By Ross Blanchard
St. Patrick sits at the edge of Heaven looking down at Earth. His bare legs stick out from his white, flowing robes and dangle over the edge of the cloud upon which he sits. It is March 17th and he watches the multitudes bedecked in green begin to gather as evening approaches.
St. Peter wanders up. The head of security and Heaven’s main bouncer has just finished with his shift at the Pearly Gates. He’s holding a cigarette and a martini, wearing sleeveless robes to accentuate his muscles and to show-off his banded tattoos. His hair is pulled back in a ponytail. He leans over St. Patrick’s shoulder.
“What’s happening down there, Paddy?” St. Peter asks, exhaling puffs of smoke into space.
This startles St. Patrick slightly. He half looks over his shoulder frowning, grunts, and looks down at the little planet again.
“Oh,” says St. Peter observing the mass of green spreading out into city streets. “It’s your day again, huh. That’s right. Your people took quite a liking to you. It’s pretty much only you and the big Junior who get celebrated down there anymore.”
“Mmmph.” grunts St. Patrick, not taking his eyes away from Earth.
“Aren’t you lucky then, Paddy. Some obscure priest that never even performed a miracle, who was never even properly canonized, gets all this.”
St Patrick does not stir, remains looking downward, only his eyes moving to take in the developing scene.
“But does ol’ St. Peter get any celebrations,” St. Peter continues. “Do they hoist a glass in my name ever? ‘Here’s to the apostle, Peter. Good ol’ Pete. Jesus’ favorite apostle and his most righteous wingman.’ No. Never. You hear that, Paddy? Not once. Sure, I have the cathedrals and prominent billing in the New Testament. But very little popular respect. You know they fucking crucified me upside-down, too, right?”
“Didn’t you request that, though?” St. Patrick says, annoyed. “As I recall you asked to be crucified upside-down.”
“Asked? I fucking insisted on it. We were fucking hard core, dude. Sure, they say now it was out of deference to Him that I did that but the truth was no fucker had been crucified any other way but the normal upright way. Those Roman douches had no imagination. I showed them. Actually, I showed them twice, once when they killed me and then again years later when the bastards showed up at the Pearly Gates and realized they had to get past me.
“Anyway. Shit, Paddy. I’m just fucking with you. Why so bummed out? The good ol’ world is down there celebrating you and you’re being a sad sack. Things are really getting hopping down there, too.”
“Well, I’ve been feeling…” starts St. Patrick.
“Hey, look at that asshole!” interrupts St. Peter pointing down toward Earth at one of the miniscule revelers. “Man. He’s pissed himself. It’s barely past suppertime down there and this guy’s pissed his pants already.”
St. Patrick does not finish his sentence.
Just then, Jesus strolls by, walking his pet brontosaurus on a leash. He’s wearing linen robes trimmed with gold and jewel-encrusted, golden sandals. His longish hair is parted in the middle, feathered back. He has a tan.
Jesus notices the two saints leaning over the edge of heaven and walks up behind them.
“What did you drop?” he asks, accusingly.
The two saints turn around quickly, looking sheepish for no reason.
“Nothing,” they both say.
“You know, everytime you drop something, even one of your cigarette butts, Peter, and it lands on one of those worlds, all shit hits the fan. You should see the prayer lines light up. Even after they blame it on a meteor. The phones ring off the hook. And the fan mail. Stacks and stacks. My readers can’t keep up. I mean, I shouldn’t complain, I like the adulation, but in those moments… it seems a little insincere, you know? Kinda fake like they only remember me when they think their world is ending.”
Jesus’ expression sours. There’s a long pause as the two saints stare at their savior.
“Piss on ‘em,” says Jesus with a sneer, breaking the silence.
“Heh. Heh. Yeah. Fuck those ingrates,” says St Peter, uncomfortably.
“No,” says Jesus turning his gaze to St. Peter and stating emphatically. “Piss on them.”
“Uh, that might not be the best….” says St. Peter as Jesus lifts the front of his robe above his waist, jutts his pelvis out past the edge of the cloud, aims, and releases a stream of holy water into the cosmos.
The two saints look on, cringing.
“My aim isn’t what it used to be,” says Jesus. “What am I hitting?”
“You just extinguished a star, dude,” says St. Peter.
Jesus adjusts his aim but to no avail.
St. Patrick speaks up. “You know, it’s just going to evaporate into gasses or form ice and enter a galactic orbit before it even gets to Earth.”
Jesus looks over at St. Patrick disapprovingly and then to St. Peter, asks “Who’s this guy, Pete?”
“I’m St. Patrick, Lord,” St Patrick says bowing his head.
Jesus stares blankly at St. Patrick, still producing a steady stream of urine that arcs into the blackness of space.
“Um… Patricius. The Apostle of Ireland?” St. Patrick continues.
Jesus shakes his head.
“I devoted my life to you and converted many thousands of pagans to Christianity.”
