By Colin Daileda
Jesus began to realize he was gay when he was talking with The Devil.
The Devil had always been up to something whenever Jesus ran into him. He was always cooking up some scheme to try to get him into trouble, but Jesus was generally aware of The Devil’s games, because his dad had told him what this little green dude was up to. So nothing had worked. Not the loads of chocolate offered to Jesus in exchange for telling The Devil just a little something about what God said about him, not a free flying lesson in exchange for telling God he thought The Devil was his best friend, not a donkey joyride down a mountain for a promise that Jesus would tell Michael the Archangel to “suck it.”
Jesus had been a good kid.
But The Devil thought he had it this time. Jesus was 17 now, and all those 17-year-old things were happening. His voice cracked constantly, something The Devil noticed during a few of Jesus’ sermons, which he’d given since he was a boy.
“Blessed be thy fAH-ther.”
“Peace be upON — ahem, AHEM — You!”
Sometimes he compensated with awkward exclamations.
One day, Jesus was walking home along a dirt path when The Devil ran up to him and asked if Jesus wanted to visit a strip club.
The boy told The Devil he wasn’t sure what a strip club was, and The Devil gasped in feigned shock and excitement.
“Well, it’s the best place in the world for teenage boys, that’s all you need to know,” The Devil said.
“Because, Jesus! Because! There are butts and boobs and women dancing around just to please you! It’s their job! Pleasuring men!”
Jesus thought about these supposedly scantily clad women for a moment and, expecting some natural emotion of sorts to rise in him uncontrollably, he waited. When it didn’t, he tried to focus on the details of these imaginary women. He focused on the moment they would unstrap their bras and show him their nipples. He thought about their nipples. Nothing happened. If anything, he was kind of grossed out by why he’d imagined their nipples to be so purple and bumpy. Jesus had never seen a woman’s nipple.
“Come on, Jesus! You have to go! Don’t you want to go? You do, I can feel it,” The Devil said.
Jesus did not want to go. At least, not for the reasons The Devil hoped. The more he imagined these women, the weirder they became, like they were caricatures of people in a nightmare. They had huge breasts and tiny heads and they all wore black garments so tight they creased the women’s skin.
But Jesus was more weirded out that these were his thoughts than at the actual thoughts, and he was especially disconcerted that, if anything, his penis had shriveled and gone into hiding at the idea of a strip club. So he said sure, and the two of them walked along the dirt road to the strip club.
“It’s going to be great,” The Devil said. “Seriously. You’re going to love it.”
The Devil said this several times on the way to the strip club.
Jesus was already not so sure, and when they got there, he thought it was more hilariously awful than anything else. The strip club was literally called The Strip Club, and the only thing more battered and worn than the sand-swept shack was at the wrinkly and leathery camel that was sitting outside and tied to a small wooden post which was leaning and looked ready to pop from the earth.
The Devil fist-bumped a tall, ropy dude with a spear-like tail at the door.
“This is Bealzebub,” The Devil said. “He’s my cousin. Bealzebub, if you ever see Jesus coming up here, you make sure he gets in, aight?”
Bealzebub grunted, though not really in affirmation.
No one was inside. Not a single customer.
“Are there usually more people?” Jesus asked.
“10 a.m. on Tuesday is the best time to come,” The Devil said. “Everyone else is watering plants or herding goats or some shit.”
Jesus, being a shepherd, was slightly offended by the way in which The Devil seemed to dismiss the herding of goats, but he was quickly distracted by a big wooden sign hanging from the ceiling in the center of the club that said “Camel Show 9 p.m.,” and the realization that, though he didn’t know what a “camel show” was, he was sure this saggy-eyed creature outside was to be subjected to some horrifyingly awkward sex act.
Jesus and The Devil sat down on two wooden stools in front of a table that smelled of year-old goat milk. A woman walked out from behind a thin black curtain and began thrusting her boobs into their faces. Then she turned around and did the same with her butt, which seemed fairly unwashed.
“Yeah, yeah!” The Devil said. “This is great, Jesus. Isn’t this great? This is great!”
Jesus just kind of stared straight ahead, wide-eyed and rigid everywhere but inside his pants, even when the woman’s butt mashed into his nose.
“Yeah, yeah! Give her this,” The Devil said to Jesus as he slapped down some coins on the table. One of them fell off.
“Why?” Jesus asked.
“Tell her you want to go behind one of those curtains with her. Yeah, yeah!”
Jesus considered this a last-ditch effort to make his penis do something other than fold in on itself. He picked up the coins in one hand and said “Excuse me” as the woman was making her body vibrate or something.
“Speak up!” The Devil said. “Tell her! Yeah!”
The woman came closer.
“Hi,” Jesus said. “Can we, like, go behind one of those curtains over there?” He thrust out his hand, which was still curled tightly around the money.
The woman gently peeled Jesus’ fingers from the coins.
“Sure, honey.” she said.
