Seeing the Light
17 April 2003
A sin every three or four days. One hundred sins a year. That's a good market. Jesus died for all our sins, but wouldn't it be better, more certain, if he could die for each one?
Well that was the premise, the big idea. And after that it's only biotech and publicity, with a certain amount of critical path analysis thrown in to bring the unit cost down.
And so it wasn't long before the DNA of Christ our Lord the Son of God was reconstructed from the inherited genetic material scattered over the thousands of descendents. (It's not widely known, but Jesus had two sons and a daughter.)
Cloning is really a simple matter. We farm the embryos in vats, keep them growing long enough that it's absolutely certain the spark of life has entered the cell cluster, then ship them out in little plastic cartridges.
People pop them like breath-mints, whenever their soul feels dirty.
Jesus dissolves in your stomach acid, ghost flees the body, sins absolved, etc. No problem.
Would that it were so simple.
The problem with launching the product in the Spring was that the consequences weren't apparent for almost a full year, enough to get a good backlog in fact. And it had been a successful year, by any standard! Market segmentation: Start with the mints, then diversify. Trend-setting urbanites (and wannabes) would consume a Jesus foetus wrapped in rice with sushi. Professionals could pop a Jesus sachet in the filter coffee percolator to clear the slate first thing in the morning. Vegetarians and sinners-on-the-go could opt for the remote option: at the first sign of bad karma accruing, a simple phone call would acid dunk a tiny Messiah in a factory somewhere and absolve you instantly.
To be honest, there were probably one or two too many Christs dying for our sins, but that's good marketing for you. What can I say? We had a good campaign!
Anyway, that's not the point.
The point is: The next Easter Monday, they all resurrected.
What I mean by they all resurrected is: they all came back.
What I mean by they all came back is: at sunrise on Easter Monday 2003, London was ankle deep in proto-Jesus.
It was disgusting.
I guess that's the whole point of it. Part of God but child of Man, the Almighty sends his only Son down to Earth, to live among us, so on and so forth, die for our sins, then be resurrected, conquer death, etc. It was foolish to forget the last bit, I admit. It got worse! The day after, the slush of divine human flesh was even deeper! That backlog, I guess. It just wouldn't have been practicable to keep all the new Jesuses back until next Easter.
Yes, and it didn't do the proposition as a whole much good either.
We tried other things subsequently. A lengthy series of experiments enabled us to identify the exact amount of karma to move up and down rungs of the ladder of life. Then by a rather convoluted chain of methods to accrue good and bad karma automatically (it involved various kind of electric shocks and circuit breakers; don't ask), we opened the entire thing to the free market and sold off reincarnation promotions to the highest bidder.
Clever really. Cash would be held in trust until the next turn of the wheel for whoever had not minded being cast back to the level of a beetle, and we took a 2.5% transaction fee off the top. It wasn't very popular.
Then of course there was the time we modified xenotransplantation to use pigs as a way of harvesting the blood of the Hydra (genetic reconstruction again). That worked well, and we all but had the market for kitchen surface cleaners sewn up -- domestic and industrial.
But then a couple of the pigs got out of the farm and onto the supermarket shelves. Complete accident, not really our fault. Even still: Ouch. It wasn't pretty. Family of four, sit down for pork chops, start dissolving from the inside. That particular line didn't survive the adverse publicity.
But back to that fretful week after Easter. There I was, stomping down Charing Cross Road, slipping about all over the place on the slick blood of Christ in what must have been the last pair of wellies in London -- when suddenly, I saw a flash.
Then it stuck me: these Christs were all going to ascend to Heaven! Which, naturally, would release a small amount of light!
About the same as a 40W bulb in fact. And what a magical sight! Columns of light, flashing up to the sky, reflected in the fleshy puddles on the streets. The city lit up like a Christmas tree. Of sorts.
That was the moment of my real genius, even if I do say so myself. The European Directive on recycling means that we - that's we the company, not you the consumer - are responsible for disposing of the by-products of manufacture. It's part of the original cost to you. The by-product in this case: millions upon millions of Son of God foetuses, back to life and on the pavements of London.
The fact had been completely ignored over the past few days, what with the panic, civil disobedience, utter stench, Bank Holiday weekend and what not.
But technically the Directive meant the company owned those foetuses. And what's owned can be sold.
And that's how we got the national street-lighting contract. It doesn't cost us money for any electricity, the energy itself is safe, clean and harmless. And it's worth no small beans either. How do else did you think I could afford this yacht? Thank you Jesus!