little crippled kids and that.
Just to annoy me, I swear. I'd work three days making a pair of
crutches for some kid and no sooner would I sell them than he'd be
up to his monkey shines and I'd have the parents back through the
door demanding a refund. Still, I found the surplus crutches could
make quite effective cudgels if used correctly, as my stepson
..When Jesus was in his late teens he
started going round with a gang of twelve lads. "Do you want to be
in my gang?" he'd say to anyone he liked the looks of. And he gave
them all tough gang nicknames. There was this lad called Simon and
he said, "You can be called Rock," and Simon said, "Cool." At first
I thought he was finally toughening up, but they never caused
trouble or started fights. They just used to hang about on street
corners making nice remarks about passersby, or go round helping
old ladies across the road en masse, they were crap. Once, though,
they got in a scrap with some rough kids, and Rock, who was quite
hard actually, pulled a knife and cut someone's ear off. Jesus
picked it up and stuck it back on. Unfortunately the guy thought
Jesus was going to hit him and flinched, and the ear ended up stuck
to his neck. Which was a conversation piece for him to say the
..Well, anyway, Jesus idled round like
that for the next ten years or so, cluttering up the house and
showing no inclination to strike out on his own. His mother kept
saying he was going to be a great man one day, but he was certainly
taking his time about it. He was always going on about his real
father's house and how many rooms it had, but he was in no fucking
hurry to move out of mine. So then he eventually leaves home at the
age of thirty - thirty, mark you, the bloody slacker. And
what does he do? Does he get a job at last? Does he finally put
his learning to some use and enrol in Pharisee school? Does he fuck
as like. He goes poncing off into the desert 'to try and find
himself'. Swanning round some fucking kibbutz shacking up with
hippy backpackers and that, no doubt.
..Anyway that was the last I heard of
him until yesterday some cunt comes up to me and goes, "Hey, your
kid's in the news, he's showing his armpits up at Golgotha at the
..Ah, he'll get off with it. His mother's
there now trying to petition the governor, soft cow. He'll get off
all right. He'll probably get some smart-arse mouthpiece to say he
was abused as a kid and we didn't bring him up properly. Probably
right, and all. I didn't leather him half as much as I should have