* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.

Seeing the Light

17 April 2003
Matt's soul is minty fresh

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!


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
23 October 2003. Matt writes: Topology
2 October 2003. Matt writes: Haunted
8 September 2003. Matt writes: The Gardener's Diary
21 August 2003. Matt writes: The Starling Variable
31 July 2003. Matt writes: Two stories
14 July 2003. Matt writes: What is real?
23 June 2003. Matt writes: Mapping and journeys
29 May 2003. Matt writes: Extelligence
5 May 2003. Matt writes: Religious experiences
17 April 2003. Matt writes: Seeing the Light
27 March 2003. Matt writes: Flowering
10 March 2003. Matt writes: Climax state
10 February 2003. Matt writes: The Role of Cooperation in Human Interaction
20 January 2003. Matt writes: The same old subroutine
2 January 2003. Matt writes: New beginnings
9 December 2002. Matt writes: Packet Loss
18 November 2002. Matt writes: Wonderland
31 October 2002. Matt writes: Having and losing
10 October 2002. Matt writes: Trees of Knowledge
19 September 2002. Matt writes: The online life of bigplaty47
29 August 2002. Matt writes: Divorce
8 August 2002. Matt writes: How to get exactly what you want
18 July 2002. Matt writes: Eleven Graceland endings
27 June 2002. Matt writes: Listopad, Prague 1989
3 June 2002. Matt writes: Engram bullets
6 May 2002. Matt writes: Sound advice
15 April 2002. Matt writes: How it all works: Cars
21 March 2002. Matt writes: Proceeding to the next stage
25 February 2002. Matt writes: Spam quartet
31 January 2002. Matt writes: Person to person
7 January 2002. Matt writes: All for the best
13 December 2001. Matt writes: Life
19 November 2001. Matt writes: Giving is better than receiving
25 October 2001. Matt writes: Ludo
1 October 2001. Matt writes: Gifts, contracts, and whispers
6 September 2001. Matt writes: The world is ending
13 August 2001. Matt writes: The Church of Mrs Bins
16 July 2001. Matt writes: Things I Don't Have
25 June 2001. Matt writes: Fighting the Good Fight
31 May 2001. Matt writes: Code dependency
7 May 2001. Matt writes: Up The Arse, Or Not At All
5 April 2001. Matt writes: The increasing nonlinearity of time
19 March 2001. Matt writes: Hit Me Baby, One More Time
22 February 2001. Matt writes: Space, Matter, Cities, Sausages
29 January 2001. Matt writes: Truth in Advertising
1 January 2001. Matt writes: Six predictions for tomorrow
7 December 2000. Matt writes: You must reach this line to ride
16 November 2000. Matt writes: The truth about the leopard
23 October 2000. Matt writes: Shopping mauls
28 September 2000. Matt writes: Heavy traffic on the road to Utopia
4 September 2000. Matt writes: Sixty worlds a minute
17 July 2000. Matt writes: You, Me, and Face-space

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