Jesus and the woman walked behind the curtain while The Devil laughed and laughed and thought of all the ways he was going to blackmail Jesus as soon as the teenager walked back out.
Jesus sat down on another stool behind the curtain. The woman turned to face him and said, “I never really understand why gay guys want to come behind the curtain with me.”
“What?” Jesus said.
“Gay guys. Why do some of you want to come behind the curtain with me?”
“I don’t understand.”
“Oh, so you’re not there yet?”
“What are you talking about?”
“You’re gay! That’s what I’m talking about.”
“Listen, I, I’m—wait a minute. OK, what’s your name?”
“Mary. Listen, Mary. I’m not gay. I’m 17, and I’m in a strip club! It’s just my first time.”
“Oh, I believe it’s your first time. But I’ve seen a lot of first-time teenagers who don’t act the way you do in here. Plus, at this point, I feel like I have a good sense about these things. Even if I was wrong about that one Joseph guy. Man, he came in here all quiet, had a few drinks and all of a sudden he was running around naked and trying to stick his penis into anything and everything. We had to get Bealzebub out front to pull his penis out of a hole in the wall toward the back. Pretty sure he had a few splinters in there. Phew … damn that was a night.”
Jesus tried to ignore that his stepfather had come home late one night with bandages wrapped around his waist and said, “I think I just need you to tell me what to do.”
“Oh yeah?” Mary said. “See, these other teenagers that come in here usually have a pretty good idea what they want to happen.”
“Alright,” Jesus said. “Well, I want the boobs!”
“Yeah! I want the boobs! And the booty! Give me the booty, Mary! Give me the booty!”
After several minutes of Jesus’ shouts mixed with Mary’s laughter, she caught her breath and asked, “Is it just because you want to impress your friend out there?”
Jesus stopped shouting and looked down.
“He’s not even my friend.”
“Then what is it?”
“I don’t know. I only kind of figured out I don’t like girls today.”
“How did that happen?”
“My penis has kind of been trying to hide ever since the guy I’m with mentioned going to a strip club. Though, now that I’m thinking about it, I was super into this picture of Hercules I found in some really old history book in school.”
“So what is it then? Is it your mom or your dad?”
“Well, I live with my mom and my stepdad.”
“So your dad, then? Or your stepdad? What do you mean?”
“I never really thought about it before. But, I don’t know. My dad’s always preaching about ‘man and wife’ and stuff and plus he’s so busy all the time and we don’t ever really talk except, like, super-formally or whenever he’s introducing me as like some guest-speaker at a church or something.”
“You don’t know how he’d take it, you mean?”
“I’m still not even sure I’m gay!”
“Fine. If I’m gay, then, well, I’m pretty sure it would not go over well, no.”
“Well, all I can say is ‘good luck.’”
The two sat in silence for a few seconds.
“Can I have the money back?” Jesus asked.
“OK, is there a way I can get out of here without seeing the guy I came with?”
Mary told him that each of the curtained rooms had a “tunnel of shame” designed for disappearing from the club, and Jesus moved the stool, opened the hatch and wormed his way through until popped out into the blinding sun, his head about two feet from a stream of pee. He looked up, Bealzebub grunted in much the same tone as before, and Jesus walked past the camel and on toward home.
A week later, after God had introduced Jesus at a church and Jesus had given the sermon, Jesus was at his dad’s house and asked him a question.
“Dad,” Jesus said, “do we like gay people?”
“What?” God said, a little too loud, like he was surprised to be disrupted from writing at his desk.
“Do we like gay people?” Jesus repeated.
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t know, we’re always talking about ‘man and wife’ and stuff and I was just wondering the other day about, like’ ‘man and man’ or ‘wife and wife’ and stuff.”
“We talk about ‘man and wife’ because it’s in the Bible.”
“Yeah, how come gay people aren’t in the Bible?”
“I don’t know. That’s what happens when you have ghostwriters.”
“Wait. You didn’t write it?
“No. I just gave them some ideas and they turned it into a book and said it was ‘the word of God.’”
“You didn’t get to edit it or anything?”
“No. That was a mistake. That’s why I’m writing this second book. I’m much nicer in this one.”
“Wait, so we don’t care about people being gay or anything then?”
“Why should I care? I don’t care what people do with their private parts. I just want them to buy this damn book. It’s important, you know. The sequel is important. It’s about legacy.”
“Dad, I’m gay.”
“Jesus, you hang out with 12 guys all the time. I had a hunch.”
“I would like grandchildren, though, so we’ll have to work out another Immaculate Conception sort of business.”
“Wait, how did you know?”
God put his pen on the desk and turned to face Jesus.
“Put it this way, Jesus. I took nearly a full day to construct every aspect of Adam, from the curl of his hair down to the shape of his thighs, and then I made Eve in like ten seconds out of some rib. So, how do you think I knew?”
Colin Daileda is a co-founder of Or Something and a staff reporter at Mashable. You can follow him in the Twitterverse: @ColinDaileda