Note. There’s a possibility of a seriously offensive phrase in this one. If you can’t handle blatant blasphemy used as a joke and quoted here, then click away now. Last chance. Still here? You’re going to hell with me, then.
Amongst my many, many hobbies is community theatre. I’ve been on stage many times, and actually proposed to Wifefish during a curtain call of a show we were both in. I’ve worked backstage for a lot of shows as well. There’s just something about it that I love; it’s one of the most interactive of the arts.
I’ve been in Jesus Christ Superstar twice in my years of theatre. During the first, I met Wifefish and made a lot of new friends in what I consider my home troupe. During the second, reality stood on its ear, and presented us with some cosmic irony.
One Awesome Musical.
The cast and crew of this particular production of JCS was amazingly diverse. We had a visiting Aussie in the women’s chorus, a prominent lawyer playing Pontius Pilate, and several pagans in the cast as well. There were a lot of fun conversations during the rehearsal process, to be sure.
I remember a particular night when I hosted the cast party after the show. The Aussie brought her husband, an officer in the Australian Air Force in town on an exchange program. We’d met him a few times before, and we liked him. We were about to love him.
There’d been some smack talk during the previous party about how hard some of us could drink. Me, I just smirked and listened…I prefer to be the founder of the drunk, rather than he who is passed out on the floor. And Lo! it came to pass that Bruce challenged our Jesus and the director of the show to the “shot a minute” challenge, in which every minute you down a shot of beer until you just can’t any more.
These little fuckers? More powerful than they look.
I won’t tell you not to try this at home, but I will suggest that you make sure you have a spotter if you do, especially if you have long hair and you haven’t tied it back.
There were a few side bets on who was going to win the contest, but the odds clearly favored the Aussie. At the 20 minute mark, the director was still clear eyed, the Aussie was beginning to slur, and Jesus looked a bit peaked. Our Jesus was played by a young college kid, fresh and early in his 20’s. Also, he couldn’t have grown a beard if his life had depended on it. Our director was a bit more stately, in mid-30s, and our Aussie officer was in the early 40s. It was truly a battle of the Ages, as three men fought for their pride.
At the 30 minute (and that’s 30 shots) mark, our director was having trouble. Despite being cheered on by many, he would only last 7 more shots before throwing in the towel, and thus disgracing our nation before the might of Australian livers. He went outside for a smoke, while the remaining combatants toiled on.
“You’re looking a little green” said the young star of the show.
“Fuck you, Jesus! Suck my cock!” shouted the Aussie. We all rolled with laughter.
At 53 minutes, Jesus had no miracles left. He downed his shot, said something similar to “Fuck this”, and disappeared into the bathroom. I don’t know if he blessed the porcelain or not, but he came out minutes later foggy-eyed and without balance. As for the Aussie, he continued to do a shot a minute to the 87 minute mark, and declared himself and all fortysomethings both triumphant and “fucking pissed.” (Not mad, my American friends, but drunk. Bit of a “slanguage” difference.)
It turns out, not only was he pissed, but he needed to drain the lizard as well. Finding the bathroom occupied by one of the cast, he proceeded to our back yard. Once there, he terrorized our director by chasing him around the yard, using his whacker as a supersoaker. I’d never seen anyone who could piss on the run without getting a single drop on himself, and to this date I’ve not seen anyone else who can.
The party raged on into the wee hours, and fun was had by all. I had grabbed keys from the participants of the shot contest earlier, because it’s my bar and I’m like that. When the time finally came for our Jesus to depart, I gave him a field sobriety test. Twice, because I knew what he’d done to himself earlier in the night. He passed, and I dropped the keys in his hand and very seriously said “God go with you.”
“I will”, he replied with equal gravitas. We all cracked up again.
We arrived the next afternoon at the theatre, ready for our Sunday matinee. It was a safe bet that fewer than all of us had attended any kind of morning service. Our director walked in with a massive coffee and a little green gill action. Our Aussie walked in with a tale of woe, she'd had to half-drag, half-carry her absolutely sloshed husband into their apartment, and poured him into the bathtub to sleep it off. His hangover is actually spoken of in the book of Revelations.
Our young Jesus walked in with a tale of woe…it seems that he’d been pulled over on his way home for not signaling a lane change, which at 4 am on a Saturday night/Sunday morning means a cop was fishing for DUI’s. Even though he passed two sobriety checks for the cop, he still was made to do a breathalyzer, because the cop “didn’t like the look of his eyes.” Ladies and gentlemen, Jesus broke the legal limit by .01, and so had an impending court date.
And so the prominent lawyer spake unto him, and said verily “I will take this one pro bono.” And thus was centuries of history rewritten when Pontius Pilate appeared before the court with Jesus at his side; the lawyer defended him vigorously for a judge he surely golfed with. Jesus got a reduced sentence, but still had reduced driving privileges. If he was going to ride into town for anything other than class or work, he’d have to do it on an ass. And thus was history rewritten, and a legend born.