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The Christ-O-Mart on Crunkner Boulevard

Transubstantiated before January 16, 2011.

After last week’s disastrous visit with Dr. Unterguggenburgerheimer, Ph.D., M.D., J.D., S.T.D., d. 2011, this past Thrudsday I finally made that trip to the new Jesus store that had been built in the old Spend-O-Mart building on Crunkner Boulevard, in order to inquire about purchasing a new, healthy body for myself. Owned and operated by the Church of the Almighty Bunghole of Christ, the store was aptly named the Christ-O-Mart… and it proved to be one hell of a store, if you’ll pardon the blasphemous pun.

Truly this store had everything. There was Christ on a crutch, Christ on a cracker, and even Christ on a key chain. They had Jumping-Jesus™ pogo sticks, Buddy Christ bobble heads, and Saint Theodore the Studite action figures. Black velvet paintings of Jesus riding a dinosaur were stacked in every end-aisle display; sins mortal, venial, and even original lined the checkout aisles, ready for the impulsive buyer to snatch up. Hair shirts came in all sizes, and they stocked reproductions of every Christly relic from the Holy Umbilical Cord to the Holy Foreskin. The simony department touted indulgences for the low, low price of $19.95, and the personal care section sold everything from altar boy grooming kits to Technical Virgin Mary condoms.

Turning down the aisle marked “Popery,” I was immediately greeted by a life-sized cardboard cutout of Pope Joey “Rats” Rat-zinger. I quailed and nearly wet myself; his sinister sneer and cold, vacant eyes followed me as I squiffled nervously by. However, I was soon elated to see that, between shelves of HO-scale model Popemobiles and actual popery potpourri, the Christ-O-Mart stocked several different brands and models of pocket popes: My own Benchmade Pocket Pope had recently been destroyed in a Bible-thumping accident, and I was often lost without it. (I was often lost with it too, but that’s another story for another day.) The Christ-O-Mart even sold genuine lists of popes, unlike the one I had obtained from a less reputable source. I decided to buy three—just in case I ever ran into another duck broker who would trade a pair of ducks for a list of popes.

The “Communion wafers—and beyond!” aisle proved to be even more intriguing than the Christ-O-Mart’s selection of popery: They sold holy bottled water in gallon jugs, Original Sin™ oatmeal cookies were 20% off this week, and the deep-fried Jesus balls were marked “Buy six pair, get another pair free!” Why someone would ever need that many Jesus balls I couldn’t imagine, especially since the Christ-O-Mart seemed to be all out of Savior Sauce, but I wasn’t here to ponder such things: A new body is what I needed!

Fecklessly (as many of you know, I lost all my feck in a teetotalling accident back in ’97), I continued to peruse each and every aisle to see where they might sell replacement bodies for still-living souls such as my own, but I met with little success. Would perhaps new bodies be found in the “Jesustainment” aisle? Or perhaps near the Mercy seats and Tabor lights? My nose set in grim determination, I continued my search.

Stumbling past a shelf of Immaculate Conception® laundry detergent, I finally happenstanced upon a store employee whom I could harass into finding my much-needed item for me.

“Hey, you!” I hollered across the store as I approached. I flailed my arms and crossed my eyes for added effect. The clerk froze in place, probably thinking some lunatic was about to accost her—but fortunately it was only me and not some lunatic.

“…Can I help you …sir?” The last word had a noticeable skepticism to it. Clearly, like my neighbors, she too must have thought I was a man-sized squirrel who just happened to look exactly like a man.

“You can—but first, let’s get one thing clear: I’m not really a man-sized squirrel… even if I look like one, which I actually don’t.”

A long pause. I filled the awkward silence by crossing and uncrossing my eyes, which, upon later rumination, probably only served to extend the silence. But, as they say, hindsight is always 20/20, so I quickly dismissed such later ruminations, traveled back in time to the present, and continued crossing and uncrossing my eyes. Becoming increasingly bored, I started hopping up and down and reciting the Lord’s Prayer forward, backward, and sideways. Being in a Jesus store, it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

The clerk, still dressed in a vinyl nun costume, gasped and scurried off in what appeared to be a near panic. My first thought—if the electrical impulses ricocheting around in my cranium can be called “thoughts,” a notion with which four out of five doctors disagree—was to chase after her, but on second thought, I decided instead to sprint after her, all the while shrieking in Coptic and Aramaic. This course of action initially proved successful, but the tide of the battle quickly changed when I tripped over a blow-up lawn ornament shaped like Saint Zosimus and landed nose-first on the hard Christ-O-Mart floor.

The nun–clerk disappeared faster than that hot lesbian scene with Jadzia Dax and Deanna Troi that I’d seen on TV years ago. “Saint Zosimus, you old scoundrel! You may have won this round, but next time…!”

Next time indeed. I stood up and dusted myself off, stowing my threatmongery away for later. If only I had remembered to bring a hat pin, Saint Zosimus wouldn’t be nearly so inflated with his own smugness right now! But, back to the mission at hand…

…Except the clerk had summoned the authorities, who arrived at that very moment, butterfly nets and tranquilizer dart guns at the ready. “Pwee, pwee, pwee! You’ll never catch meee!! I howled as I bounded over a display case of baby Jesus butt plugs, leaping with all my fright for the rear exit. The case overturned, spilling butt plugs everywhere—just the diversion I needed! Out the back door I flew, fleeing faster than a Vorlon at a pak’ma’ra banquet.

“Pwee, pwee, pwee! You’ll never catch meee!!