Monday, March 17, 2008

The Purim Story, Part the Second

2 Chapter Two -- The Beauty Pageant

Narrator: After a few months, the king finally ran out of wine. This was a sobering experience.

King: Bring me another bottle of Ravenswood Zinfandel.

Servant: Sire, all that remains is this bottle of Chateaux de Mille Dieux, scarcely enough for one day. And it will take us at least eight days to bring in more wine.

Narrator: And so a great miracle occurred. The king regained possession of what, for lack of a better term, we will refer to as his wits and realized that he actually kind of missed Vashti.

King: I miss Vashti. Oh, whatever shall I do?

Servant: Sire, we will arrange a great beauty pageant, and all the virgins in the kingdom will come and parade themselves before you.

King: I don't want to just look at them!

Servant: You marry whichever one you find the most beautiful.

King: But won't their parents have something to say about that?

Servant: You are the king, Sire. You can do that sort of thing when you're the king.

Narrator: And so a great beauty pageant was held. Girls from all over the kingdom were brought in, including Esther, a young Jewish girl raised by her uncle, Mordecai, son of Jair, son of Shimei, son of Knish. Fortunately, no one remembers the father of Knish, or this could go on all night.

Mordecai: And remember, tell no one that you are Jewish.

Esther: But Uncle, won't the king figure it out when I refuse to eat pork, keep separate dishes, and light candles on Friday night?

Mordecai: They don't say "King Dumb" for nothing, kid.

Narrator: And so Esther went to the royal castle to await her turn before the king. Meanwhile, the beauty pageant wasn't exactly going according to plan.

Servant: And what is your greatest desire?
Girl (in a high, overly cheerful voice): I want to be a veterinarian and work for world peace.

Mother-in-Law: She wants to be queen, you chowderhead. Why do you suppose we're here? And another thing, I expect my daughter to well treated. I hear the king gets drunk as a lord, and that's no way to treat a nice girl. Furthermore...

Guards remove mother and daughter. Mother continues diatribe while being removed.

King: That's the 432nd prospective mother-in-law so far. I don't think I can take much more of this. One more, and you're dead.

Servant: Have no fear, Sire. The next girl is an orphan.

Narrator: And so it was that Esther found favor in the king's eyes, and he married her and made her his queen. Meanwhile...

Enter Mordecai
Mordecai: Oh my, two plotters against the king. I must hide myself lest they find me. I know, I shall disguise myself as a tree.

Mordecai stands, arms akimbo. Enter Bigthan and Teresh, ignoring Mordecai.

Bigthan: The King is a fink.

Teresh: We shall poison his drink.

Bigthan: With India Ink.

Teresh: It'll turn him pink.

Bigthan and Teresh exit.

Mordecai: This plot surely does stink; I'm off in a wink, to tell the queen what I think.

Narrator: And so it was that Bigthan and Teresh were apprehended, tried, and sentenced to death by a jury of poetry lovers. Mordecai's name was recorded in the King's big book of "People To Whom I Owe a Favor, But Because I'm King I Can Forget All About It." Stay tuned for our next episode, "The Evil Wazir Was Here," or "Haman Eggs."

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