It was supposed to be a surprise, but somebody broke the embargo — a WikiLeak maybe — and billboards went up. "Second Coming — May 21, 2011."
So everybody's heard now, and with the suspense gone, replaced by dread or denial, the Son of Man and I have been out doing promos.
I mean, there's no way it won't be the top news story of that last cycle, so there's no real point, but this is Century 21 and you have to do garish advances on upcoming BFDs from a long time out. I don't know why you do but you do. So we did.
I think our best one was when I took Jesus by for a brief photo op with TR.
Me: "TR, Jesus. Jesus, TR."
TR: "How's it hanging, Hunch? You gettin' any?"
Jesus shoots me a quizzical look and I shrug and tell Him, "That's TR."
TR [to Jesus]: "I kick ass and take names. What line are you in?
Me: "Aw, c'mon TR. He's the King of Glory."
TR: "I thought that was Sheffield. I know Sheffield thought it was Sheffield."
Me: "Don't act like you never heard of the Good Shepherd, the Prince of Peace. You'll be standing before Him in judgment inside of six months."
TR : "Aw, I'm used to that. But you better watch out. Even in the courtroom I'll open a can of whupass. [To Jesus] You'll need to camo that raiment if you're here long. Old boys'll think you're a fag. I got some waders you can put on."
TR again : "Well, what can I do y'all for? We need to get on with it, whatever it is. Bud Lite traffic's just about dried up with y'all here."
So we talked briefly about the need for a few more ivorybill peckerwoods to bring back the gay-looking birdbrain tourists who drink a lot of expensive brandy and s—t like that, and then we left.
We went on over to see Loy Mauch, and I remember a couple of things he said to Jesus. One was, "Sorry about what them Jews done to you the first time." And the other: "I got me a Confederate battle flag in yonder ... be mighty obliged if you'd ortagraph it for me. I wouldn't sell it or nothing."
Hank wanted to sell Him some fiiiine furniture, and Ron Sherman some windows. "What would he do with windows?" I asked Ron. "I mean, this is Jesus Christ."
"We'd make him a better deal than anybody else," Ron said.
It takes some brass to tell the Lord of Hosts that if He scratches your back you'll scratch His. But that was the gist of Jerry Jones' proposition when we stopped by the crystal palace: Jesus would get a victory lap around the Jerry Bowl in the Popemobile on Super Bowl Sunday, with full fireworks and a Blue Angel flyover, and in return on May 21 Jerry would get eternal life with no questions asked.
When Jesus didn't bite, he offered to throw in a skybox on timeshare, and not a dinky one either.
People just don't understand the gravity of this end-of-the-world business. Back in the Dark Ages they did, but not now.
Larry King to Jesus: "Now what it is you do again?"
Maury Povich wanted to give Him a DNA test to settle the paternity questions that have lingered 2,000 years. "It'll be like Obama getting a real birth certificate," Maury said.
Wrangler wanted to bump Brett Favre in favor of Jesus for its Real. Comfortable. Jeans. campaign. But Jesus nixed that one too. People don't want to see their Savior in blue jeans. He was a carpenter during his sojourn; he didn't ride rodeo bulls.
Huckabee hasn't been able to get an audience. Jesus will break bread with publicans and sinners — and strange little tree-climbers like Zaccheus — but he draws a tight line with graspers, chameleons, the self-absorbed, and the professionally pious.
Mark Steines on ET wanted to know if Tom Cruise and John Travolta will be sent straight to Hell because of their Scientology. The idea that they might caused Mark great anguish, you could tell. But Jesus doesn't answer questions like that. He just looks at such questioners in a way that makes them ashamed of what sad little f--kfaces they are.
"This is giving me the creeps," one of these birds said in one of the promos, whereupon the Lord glanced at me and I thought I saw the tiniest of ethereal smiles. It's said He never laughs in the Good Book. That got Him the nickname of Man of Sorrows. But I don't know. I bet He laughs at Pat Robertson pretending to have chitchats with Him. At "Blazing Saddles" on the Blu-Ray.
I might tell you I advised strongly against this "Second Coming — Bring it on!" media campaign. False bravado, I thought. I thought everybody would just give up if they knew the date exactly. I worry there'll be panic in the streets as the time approaches. But then I wonder why I worry. If there's panic it won't last long. Nothing will last long.
If we got through that last election with a scrap of hope and our wits still about us, we ought to be able to handle this.