When Jesus died, Mary Magdalene went
into a deep depression. She just sat staring
at walls for indeterminate amounts of time,
fingering the edge of her cloak,
refusing to eat, sleep, or sponge bathe.
The Apostles (who never really liked her
hanging around) were all, like,
“What’s her deal? It’s not
like they were together or anything.”
Peter especially felt she needed to get
over herself and consider him in all of this.
After all, he was the special one and
you didn’t see him making a spectacle of himself.
(Although Matthew had observed he was a little jumpy
whenever he heard a cock crow.)
Still, there was no consoling Mary.
Her friends urged her to buck up.
“Girl, you have to get over it already,”
they said. “There’re other fishes in the sea,
and besides, he was a queer one anyway.
All that time in the company of men.
Who’s single at thirty-three anyway? ”
And Mary remembered all the times they
ate fish together. How Jesus liked
his just a little crispy on the
outside and hated having to spit out bone
like a common man. “You know, Mary,”
he said to her once, “I don’t mind the
whole human thing. Except for the fish bones.
You can bet the next time I’ll make
sure that I can get my fish
crispy and boneless.”
Mary laughed, spitting bits of bone
into the sand. “Sure, crispy, boneless
fish. That’ll happen. I’m sure it’s top priority.”
“Don’t underestimate the mutability of seafood,”
Jesus warned, and she smiled, resting her
head against his shoulder.
Standing now at the shore without him,
Mary watches the tide and repeats
what he told her after the cross and the tomb:
“My return will be marked by the easy availability
of boneless, crispy fish products, Mary. Go,
tell the Apostles so that they might spread this
good news.” But the Apostles only laughed.
“Of course, a woman sees salvation in only
selfish terms,” they chided (secretly jealous that she
should have seen him first). “Only a lazy woman would
seek the return of the Messiah coupled with a
time-saving, yet not unpractical, boneless fish product.”
It was Mark who deduced she must have
misunderstood. “Perhaps she’d heard ‘crispy,’ but
certainly ‘boneless’ was ‘soulless,’ and undoubtedly
‘products’ was really ‘harlots.’ And ‘fish,’ well,
that’s clearly ludicrous. Thus the real message had been:
“My return will be marked by the availability
of soulless, crispy Miss Easy harlots.”
“Crispy Miss Easy harlots? ” Luke questioned.
“Whores in the fires of hell,” Mark explained,
and they all nodded, looking intently at Mary.