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Away In A Manger… Orange-Capped King Comes With Coupons To Offer His Respect

December 22, 2017 Frontpage No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

The Three Kings were about to leave the Holy Family in the stable for the evening, to return the next day for further adoration, when a great banging sound arose at the entrance. There was a flash of what appeared to be a strange orange cap on the new arrival’s royal head. Profuse apologies flowed in a foreign accent.
“I’m unimpeachably sorry to be late. Please forgive me. I not only hadda travel thousands of miles to get here but also across thousands of years. And my many enemies did all they could to throw stumbling stones to block my path. And my own life had a lot of potholes to fix first. But here I am.”
Baby Jesus’ human nature looked out quizzically at the tall, flustered new arrival from the future United States.
“When you’re as mighty a king as I am, and live in the best White House ever built, and have to pack plenty of hamburgers and ketchup onto my camels for such a long journey, I beg again that you excuse me.
“But when my supremely capable advisers told me there was even a bigger king than I, I knew I hadda seek Him. Maybe interview Him on a television show like I had. Or set Him up for a news conference. But I see now that He’s not likely to talk much for a bit. But everyone loves to see babies anyway. I know I gotta have a contract for exclusive rights here.” He started rummaging through his pockets.
That’s okay, Jesus’ divine nature thought. I can speak anyone’s language, with any accent they’re comfortable with.
“I’ll tell ya,” the orange-capped king said, “when I told my spectacularly capable advisers I hadda get back to the beginning of the first century, they threw up their hands in horror. They said it wasn’t as if I was simply asking them how to make another billion dollars. No problem there. But, they said, lissen, we’re not like in the time-machine bizness.
“I didn’t get where I am in the world by taking ‘no’ for an answer, so I told them to get cracking for the solution so I could get moving to here. When I looked back in on them a coupla hours later, they were all down on the floor. Didja lose something you’re looking for, I asked. No, they said, we’re down on our knees praying for a miracle.
“Just then an Arab-looking waiter — I could tell he was a peaceful Arab cuz the only knife he had was to spread the ketchup — arrived with a pack of my burgers. When he heard what my problem was, he proclaimed, ‘No worries for you, oh Mighty One. Everyone gets one miracle a year in my home country for Christmas, so I hereby bestow the travel solution on you.’
“Poof, he was gone, and, poof, here I am with every one of my hamburgers. Well, the edge of one of them almost got stuck in the time warp, but I pulled it through with my very white teeth.”
Don’t worry, Mom and Dad, Baby Jesus smiled. This guy looks like a tough case, but I can deal with anyone. Look, if I made this orange hair on his head — it’s not a cap, Mom and Dad; it’s not a turban — nothing’s impossible for me. And he showed he’s willing to start fixing his own potholed path.
“Now I gotta tell ya,” the Orange King said. “I already been sizing up these other kings here. When you’re as successful as I am, ya never miss a moment to take the other guy’s measure fast. I see they’ve brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. I understand that really makes a great impression, but I gotta confess, I didn’t bring any jewels or pearls for gifts, but I brought something more precious to me.”
The Orange King brought forth thick booklets of cards and coupons. “Sorry I couldn’t bring ya bags of the real thing, Your Majesties,” he said, indicating Jesus and His parents. “But I couldn’t bring a lot more big items with me through the time warp when I already had some camels to squeeze in. I wudda if I coudda. But I promise ya these coupons will be honored at any franchise around here.”
He started smacking his lips at the very thought of the sacrifice he was about to make. “Here, here, tens of thousands of gift cards and coupons for Kentucky Fried Chicken and pizza. Money isn’t everything to me. I gladly give up money to get pizza and chocolate malteds.”
Because Jesus understood everything, He knew the Orange King was talking about foreign delicacies to consume. Not that His little tummy was ready for pepperoni and mushrooms yet, but there were so many gift cards, there’d still be plenty left for Him when He was older. Meanwhile, Mom and Dad better not get carried away with the calories.
“And here, here,” the Orange King said. “I recognize this little Baby is gonna be super-important, so I managed to bring this with me, too. Again, it’s not myrrh and frankincense, but it’s what any mighty ruler needs. Three gold-edged scrapbooks! I’ve filled hundreds of them with my own press clippings, and this’ll give the little Baby a good start on His own memories.”
Don’t worry, Jesus thought. There already are the Bible and prophets to record my path. Jesus was grateful for the thoughtfulness, but He knew there was something else on the Orange King’s mind, so He mentally inspired him to speak it.
“Ya know, I hate to sorta cast a shadow on these happy proceedings,” the Orange King said, “but another reason I hadda come here is that I need advice straight from the top about a bigly serious question. My rival last year for the throne in my country, the Queen of the Hill, is still steaming mad that I beat her.
“Not only that, but all the scribes at the Washington Boast and the New York Overheated Climes worship her, and they’re all trying to destroy my good works,” he continued. “I’ve made it my special mission to wipe out the filthy Moloch worship of sacrificing babies that afflicts my land, but the Queen of the Hill and all the scribes adore sacrificing innocent blood. At our third debate last year, the queen vowed to have more of this barbarity.
“I mean, I understand evil. Can’t get to be a multibillionaire without having seen plenty. But this queen has this special taste for the vile. When I smack my lips for burgers, she smacks hers for wickedness. When she sings her incantations to Moloch, the priests of the Planners of Barrenhood give her more gold for her campaign treasury. When she has secret scrolls of confidential information, she leaves them by the wayside for any spy to read.
“Did I mention that she isn’t even actually a queen? She just likes to think she’s one. Been her dream all her life. If she could, she’d call herself Queen of the Mountain, but she has to settle for being the Hill until she can get a real crown on her head. But she and all her tough guys wanna sink me.
“This Moloch worship is more than I can understand. But I’ll tell ya, I may be the king back home, but I don’t sleep sound knowing they’re all out to end me. The Queen of the Hill shudda been in prison long ago for her crimes, but she’s still flying free as a buzzard while all the scribes keep screaming against me. I’ll tell ya, they hate it that I don’t kill babies like she likes.”
As the Orange King paused for a fast breath, Jesus sent this idea his way:
“Even mighty rulers like you are called upon to suffer and bear injustices, no less than the rest of humanity. I know the Queen of the Hill and her scribes need repentance, and I ask you to give me this gift. Go back to your land and era and strive for their conversion. A very hard task! But when you succeed, they’ll thank you for transforming their miserable lives.”
The Orange King wrinkled his brow at the challenging thought.
Jesus sent another thought his way:
“I’m counting on you! Here’s the chance to make your biggest deal ever. And now if you’ll look over your shoulder, your Arab friend with the ketchup spreader is ready to take you home for Christmas.”
The Orange King smiled, then wanted to stipulate one thing.
“Sure, your Little Majesty, the biggest deal of my life! But could I just make a fast stop in Egypt first? I think maybe I could build them some great monuments to go down in the history books. More palm trees than Mar-a-Lago.”

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