In the beginning, there was imagination.
There were also people. Though they weren’t college educated or high school graduates, they had an incredible talent for telling stories.
One of their faves was told on long winter nights about a kid born to save all people from starvation, pestilence (There was no CDC at the time.) and to bring peace to all the peoples of the earth (Though they also didn’t know s**t about earth.).
There were three guys who rode camels, not limos or even freight trains, across deserts, rivers, mountains … night and day … hundreds of miles following an effing star to find this kid who was going to save the world.
They were called “The Wise Men,” although they exhibited incredible stupidity to embark on such a trek astride god awful smelling camels. But, if they’ed been called the “Three F**cking Stupid Guys,” how would that advance the story?
Their names didn’t help. They weren’t Louie “The Screw” Campoto, Georgie “Cement Feet” Gambolo or Frankie “Pay Me Now” Fugilio. Nope. They were Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar.
But they persevered and followed that star.
Didn’t ask questions like, “WTF are we doing?” Or “WTF are you bringing for the kid?”
They just rocked along on their desert ships until they reached Bethlehem.
They checked the only inn in town and the night clerk told them that he sent the family to the stable. On the way to the manger, Melchior asked Balthazar, “You got the gold?”
“Gold? I don’t got any gold. Caspar, what you bringing?”
Caspar looked at the other two and said, “I got that crappy, syrupy sweet smelling stuff … frankincense.”
Melchior chuckled and said, “Naw … I got the gold. I was just f**kin’ with you guys. You think I’d forget the gold?”
Balthazar replied, “Gold? You got gold? All I got is myrrh … the s**t they use on dead bodies. You got gold?”
Balthazar and Caspar stared at each other … dollar signs in their eyes. And that dear friends, is how Xmas greed was introduced into the season. Melchior arrived solo at the stable a bit bruised and worse for wear, bearing frankincense and myrrh… but minus the gold.
Balthazar and Caspar … Well, they were seen hightailing it across the desert … Balthazar headed to Sodom and Caspar to Gomorrah, their saddle bags bulging with gold.
But all did not end well. They ended up broke, Caspar with “Gomorrahrea” and Balthazar with “Sodomosis.”
Moral of the story: “An ass is but an ass, though laden with gold” – Romanian Proverb