Monday, September 20, 2004


In the Black Market Relic Shop

You can’t verify that this is the Real Holy Prepuce?


Why not?

Well, it could be, but maybe not. There’s no way to say without destroying it. Carbon dating. All that.

Who gave you this prepuce?

Coupla Italians. Said they nabbed it from some church. It was in a jewel-encrusted case.

What’s your opinion?

Looks like a prepuce. I mean, speaking as a mohel. Looks old, too. Speaking as a Professor of Paleoprepuciana and Holy Relics.

But no way to determine its age?

Not without destroying it. It’s old, that’s all I can say. Leathery.

But if it’s Jesus’ prepuce, wouldn’t it have magical powers?

Not necessarily.

What about a positive ID? Can we establish provenance?

I’m working on that. Put an ad in the relics bulletin.

(The doorbell jingles. A young man in a blue polyester suit walks in.)

Hiya, fellas. Sorry to barge in. Go right ahead with your conversation, I've got time.

Who are you, and why are you wearing these clothes?

I am Jesus of Nazareth. I’m here about the ad. I understand you have a black market prepuce, perhaps mine?

How do I know you’re really Jesus? I mean, come on, Jesus in polyester?

Look at the nail holes, man. Want to stick your finger in my spear hole?

Nah, nah. I believe you. Here—this look familiar?

Why yes, it does. I do believe that’s my old prepuce.

Your old one?

Sure. The one that the mohel took off when I was eight days old. I got a new one when I was resurrected. See?

(Unzips, takes out a messianically small penis.)

Hm. They do look similar. And you vouch for this one?

Yes. That’s my old one. No doubt about it. A boy never forgets his first prepuce.

There you have it, then. It’s authenticated.

You, ummmm, mentioned a reward.

What would Jesus need with a reward?

Look, you promised. $50 if someone could authenticate it.

I’ll need a letter of provenance.

Here. Had one made up.

OK, then. Here’s your money.

And look, Jesus.


You ever want to get rid of the new one, let me know. Your prepuce is in big demand. I could probably get, ohhh, twenty-thirty grand for it. I could even get a few thousand for some bloody or sweaty clothes, if you got any really old ones you don’t need. Robes, you know. None of the new stuff. Old crown of thorns might fetch ten grand.

Well, I’ll let you know. Right now the fifty is enough. I just want to, well…

What? You look embarrassed.

It’s for a girl.

Oh-ho! You’ve got a girl!

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