The REAL Christmas Story

For those of you who haven't read it. here's Joseph's side of the story. THere is a YouTube link that has illustrations. And you thought you had it rough at Christmas. HAH!


By R. L. Clayton


Three days on the road with a pregnant woman. God, I’ve about had it. “The seat is too hard, the seat is too soft, my back hurts, my ankles are swollen, my feet hurt, I’m hot, I’m cold, I’m thirsty, I’m hungry, I gotta go potty again. I got the runs from that strange food you bought last night.” It hasn’t stopped since we left. This whole trip just to settle a tax situation. I have orders to fill, work to do. I got stopped by the cops for going too slow. And that rest stop last night had some really shady characters hanging around. I didn’t sleep all night. We were lucky to get out of there with our stuff.

The traffic has been horrible – nose to butt. It’s been an endless stream, and everybody just throws their trash out. Nobody cleans up the roads. This is a disgrace. I’m going to complain.

“Joe honey, are you alright? You’re muttering to yourself again,” came the high-pitched voice.

“I’m sorry, dear. It’s just the heat and the dust and everything.”

“I know. I haven’t been too helpful either. Lucky for us we’ll be there in another few hours. I can’t wait for a hot bath and some good food. What’s the name of the hotel again?”

“Harold’s Club, I think. I made a reservation three months ago.”

“Oh, look! There’s the city. I can see it from here.”

Of course you can see it from there. You’re up high, while I’m down here in the dust and dung. Oh crap! What was that I just stepped in. Camels! They should be banned from the slow lane. It squished up between my toes, UGH!

“Mary, can you see how come we’re stopping?”

“There’s a lot of traffic ahead. I can’t see very well because it’s getting dark, but there’s some soldiers with a roadblock. I think they’re checking IDs or passports or something. They’re probably worried about terrorists.”

Great, just what we need. Another delay, and I really have to take a dump. I can’t do anything around here, there’s nothing but sand. Oh, man! That camel in front of us just farted. This is the worst!

“Honey, can I have a drink of water?”

“Sure, babe. Can you see how long we’ll be stuck here?” That’s the last thing she needs. Water now, potty later. It takes fifteen minutes just to get her down off the donkey and on the ground and then half an hour to get her back and ready to go. Man, we’ll lose our place in line. “Here’s the water. There’s not much, though.”

“Honey, it’s hard to see, with that glare in my eyes. You know, that’s the brightest star I’ve ever seen. Looks like not too long a wait, though.”

“There must be some sort of celebration. That’s why all the people. Maybe it’s tax day. That would figure.”

“Hush, honey. There’s some soldiers approaching. Don’t make ‘em mad.”

“Driver’s license and proof of insurance,” demanded a gruff voice behind a gnarled hand.

This guy is huge! It looks like someone ran over his face with a plow. Where the heck did I put my driver’s license?

“Hurry up,” came the raspy voice again.

“Oh crap it’s in my other tunic. I’ll get it officer. Just hold on.”

“What’s that smell?”

“I had a little accident a ways back.” The people behind me are starting to yell.

“Just step to the side there,” indicated the soldier.

“Mary, where’s my other tunic?”

“Here, honey. I was using it for a back rest.”

Thank God. Once out of line, we might not get through this gate until morning. “Here you go officer.”

“Nazareth huh. I heard there’s nothing there but sand and fleas. Okay, get going.”

Wow, the streets are crowded. I think our hotel is three blocks in and two to the left.

“Honey do you know where we’re going?”

“It’s just over there, I think.” I’ll never hear the end of this if it isn’t.

“I thought it was on the other road. Joe, are you lost? Should we get directions?”

“There it is, just ahead. Look at that parking lot! There must be a convention going on. Do you see any parking places?”

“There’s a place just in front.”

Drat! Drat! Drat! It’s a handicap place. Okay. “Mary, you stay here with our stuff until I get back. I’ll just hurry in and register.


“Good evening sir, May I help you?”

“Hi, the name is Joseph of Nazareth. I have a reservation.”

“Hmmm. Joseph you say. I’m not showing a reservation in that name.”

“I have a confirmation number.”

“Ah, good. Uh, sir, your check in time was four-o’clock. We couldn’t hold your reservation, and I’m afraid we’re fully booked.”

“But I have a confirmation number!”

