THE ABRAHAM AND LARRY SHOW
My Week In Bibleland
by Laurence Luckinbill
(excerpt p. 1 - 4)
Lights up. A man is standing on stage. You may call him Larry.
Welcome to Bibleland!
This land is my land
This land is your land
From the ghettos of Gaza
To the guns of Golan
From the Harlem homeless
To the Hollywood spineless,
This land was meant for you and me.
From Sabra and Shatila
To old Somalia
From the sick in Africa
To the Russian Mafia
Four billion Asians
Are not enough
Oh the corporate slaves
They’ve got it tough
We’re going global if it kills us all
Except the one percent
They still stand tall
And congratulations to all you fine folks that made it to our celebration today. Cookie tells me that some good loaves and fishes will be coming up – nice and hot and tasty – right after the service – and the drinks are on the house!
Blessed are the mourners, blessed are the hungry,
Blessed are the merciful, and the pure in heart
Gotta share the world with every sort
I am a Muslim, I am a Jew
I am a Christian, and a Buddhist, too –
This land is made for me, and you!
My minister friend asked me if I could write and perform a little story about Abraham, our spiritual father, Father of Multitudes – and being uninformed and stupid, I said, “sure!”
And I looked for my Bible, which I stole from a Motel 6 in Midland Texas, when I was touring my Teddy Roosevelt show. I needed it to shim up a piece of stage furniture, and it ended up in my luggage, unread. Anyway, I had it, and I opened it at page one, and skimmed through Genesis.
What a bunch of wild, self-contradictory, incomprehensible crap! Oh, it’s occasionally beautiful and sometimes staggeringly moving. But, is this collection of violent, unprovable factoids supposed to be the history of the human race? As told by Hebrew writers obviously on acid? If it isn’t an allegory, what the hell is it?
Clearly – these people are nuts! Murder, incest, magic, incredible miracles, war, theft, genocide, trickery, human sacrifice, plague, destruction everywhere! And the Lord God Jehovah – walking through the flames and smoke like Rudy Giuliani in a toga – a really crazy, angry Tea Partier, needing to be stroked – or else he’ll destroy everything. What kind of a vision of life on earth is this? Not mine! Where’s the inspiration?
It’s a combination of the Daily News, the Post and the supermarket tabloids. Is this ugly fairy tale supposed to be our moral guide? And what if it is? These people are just like us – only worse!
I read all the way through the Abe storyline. It scared the hell out of me. Headline: “Insane Shepherd Attempts To Kill Only Son – Halted By Angel…Miracle At Mount Moriah – Page 16!”
I went out to my backyard and walked around, thinking (worrying) about my personal factoids, my kids and money and sex, and getting old and sex, and calories and fat and sex, and the debt ceiling and sex, and wondering how to tell my friends that I couldn’t do it. Just not my cup of tea. Didn’t like the basic material. And a weird thing happened:
A chipmunk came up and spoke to me. Just like Chip or Dale, with an anthropomorphic chipmunk voice, which sounded, oddly, like the warden in “Cool Hand Luke,” and he said: “Hello, Dorothy! I’m Charles, and we’re not in Kansas anymore. Don’t give up. Come with me. I’ve got good news. Come on, come on!
And he ran like hell along the rock wall, then stopped and beckoned to me to follow.
Now, I know this is crazy. A talking chipmunk? But I loved Fantasia so much as a kid…..
The chipmunk was really excited. He was jumping up and down and pointing at a hole in the wall.
Was there a snake in there? I got down on my knees (not easy) and carefully peered into the dark hole – and saw – a stack of rocks. And a dead bee! Uh-oh, it’s a beehive! Oh God, help! And I started to get up, and the damn red rat ran up my arm and got in my face.
CHARLES: Larry, you gotta have faith! Take a risk! Trust! You gotta believe further than you can see or feel! Pull it out, pull it out, pull it out, you won’t be sorry!
ME: Who was that obnoxious kid actor who sang, “You gotta have heart, miles and miles of…”?
I knocked Charley off my nose, reached in and pulled out the rocks –and I found what I must call -- “The Dead Bee Scrolls!”
