Born Under a Lucky Star: The Christmas Story
a tale of music, media, and myrrh

So awhile back in Israel, these dudes, Mary and Joseph, were hanging around - you know, trying to get their heads straight - and decided to swing on by Bethlehem, this hep-cat town in the Bohemian district. Mary was with child - not just hangin' around with her baby cousins or anything, but really WITH that kid for about nine months now, dig? They'd got hold of some reallllly good stuff awhile back and seen this Gabriel cat, who told them to name their son Immanuel. Well, Joe and Mary kinda wondered about that dude, but Joe figured "Immanuel" ran smoother than "Dionysus Compostheap," so they changed their plans and went with the angel-man's idea.

When they reached Bethlehem, the baby was born. They decided to go with the whole natural childbirth scene, squatting in a rice field - but they couldn't find a rice field in time, and he was born in the middle of 25th Street, holding up traffic for eight hours. Once they got out of the slammer, Mary strapped the kid into their bourgeois materialistic Swaddle-U-Up Porta-Cradle, and they headed for a youth hostel.

The owner of the youth hostel took one look at Mary's hip long hair and peace sign, and Joe's hip long hair and polyester floral bellbottoms, and that campsite filled up faster than Castro Street on Gay Pride Week. Well, that was no problem for them, 'cause youth hostels were just capitalist-dominated dictatorships in communist clothing anyway. Mary and Joe and little Immanuel crashed in the owner's garage next to the water heater and a broken-down Gremlin.

Meanwhile, the Shepherds (a local garage band, kinda like Jefferson Airplane without Grace Slick or Jerry Garcia) were lying around trying out some new stuff they got down in Gomorrah, when suddenly an angel appeared in the smoke rings on the ceiling. The angel said to them, "Fear not, I bring you good tidings. In Bethlehem a baby has been born who will be the Savior of the world. You will find him wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." At once the sky was filled with angels singing, "Tune in, turn on, and drop out!" They thought that was kinda weird, 'cause usually their hallucinations were way more colorful than that, but when an angel tells you to tune in, man, you tune in.

The Shepherds grabbed their instruments and hurried to Bethlehem. They had no problem finding Mary and Joseph in the garage, 'cause the whole city was still buzzing with the story about the woman having her kid at the intersection of 25th and Main - and besides, the angels TOLD them that those folks were staying at the Star Hostel. They looked at the kid sleeping in the backseat of the broken-down Volvo and agreed that he didn't look like an Immanuel... more like a Daniel, or an Isaiah. Mary and Joe figured that these guys musta found some bad hash somewhere - "Isaiah?!" - but they agreed about the name problem, and everyone gathered to pull some Scrabble letters out of a bag 'till they came up with "Jesus."

The Shepherds had to head back home, 'cause they had a concert that night, but they told everyone at the concert about their pals down in Bethlehem. Word got around, and soon everyone wanted to scope out this chick who gave birth in a crosswalk. Three Wise Men, a group of women rock stars from East Tokyo, saw the spread on Mary and Joseph and the Shepherds (who were gettin' to be rising stars) in Sky Magazine. They couldn't get any gigs back home, having more of a heavy-metal-country sound goin' on before its time, so they all piled in their VW Bus, the Camel, and traveled many miles over mountains and deserts in order to check these dudes out.

When they came at last to Bethlehem, everyone who was anybody knew about the Star. It was the hottest spot in Israel! The owner expanded into a combo hotel-cafe-nightclub and still had to turn people away every night. (But you better believe he never turned pregnant folks away anymore!) The neon star flashed still over the place where the Jesus cat lay. Three Wise Men were full of joy that they had found what Sky called "Rock 'n' Roll' s Savior," and they bowed before him in worship, chanting, "We're not worthy! We're not worthy!" 'till Universal Studios showed up threatening to sue them for breach of copyright. The Wise Men cooled it real fast and flashed treasures they brought: a wide gold plastic peace sign with inlaid rhinestones, and a grab bag of myrrh and frankincense incense sticks from the five-and-dime on the corner... they figured the kid was too young for the real hard stuff.

The Shepherds never really died out, there're still some of them around somewhere, but they never made it to the big time either. Three Wise Men peaked around 1975, but they got their copyrights on their name when they still had the money to do it, so they're doin' fine. Rolling Stone calls 'em Three Rich Men now, and NOW is threatening to sue on Wise's behalf for sexual harassment unless Stone prints a retraction calling them Three Rich Women. Mary and Joe, well, nobody paid much attention to them after a while, and Jesus pretty much grew up in the 'burbs, but around in the mid-seventies he got real active with the beatniks and the peaceniks and the neatniks, and got to be a pretty well-known cat around most of the world. He even got asked to do a tour, but he had to turn it down 'cause he was starring in "Hair" at the time. Some folks say there was nothing to him, and some folks argue with that and say there's gotta be some reason he got so popular, but the fact is that *none* of them ever got so popular as the Beatles, and that's that.