Tuesday, 25 December 2007

A Very Da Vinci Christmas (aka The Da Vinci Code Christmas Special)

PLEASE NOTE: Christmas specials don’t have to make any sort of logical or canonical sense. In fact it's best if they don't.

PLEASE FURTHER NOTE: The above may be compounded a little by the fact I haven't read The Da Vinci Code.

Popular fictional creation Robert Langdon had had a pretty mind-boggling last couple of weeks, what with the deaths and the exotic trans-European travel and the increasingly outlandish conclusions about the Catholic church his research was leading him towards.
“Dammit,” he muttered as he flailed listlessly in the second-class sleeper wagon forced upon him by the weak dollar/strong euro, “it’s Christmas Day and I’m caught up in this far-fetched quest when instead I could be sitting down to a turkey, spending some time with my family, and doing all those great things that we Americans do on Christmas Day.”
He sighed, heavily, and went back to his notes.
“Could he have been saying that... Joseph... was... was a killer robot? Mayb-"
His train of thought was abruptly interrupted by an insipid knocking at the compartment door.
“Mmm?” he responded, with academic distraction.
The door slid back, and for a brief second Langdon forgot all about killer robots. It was none other than the cowled form of Silas, the Opus Dei’s numero uno albino assassin/masochist.
“Shit,” muttered Langdon, “It can’t end like this! Not on this day of all days!”
“Don’t worry,” said the horrifying freak, cheerily, “though I may practise mortification of the flesh, that doesn't mean I don't believe in the magic of Christmas. Also I’m not as bad a guy as you might think – as it turns out the reason I’m killing all those people is... oh, you’ll find out later.”
“Hmm,” replied Langdon, “you’ll forgive me if I don’t trust you, seeing as I find things tend to settle with the least plausible conclusion. Why are you here?”
“Fair question,” nodded Silas. “In fact it’s a complete coincidence, I’m just off to... well, you’ll find out later. Actually I didn’t know you’d be on this train, I suppose it’s just a by-product of reduced Christmas Day service (though at least the Europeans at least have some) that we’ve both ended up here. But it’s good to see you – even homicidal, screwed up albinos get lonely at Christmas.”
“I’m just a bit concerned we wouldn’t really have anything to talk about,” muttered Langdon, cagily.
“Oh, I quite understand,” agreed Silas, helping himself to a seat. “But I think you might like to see this”.
He pulled out a small, vellum-bound book. Yellow and musty, it seemed to have more weight than such a small tome should, as if the centuries themselves were exerting their inexorable pull on an object that, by rights, should not exist in the modern world. It also smelled quite funny. Langdon reached for it with trembling hand.
“My God,” he exclaimed, distaste at the homicidal whackjob sitting opposite him briefly forgotten, “this must be 500 years old if it’s a day! These words... in Latin... it’s; it's a gospel? The gospel of... Bovinae? The cow gospel? The cow... the cow is Mary Magdalene! Does this contain the answers I've been looking for? But... but why?” he asked, saucer-eyed.
“Oh, no, it’s nothing like that," Silas laughed, with just a hint of real merriment. "This is indeed a gospel that the Catholic church suppressed from history, but it's not going to help you; we didn't so much suppress it through a cynical agenda as because it was a ridiculous crock of doggerel only popular with the most pig-ignorant peasants. But it does make for a fun festive read. Shall we?”
“Well,” sighed Langdon, “it is Christmas.”
“Great, I’ll read out loud and translate into fluent English at speed, then.”
"That would make things go easier."


1 And it came to pass that it was really busy in Bethlehem for some reason or other.
2 I think the humans were counting each other, something to do with tax. Animals don’t have to do that, probably because we’re better.
3 The Romans thought it would make much more sense to make everyone shift about the country before they counted them.
5 Not really sure why.
6 So yeah, town was pretty full.
7 And lo! It came to pass that a certain donkey by the name of Donkey had been railroaded into leaving his digs in Nazareth and heading off to Bethlehem.
8 He had a pregnant chick on his back.
9 Despite some sage whinnying on behalf of Donkey, the chick and her fiancé arrogantly refused to make any reservations in advance and found themselves caught short when they got into Bethlehem.
10 Long story short: yours truly was about to chow down on some delicious hay when she went and gave birth all over it.
11 It was disgusting.
12 Afterbirth everywhere.
13 Though you probably didn’t need to know about that
14 Anyhoo, out in the countryside not so far away a bunch of sheep were hanging out, attended by some idiot shepherds.
15 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them and glory shone around. The sheep were pleased as punch, but the shepherds gibbered in fear, for they were sinful miscreants.
16 Fortunately the angel was only really there for the sheep, so it didn’t care.
17 Then the angel said to them: “Hi guys. So there’s a new Messiah coming to Bethlehem – you should check him out.
18 He’s a donkey, but they’re ten a penny in town - this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger. And the donkey there – well that’s your donkey, basically”.
19 Insensible with fear, the shepherds misunderstood this. I have a feeling it might cause quite a lot of confusion in the long run.
20 Fortunately it put sheep and shepherds on the same page in terms of going to Bethlehem, where they tracked down Donkey and flunkies quickly.
21 The shepherds looked at the baby human, got over-excited, and headed off yapping over-enthusiastically about having seen a baby in a stable.
22 Donkey and entourage stayed a lot longer, mind, during which time Donkey laid out his manifesto to us. I took some notes.
23 You're reading them
24 “Basically we’ll breed shitloads and humanity can look after us, only they’ll sometimes eat us. But not donkeys. Or dairy cows. Or adult sheep. And I’ll ban humans giving birth in our food. And, uh, I'll cut taxes. Sound good?”
25 “Visionary, visionary,” chorused the livestock, who had been looking for just this type of strong leadership.
26 In the meantime the humans had been dicking about in local politics – apparently the Jews were being oppressed by the Romans and the baby was going to do something about it.
27 The animals weren’t so bothered and probably ate some hay, I can't quite remember.

“Wow,” was all a gobsmacked Langdon could exhale.
“I know; you can see why we repressed that shit,” said Silas, allowing genuine merriment to enter his voice for once.
“How deep does this go?” asked Langdon with a feverish gleam in his eyes.
“Well, I think maybe it was St Thomas Aquinas who decided that we might as well suppress it. The peasantry were very ignorant back in the 13th century and some of them were starting to believe in this absurd pamphlet and worshipping farmyard animals in the hope it would lead to lower taxes.”
“No, no – don’t you see? This is conclusive proof God is a woman; no wonder the Catholic Church has been suppressing it.”
“Oh. Right. Well I can assure you that that’s not how it’s seen by Rome.”
“Yeah, but have a look at these blow ups of a painting by Manet,” exclaimed the agitated professor, pulling out a huge sheath of notes from his briefcase. “If you look in the upper right quadr-“.
But as he looked up to share his thoughts with the mysterious monk, he realised Silas had left as mysteriously as he’d arrived. More mysteriously, even. There was no sign of him but for the pungent Gospel. Langdon clutched it close to his chest and closed his eyes.
“Merry Christmas, Silas,” he whispered.
“Huh?” asked Sophie, who had been there all along, only asleep. “Were you talking to someone?”
“Oh Sophie,” he chuckled, ruffling her chic Judeo-Gaellic locks, “you wouldn’t believe me if I told you”.
“Oh, okay then. Look!” she exclaimed, delightedly, “it is snowing outside; joyeux Noel, Robert!”
“Joyeux Noel to you too Sophie. A joyeux Noel to everyone. Even Catholics.”


1 comment:

Beverly said...

People should read this.