“I’m sorry sir. You weren’t here.”

“You can’t do this. I have a confirmation number!”

“Sir, don’t make me call security.”

“Look, I’ve been on the road for three days with a pregnant woman. We had to stop at every bush along the road from Nazareth. We got caught in traffic. We’re not that late.”

“I’m sorry sir. Now please leave peacefully.”

“Can I at least use your restroom?”

“Patrons only. Goodbye”

Where did that large guy come from? “Okay, I’ll go.”


“Joseph, where have you been! I’ve been trying to explain to this officer that you’d be right out. He was writing us a ticket. See officer, he’s right here, and we’re going to our room now.”

“The next time I catch you in a handicap spot without a permit, I’ll have you towed. Now get out of here.”

“Let’s go to our room, dear. I can already feel that hot bath.”

“Unh, they’re booked. We lost the room because we were late.”

“I told you not to take the newspaper into the bathroom this morning. But Noooo. You were in there an hour. The flowers were wilted when I finally got in. Even the flies left. I nearly wet my pants.”

I’m tuning this out. Okay, where to now? There was a parking garage a block back. We’ll go there.


“Sir, we’d like to rent a little space in your stable just for the night. Our hotel lost our reservation, and there’s no place else to stay. Honest, sir we won’t be any trouble. Thanks.

“What is this place? We’re not staying here, are we? There’re animals inside. It stinks!”

“It’s the only place I can think of. Look, there’s some fresh straw and that feed trough looks pretty comfortable. You get settled, and I’ll go get something to eat. I saw a fast food place about a block away. I’ll just tie Bessie up here and be right back.”

“Honey, Bessie just took a dump on the floor. Can you clean that up before you go?”

“Yeah, sure, sweetie.”

The air out here is cool, but fresher than it is inside that stable. How did I get in this mess. I mean, I don’t even remember getting married, and I certainly don’t remember consummating the marriage. The first thing I know, she says she’s preggars and that ‘It happened that night you got drunk.’ Then she won’t let me touch her.

It is pretty light out here. That’s a bright star! What’s with all this traffic? These rich men and their hoity toity fancy camels. I better watch where I step. My toes are still stuck together from the last time.

“Help ya, Mac?”

“Yeah, sure. What’s that meat?” Why is he looking at me that way? “Let me have some of that grilled stuff and a skin of that wine. Thanks. How much? Is there some gold in this meat or something? Yeah, so’s your old man!”

Wow! Everybody must be trying to park at the stable. Look at all the ritzy people outside. There’s even chauffeurs with the camels! There’s a whole crowd! I hope they aren’t disturbing Mary.

“Excuse me, pardon me, I have to get in, Oops, sorry about your toes. Mary, what’s happening?”

“Just after you left, my water broke. All those Lamaze classes were wasted. Pow and it was out. I didn’t even have time to gasp once. It was a lot of fuss for nothing. Look, here’s your son!”

Oh man is he beautiful! He’s perfect with ten fingers and ten toes and and and...

“Joseph, on behalf of my kingdom, I’d like to present you with this gift for your special son. He is the prophecy,” said a bejeweled man as he handed me a glittering box.

“What is it?”

“Frankincense, from lands far away. It is for the child.”

Frankincense, what’s that? It sure smells good, though. I wonder what it tastes like. “Uh, thank you, sir.” There are boxes of stuff all around, rich boxes. The men are crowding in to get a look at my son. What’s that racket? Some boy just started beating a drum.

“Sir. what are you going to call him?”

“Mary, I’m going to name him after my father, Bruce. I’m going to call him Bruce.”

“Oh no you’re not! Your father was a bum, and a nasty one at that. Two cups of wine and he was three sheets to the wind–cursing up one wall and down the other. We’re going to call him Jesus.”

Jesus, what kind of name is that? It almost sounds like a curse word. “Uh …”

“Jesus, I said Jesus. We’re calling him Jesus.”

“Okay, honey, Jesus is fine. That’s okay. We’ll make up a sign for the shop. ‘Joseph and Jesus - Carpenters Supreme.’ It has a nice ring to it. I’ll teach him everything I know. I can teach him to hammer, saw, drill, sand, finish. It’ll be so great to have a son. I can teach him to burp and fart too.”

“That’s enough of that. Jesus is going to grow up a special child.”

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