The rocks were old and crumbly, just fragments really, and they had squiggles carved all over them. Right away I saw -- yes! Cuneiform Hieroglyphics, yes! I did a quick Carbon 14 test on them from the kit in my fanny pack. Yes! From at least 3000 B.C.! O.M.G. In my backyard!
Oh, Jesus! No! Waaaay before Jesus! What on earth? I thought, how crazy is this – like Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon. What a fabulous, nutty show! You saw it, right? How many Tonys? No!
Now, I noticed I was looking at a simultaneous side-by-side translation – into Aramaic! A new Rosetta Stone!
Fortunately, I read Aramaic – several dialects – also Sumerian, Hittite, Akkadian, Chaldean, Inuit, Quechua, y un poco Espanol (which I got from Rosetta Stone). I began to translate – and instantly recognized the distinctive prose style of Ur in Sumer (we call it Iraq).
What had I found?
Suddenly, I knew that I was in possession of the most fantastic archeological find since the La Brea Tar Pits!
It was the personal Daybook of Abraham! Yes, Abe’s Diary!
I read all there was that day – all 26 rocks. I tried to make sense out of the fragmented record. Finally, I knew I could come here today and tell you the very fragmented but utterly shocking un-Bible personal story of our metaphoric forefather of forefathers, the mother of all forefathers – Abraham, the man of faith.
Here he is, in his own words:
ABRAM: 10PM. About 2386 P.F.B.B. E.E (Post Flood But Before Everything Else).
Evening in Ur. The usual heat – 45 degrees centigrade, 115 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m on the roof. Thinking. The moon is full. I hear the shrieks of the maidens being violated down below in the city. It’s Moon-Festival time, and my mind is wandering – seeking – seeking – it’s my 75th year in this town. I’m a successful citizen of Ur – The Big Pomegranate – it’s a sophisticated, civilized city -- theatres, nightclubs, great restaurants, universities, strip joints, smart people, parties, conversation…and I hate it all. It’s not boredom exactly, there’s just something missing. Some connection that I feel is out there but I can’t reach it. Something I want to call “soul” or “spirit” but those words don’t exist yet. What on earth am I talking about?
There’s a lot of temples, lots of gods –about 39 of them locally. It’s a lot of work keeping up with them. Lots of idols and amulets and bowing and kneeling and touching little statues on the sacred places and blood – lots of blood, lots of treasure tossed in the collection basket. Gimme, gimme, gimme. And every one of them has some special power over my life! Have you tithed your favorite god today? Worship here, worship there, support your local shrine. Six major gods, no waiting. Get the divine help you need in seconds. Moon readings inside! Last chance for low price spells, incarnations, incantations, resurrections, erections, Virgin Fertility Restoration Rites. Orgasms guaranteed – don’t wait for paradise, get yours now! Satisfaction is our most important product.
There are gods for lingams, yonis, pomegranates, wisdom, war, justice, traffic, shopping, hell, heaven, wine, air, oceans, sheep, bulls, reeds, carpet weaving -- rug making? For God’s sake! And sex – all kinds of gods for all kinds of sex – Ishtar, Goddess of Whores – Madame of the temple prostitutes – very high class. Sure, I’ve been there – a few times – but – it’s meaningless. There’s something missing….
These gods are all silent, unreachable. To them we are just beggars. We give and we hope for a crumb, but they never answer, never speak. Are they real? Is anything?
It’s all about fear. What will happen if you don’t do this or do do that? There’s a god or goddess for the moon, the sun, beer, cereal, my wife’s menstrual cycle (which she hasn’t had in decades, plus she’s barren, or I am, which is a miserable embarrassment). Poor old Sarai – poor me! – but who am I to complain? I make a good living as an astronomer, a mathematician, even do a little necromancy myself – tarot, palm-reading – well, darn it, the folks want it!
But….there’s gotta be more than all this nonsense. Isn’t there? I am willing to believe there is, and I don’t even know why. I long for it. I know this much – I am willing to find it – what I hope is out there – am I crazy…?