Still showing no signs of recognition, Jesus says, “Well, um, thanks. Excellent work. Glad to hear it.”
Jesus finishes his business with a few shakes of the holy tool and lowers his robes. Looking downward, he inspects the happenings on Earth.
“So, what are they so worked up about now?”
“They get all fucked up down there and celebrate the anniversary of Paddy’s death” says St. Peter chuckling and poking at St. Patrick. “It’s a big fucking party.”
“Everyone’s green,” says Jesus. “Is that new? I don’t recall green ones. Shit. I knew I should have preached more about not screwing the wildlife. Have they been fucking lizards?”
“They color themselves green on this day, Lord,” says St. Patrick. “Green is sorta my thing. I had this sermon about the holy trinity and a shamrock…”
“Oh. Wow. Look at that asshole,” says Jesus, interrupting. “He just barfed into his own hat. And it was green!”
Jesus pauses for a moment, thinking. “So do they celebrate me down there still?
“Oh, yes. Your celebrations are glorious, my Lord,” says St. Patrick.
“Yeah, they are,” laughs St. Peter. “To celebrate your birth children are given gifts and are told the presents are from a big, fat man dressed in red who travels by air in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer.”
“Hmm. And the children buy that?” Jesus asks. “I suppose it’s about as plausible as anything. So, am I in there somewhere?”
“You’re mostly depicted as an infant,” says St Patrick.
“And then to commemorate your death there’s this rabbit that delivers candy and colored eggs,” says St. Peter.
“Okay. That is fucked,” says Jesus.
“At least you have some respectable traditions,” says St. Patrick beginning to mope again.
“Is that what’s eating at you Paddy?” asks St. Peter. “Is it the way you’re remembered and celebrated… by people using your memory as an excuse to get pissy drunk and party with abandon? Generally, have a good time? ”
“Yes!” shouted St. Patrick standing up and glaring at Jesus and St. Peter. “Yes. But not in the way you think. Do you realize that when I was a young teen in fifth century Briton I was kidnapped and enslaved by pagans in Ireland? I spent my puberty and young adulthood in slavery as a shepherd. Then after I escaped years later I entered the priesthood and devoted my life to you! And then I worked my ass off for you for another fifty years and then I died. And that was it. I never partied. I never knew a woman. I never vomited green (except for when I had a touch of the plague once). I never had fun. Not once.”
“Wait,” interrupted St. Peter. “It took you how long to realize that as a shepherd slave you could just wander off as soon as the pagans turned their backs?”
“And then I get up here,” continues St. Patrick ignoring his fellow saint, “and I realize that you guys weren’t exactly saints, so to speak.”
“Well, heh. Yeah,” shrugs Jesus. “We had more than a few benders down there. Hey, Pete, you remember that market I trashed when we were all fucked up?”
“I’ve kept quiet thus far, but I need to speak my mind now,” interrupts St. Patrick, pointing at the two others. “It seems more than a bit hypocritical to carry on like … well, like them,” He points downward toward Earth, “while you preach something completely different.”
“C’mon Paddy,” says St. Peter. “Not completely different. The general gist of our message got through, but there were some other things that got added, unfortunately.”
“Yeah,” adds Jesus. “A few prudish priests ruined it for everyone. Let’s just say they took some liberties with the translations.”
“Fuckers completely left out that awesome free-love lifestyle we had going,” says St. Peter.
“What?” gasps St. Patrick.
“And we were high as fuck on mushrooms, too,” adds Jesus.
“Do whatever feels good? Shrooms? I feel like my life was wasted,” says St. Patrick.
“Yeah. Well,” says St. Peter. “Whaddaya-gonna-do.”
“Hey, Patrick,” Jesus puts his arm around Patrick as they both gaze down at Earth, the green party in full swing. “I’m sure you were a great human during your life on Earth. I do feel bad that you missed out on some of the joys of living on that planet, but look at it this way. You, more so than any other of my advocates, whether unwittingly or not, obviously have inspired millions to celebrate life on Earth. Take pride in that at least.”
“Yeah,” says St. Patrick. “I guess if others get to enjoy themselves in my name, that’s better than nothing. Just a pint of stout or a shot of good Irish whisky would have been nice though.”
“Well, shit. We’ll buy you one, Paddy,” says St. Peter as he and Jesus each take St. Patrick’s arms and guide him back through the Pearly Gates.
“Yeah. Pete and I were heading over to Gabriel’s Gastropub for a couple,” says Jesus.
“Really? There are bars up here?” says St. Patrick. “I’ve been here nearly two thousand years. You might have told me that and invited me out before now.”
“Then we’ll have to have more of a party then. It’s St. Patrick’s Day afterall,” says St. Peter. “Who knows. Maybe we’ll head to Satan’s Strip Club later.” He turns to Jesus. “By the way, are you and Satan speaking these days?”
“Yeah,” says Jesus. “He and my dad are bickering about something, but that’s their problem.”