Arts & Entertainment
Wise men, cross-dressing chickens
by Charles Alexander
Originally printed 12/15/2011 (Issue 1950 - Between The Lines News)
An olde, olde legend - newly shared for posterity by a handful of forthright and gay-friendly scholars - says that the wise man known as Kaspar liked on festive occasions and birthdays to do drag.
(Melchior and Balthazar were straight, but not biblically narrow nor politically incorrect.)
Gay-friendly scholars add that the gifts carried on the magi's fabled journey to Bethlehem were not - as we have so long erroneously believed - gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but rather glitter, patchouli, and mirth. (Jokes help to make long journeys shorter.)
It's also likely, these same scholars earnestly believe, that Kaspar was also the world's first top-billing standup comic (after Adam who played The Big Apple, but got hissed into the outback along with fall-guy, Ms "Take a Big Bite" Eve).
Kaspar's audiences were hillside sheep, lowing cattle, occasionally stray scapegoats. They bleated, mooed, nannied loudly at his funny one-liners about chickens who cross-dressed roads to get to the other side and camels who foolishly got stuck trying to pass through needle eyes.
Kaspar billed himself as 'The Ever Merry', and had a dedicated following in Persia, where he headlined fancy B&Bs, royalty lip-gloss shops, and a chain of Babylonian Wig-Out! boutiques. He wowed them on Tigris & Euphrates gambling showboats, but was banned in Thebes-on-the-Nile for making off-color remarks about Joseph's Coat of Many Colors.
Bethlehem was Kaspar's first Judean gig. (He said, modestly, that the star was not there just for his Grand Opening.)
Some humanist archeologists, however, pooh-pooh the Bethlehem stopover, saying that gawdforsaken place is too dry to have much of a sense of humor. (And with the haggling going on there these days, they may have a point.)
Feminist anthropologists wholeheartedly support the cross-dressing Kaspar legend. They say telltale artifacts discovered at the site of an ancient roadside inn, desert casino, comedy creche, where the magi likely stayed provide proof.
Artifact #1 is a half-buried, quarter of a wall mosaic of a "man" with teased hair, no beard, red lips. He holds a jeweled clutch bag with a cuneiform G on it (for girth?), and sports a tiara and sash with a magnificent M (for mirth?).
Artifact #2 is a theater token. On one side is a smiling bejeweled terpsichorean. The inscription reads - freely translated - "ten centimes a dance." And on the reverse (again freely translated), "Kaspar, Thou goest so gaily merry!"
The last artifact is most beautiful. A gold medallion with chain, finely crafted, with what appear to be two mascara eye-lined, red-rouged ladies with angel wings and swooping feather boas, tooting tiny trumpets.
The medallion is edged with five small stars and a great big "show-biz" star at top. Glory-O-Skies!
In excelsus day-o! Thou goest, girl!
There are two more delicately engraved inscriptions. The first (give or take a word): "Eternal Limelight to Kaspar the Merry." And touchingly second: "He who becomes she made lowly shepherds, a travel-weary mom with a newborn babe laugh with otherworldly joy."
(The cross-dressing chicken jokes, no doubt.)Charles@pridesource.com Be well in Two-O-12!