As kids, it wasn’t Easter until we all gathered round the TV and watched Judas hang himself on our Philco on Easter Sunday, dangling limp from that lifeless tree, sliding whole, down from the steep edge of the cliff into the Abyss, the fiery hole crammed with twisted faces contorted and grimacing, the penalty for by their sinful, selfish lives. This was followed by our favorite commercial, which allowed us to take stock and breathe. Bucky Beaver selling Ipana toothpaste. That was Easter. You fucked up and you were going to hang, clean teeth or not. Even worse, you were going right to hell flopping from that tree, riding it all the way down on the screen of that old black and white, for everyone to see, as long as the vertical held. After watching Judas dangle for five years in a row, I got to the point where the guilt began to pester me like summer mosquitoes. I found that I was unable sit comfortably on tree swings anymore or read Playboy ten feet up from the ground, halfway to heaven in Ronnie Holoviak’s tree house. Around twilight, I worried that the earth was going to open up and swallow the whole backyard, branches, trunk, leaves, birds, me and whatever else was within a fifteen foot radius. Going straight down into the Hellfire.
We no longer have the old Phico black-and-white, but we still go to our closets to pull out costumes and dress up each Spring, only at this time of year, it’s white bucks, ties, bonnets, and for the organizers, pointy hats, black robes, white robes, enchanted incense, bread, wine and of course, the magic words. We love a good performance, so we help by getting in the act, going to our knees, our bellies, and finally, standing back up and pirouetting with a specially braided cord that has been simmered in a number ten can for the past three months by fasting midgets in mink loin cloth whose job it has been to blow smoke on the can every hour, on the hour, while standing on their heads. We’re special and you’re showing why, all dolled up and dancing in circles, getting all bonded with the brethren. It’s magic time. We know we’re special, but just remember, you have to get on board somewhere or risk the consequences. It’s all up or down at this point. Nobody’s going sideways. Have to choose a direction. But, you know, let’s call a spade a spade, can all create our own unique marquee, we just have to pick our spot for the performance, the special show, for the big acknowledgment, our unique celebration. We can set it up ourselves or for anyone else. Let’s assign January for faggots, February for Jew boys, March children who hated their mothers,, April, well we just called that one, May for Niggers, June for entrepreneurs, July for Rag Heads, August for aging Civil War buffs, and you may as well just keep on going, because it all just keeps slipping and sliding along, just as natural as breathing. We’ve got a bottomless well of frames to put around the pictures. Republican or Democrat. I read people magazine. I read the Economist. I don’t read anymore. I use condoms. I’m on the grid. I’m off the grid. My mother was an alcoholic. I went to private schools, public schools. I’m home schooled. I’m a scientist, I’m on welfare. I’m HIV positive. I’m negative in general.. I proudly belong to the Fraternal Order of Eagles. I’m a social worker. I’m anti-social, period. I’m being worked over by the system. I’m on parole. And sometimes this gets a little tricky, like in, I go to Costco. This can go either way. I like the idea of everyone being naked in the open air with a firm rule. No one is allowed to talk or comment. That kind of holiness appeals to me. So, now that it’s Holy Week, maybe we should all strip down, head to the nearest park, stand and stare at each other. At least then, we’re down to establishing a potential visual relationship between penis and foot size. That’s something that needs to be resolved.