Zen for the Hot and Bothered, a reading from the book of the Brow Beaten
Joseph and His Leather Troop Jacket
A reading from
the Book of the Brow Beaten. This is my guess at the story of Joseph and his
leather Troop jacket. Joseph was a good son to his father
Joseph said to his brothers "I had a dream that we were out in the country gathering sticks into bunches."
Ruben cut him off. "Why were we gathering bunches of sticks?"
"I don't know," Joseph said. "It's a dream. The more obscure the imagery is, the more likely it is to come true."
The other brothers urged Ruben to shut up. Joseph might have dreamt about the winning numbers in the Philistine sweepstakes.
Joseph continued. "Anyway, my bunches of sticks rose above yours, which gathered around mine."
The brothers stared at him.
"Is that all?" they asked.
"Sorry," said Joseph.
The brothers went away, angry they didn't get any hints about the Philistine Sweepstakes but angrier at the obvious interpretation of Joseph's dream. He wanted to be king over them!
"Here comes Precious. Our father's favorite son. How come he gets to lick the bowl after dad makes intestine cakes? Why does he get that leather Troop jacket while we have to put up with these bed sheets with head and arm holes cut in them?"
They were very resentful. They planed to do harm to Joseph.
him from behind, tie him up, put him in a dress, and sell him to the
"Let's throw down a well and not bring him up until he dreams about the winning numbers in the Philistine Sweepstakes."
Just as Joseph was drawing near the brothers saw a caravan of diet book authors and decided they would sell their brother to the traveling hope merchants. The authors drove a hard bargain but agreed to pay twelve shekels and ninety-five centimes for Joseph after the brothers threw in a digital watch. But the brothers kept the Troop jacket, blew a hole in it with one of their handgun spears and covered it in sheep's blood.
They brought the jacket back to their father and said, "your son Joseph is dead. He died while trying to hold up a liquor store. Sorry, dad."
Now Joseph was
Anyway, Joseph looked particularly appealing to Pontifar's wife. But Joseph refused to sleep with her. Her ego crushed she screamed rape and had Joseph arrested. Because Joseph was a Hebrew he couldn't get a fair trial and was locked away.
In jail, Joseph
behaved so well that the warden made him the chief of the prisoners. The
warden trusted Joseph and knew he needed not monitor him. Again Joseph did
not try to escape. In those days the chance to sit around in a jail cell was
like a vacation in
It happened one day that the Pharaoh's cup bearer and his baker were thrown into Joseph's cell. They were troubled by dreams they had and they related them to Joseph. The cup bearer told of his dream.
"I saw a vine in front of me. On the vine were three branches and a stage. Dancing raisins strolled about singing. They were irritating. I picked the raisins off the stage and squeezed them into Pharaoh's cup."
Joseph interpreted his dream. "The three branches represent three days. Your killing of the dancing raisins means Pharaoh will restore you to your place. Or it could mean penis envy."
The baker seeing such a favorable interpretation told Joseph his dream.
"In mine there weren't any lame ass raisins. I dreamt of three cakes. Just before I was about to put them into the oven this dough boy arose from the cakes and pleaded not to be put in the stove. But I baked him anyway and fed the cakes and the dough boy to Pharaoh. So what's it mean, doc? A senatorial position?"
Joseph answered, "in three days you will be recalled by Pharaoh and hanged but not before being turned down in a Price is Right contestant search. Like, sorry."
And so it all came to pass. Except the part about the contestant search. The baker did make it on to the Price is Right but he was hanged anyway.
Two years later Pharaoh was troubled by a dream. The cup bearer caught wind of this and told Pharaoh about Joseph. Pharaoh had Joseph brought to him and related his dream.
"I saw before me seven boxes of tapered candles. Each was long, hard, and capable of flaming a long time. I reached out to grab the potent shafts of wax but I was unable to seize a hold of them. Instead I found myself holding seven soft limp candles that seemed like they'd fire off in no time."
Joseph looked at the strong but childless regent and made up a story, not having the heart to diagnose his marital problems.
"Ummm," Joseph said, "I see an air traffic problem. Yeah, many airliners shall fall from the sky unless something is done about it."
Although Pharaoh had never heard of airliners, he didn't like the idea of anything falling from the sky, so he queried "What can be done, sage one?"
Joseph had to think fast.
"Ummm, better air traffic control systems."
Pharaoh saw the wisdom in this but still was left wondering what kind of air traffic control systems.
"Big upward pointing arrows on the ground," answered Joseph, "to tell airliners that up and not down is the safest direction to fly."
Pharaoh took Joseph's advice and had the upward pointing arrows built and had them called "pyramids". In all of Pharaoh's days, no airliner ever fell from the sky after the pyramids were built and Joseph was rewarded with his own talk show. He became rich and forgot about his brothers who sold him out.
This has been my guess.