First of all, Bethlehem: get your act together. One inn? I know it’s a little town of Bethlehem, but, honestly, not even a Super 8 out by the Interdesert? Instead, just one lousy inn for the entire area. And in those days, there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed, so maybe spend some of that tax money on hospitality infrastructure?
Anyway, as decreed, my husband, Malchior, and I went to the City of David (as Bethlehem is listed in Google Charts, BTW, very confusing) because that’s his lineage. They never let you forget where you’re from around here. “Don’t go marrying one of those Bethlehem boys,” my mother said, which is why Malchior hates going to Mom’s for Passover.
We knew it was going to be crazy, so Malchior booked well in advance via Messenger (Josiah the Messenger, to be specific). But then, like, three weeks later, we get an e-scroll from the inn telling us their rates have gone up and it was now double. Of course, we protested, but they wrote back, “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than to find a non-incense double occupancy at census time, so take it or leave it.” Rude!
Obviously our first impressions were not great and they did not improve upon arrival. The place was crawling with guests and completely understaffed, with people yelling and cursing plagues of locusts on each other. One guy was flipping out about his wife being pregnant and crazy stuff about Holy Ghosts until finally, just to shut him up, I think, they offered him some kind of “Rustic Agritourism Satellite Chalet” and escorted him and his wife discreetly out the back door.
I was worried they’d maybe given our room away but smartly Malchior slipped the concierge some myrrh and we were good to go.
OMG, the room! The swaddling clothes were dirty, the hay in the bedding clearly hadn’t been changed, and sand, like, everywhere! We called down to the front desk. “Hey!” Malchior shouted over the railing. “There’s sand in our room!” “That’s okay!” the front desk shouted back up. “Compliments of the inn!”
We considered just paying our taxes and heading home but Malchior reminded me that traffic that time of day would be camel to camel.
We decided to make the most of it, went out for dinner (see my review of Sol’s Matzah Balls; in a nutshell, they only serve matzah balls…) and then went to bed.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was going on. In the barn behind the inn, there’s this woman screaming! I tried to wake up Malchior to call security, but he’d had too much frankincense – as usual!
Oh great, and now there was a baby crying. Jesus! Because that’s what we later learned his name was: Jesus.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the cattle started lowing. You think you’d be able to tune out lowing, but once you’re conscious of lowing, you can’t not notice it.
I was just starting to drift off again when, now what? Bleating! First the lowing and now the bleating. Not to mention the braying. And more shouting. I look out again and the barn is teeming with shepherds. I’m not prejudiced, but shepherds should stick to abiding, not stumbling into town to overcrowded inns and reeking of wool.
And while all this is going on, there’s this super-annoying, blinding light. Like the sun! It lit up the whole barn behind the inn, where I could see this couple, they’ve now got their baby lying in a feed trough! I mean, I nearly called Child Services! Not to mention some little drummer boy out way past his bedtime. Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum, pa-rum-pum-pum-pum. Somebody crucify me!
In total I got about an hour’s sleep. And then there was no hot water for our shower. We called down to the front desk. “Hey!” Malchior shouted over the railing. “There’s no hot water for the shower!” The front desk shouted back up, “What’s a shower?”
I give Bethlehem Best Eastern Inn one star – for that frickin’ light that was as bright as one frickin’ star!
I would like to say we won’t be back, but unfortunately we’re booked here again in 10 days for Malchior’s annual Wise Men’s Convention. Surely things will have quieted down by then!
Bonus Track 1: What the Flock? Or What the Shepherds Saw
Bonus Track 2: We Three Kings Go Shopping
On Thu, Dec 20, 2018, 5:28 PM Drinking Tips for Teens wrote:
> rossmurray1 posted: ” First of all, Bethlehem: get your act together. One > inn? I know it’s a little town of Bethlehem, but, honestly, not even a > Super 8 out by the Interdesert? Instead, just one lousy inn for the entire > area. And in those days, there went out a decree from” >
If only those inns had had condom machines in the toilets!
Good lord, for whose benefit???
The virgin Mary!
Well, dude, it was too late by that point. That conception had already been immaculated.
Camel to camel. Haha!
I actually struggled with that. Should it be “camel to camel” (would people hear “bumper to bumper”) or “camels backed up for miles”? But always end with the funny word.
Humper to humper?
Good job! Ha
L. O. L!!! Reblogging to my sister site Timeless Wisdoms
Go for it!
Pingback: Yelp review of Bethlehem Best Eastern Inn – Timeless Wisdoms
Bro, this is awesome! Thanks for the needed laugh!
Hey, glad you liked it.
Strangely familiar story in this review, but nicely leavened – – e-scroll, The shepherd Dude Abides and reeks of wool, and non-incense double occupancy – – nice! indeed sounds like kind of a mange-ry place, you get with the lo-cust mom&pop caravansarais, the staff are yelling complements and not compliments?
Strangely familiar as in not especially original, I’m quite sure. Is it “compliments”? Now I have to look. Embarrassing.
I’m positive that when someone can manage a fresh, funny take on a very familiar story, which you did in spades, that’s Originality with a capital “O” and my compliments/complements/condiments, whatever the heck it is, to the creative chef.
I’m sorry to double dip on comments, but just listened to the audio files, 🙂 🙂 awesome!!!! And I never use that word, had to, there’s a whole bunch of CBC radio show clips?!! 🙂
Thanks. It was CBC’s Quebec service, essentially everywhere besides Montreal, which is not a huge population, actually, but it was a ton of fun. I did it for about 9 years, first monthly, then weekly, then every 2 weeks until my producer/champion retired and they cut me. I started off in studio but then got a mic and an audio editor and had me some real fun. It was a very creative and prolific period, and I was immensely proud of some of these audio pieces. These two are among my favourites because I got to play multiple roles.
You played all the sheep? It really sounded like an entire flock. No, seriously, you were Balthazar and Caspar? But the kid on the “Interview with Myself” was clearly a real kid, right? Very cool, like the Gong Show, what a blast. I’m going home for a few days, I’ll play the G. F-Lubberly gardening ones for my dad, he’ll love it.
That was my daughter a few years back. That was a hoot, too.
Lubberly’s name is a homage to Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling, a character created by Peter Cook. YouTube “A Life in Pieces,” a 12 days of Christmas series of shorts Cook did in, I think, the 80s. They’re mad. Cook was a genius.
Clever, if somewhat sacrilegious, review! I give you five shepherd’s crooks!
I’m going to burn…
and no free breakfast buffet! the last straw!
Ha! I thought about the buffet in planning this and then completely forgot to incorporate at!
You don’t flock around about spreading your opinion, Ross.
Creative. Always make me laugh.
Love it just love it.
Wow. We finally find out what really happened.
Oh, thank you. Thank you thank you thank you
Ha! You’re welcome.
I’m so glad I’ve discovered your blog.
I’m glad you discovered it too!