Sidey’s weekend theme is “Birthday Party”.
“Why not? Surprise parties are great. The person always gets such a, well, surprise.”
“Not in this case.”
St Stephen sighed. “Because, St John,” he said, “we’re talking about Jesus here. It’s very hard to surprise someone who knows everything.”
“I bet we could do it,” said St John, obstinately. “I bet he’d never expect it.”
The words “Yes I Would” sounded simultaneously inside all of their heads.
St Stephen sighed again. The date was December 21st, 1999. Jesus’s 2000th birthday was now just four days away, and the little group who had formed to arrange his birthday party still had nothing organised.
“Look,” he said, “let’s just keep it simple. What do you need for a good party?”
“Food, drink, entertainment,” said St Luke.
“And fireworks,” said St Christopher, “remember, it’s a special birthday.”
“What will they make of that down on Earth?” asked St Stephen.
“They’ll think it’s thunder and lightning, just like they always do.”
“And we’ll need a birthday card,” said St Luke. “You could design that, Val.”
“Nah,” said St Valentine, “I only do mushy ‘roses are red’ stuff. You need to ask St Hallmark.”
“Ok,” said St Stephen, picking up a tablet of stone to start making a list. “Food, then. What’ll we have?”
“Cocktail sausages,” said St Anthony.
“He’s Jewish,” said St Stephen.
“Oh. True,” said St Anthony.”Guess we’re stuck with manna, then.”
“And Angel Delight,” said St Valentine.
“Very funny,” said St Stephen. “Manna it is, then. We can do a manna casserole, a manna curry, a manna lasagne.”
“Sounds heavenly,” muttered St John, who was still sulking over the surprise party.
“And a manna cake,” said St Christopher, “with candles.”
“Two thousand of them?” said St Paul.
“It’s going to be a very big cake,” said St Christopher, “there are a lot of us up here.”
“But nobody could blow out – ” began St Paul, then remembered who he was talking about. “Forget it,” he said.
“Right,” said St Stephen. “What about drink?”
“Vodka,” said St Petersburg, the Russian.
“Nectar,” said St Paul without thinking, “it’s the drink of the Gods.” He suddenly realised what he had said. “Er, in myths and stuff.”
“Wine,” said St Luke quickly, to break the stunned silence. “We know he likes that, from that time he was at Cana.”
“Wine it is, then,” said St Stephen. “Now, what about entertainment?”
“A kissogram,” said St Patrick, “we could get one of the angels to come dressed as a policewoman.”
“How did you ever get to be a saint?” asked St Luke.
“Patron Saint rule,” said St Patrick. “Every country has to have one, and I was the holiest Irish person they could find.”
They all thought for a while about the Irish. “Yeah, makes sense I suppose,” said St Luke eventually.
“Anyway, NO kissograms,” said St Stephen. “Remember, his Dad’s going to be there. Any other suggestions?”
“Magician?” said St Anthony.
“God love the poor sap if we got one,” said St Stephen. “Can you imagine pulling rabbits out of a hat in front of someone who’s pulled the whole universe out of nothing?”
“Yeah, tough gig,” said St Luke.
“Karaoke,” suggested St Christopher.
The others glared at him. “This is supposed to be Heaven,” said St Luke sternly.
“Sorry,” said St Christopher.
“Ok, since no-one has any sensible suggestions it looks like we’ll just have to go with the Heavenly Choir,” said St Stephen. “They do a very good version of Metallica’s Enter Sandman.” He looked at his list. “Are we sure we’ve thought of everything? We’re not very experienced at this. How would they celebrate a birthday down there, if you know what I mean.”
“They’d do everything to satanic excess,” said St Patrick. “They’d drink too much, all get off with each other, there’d be at least one punch-up and they’d all end up with hangovers that would make them suffer for all eternity.”
St Stephen glared at him. “I didn’t mean Hell,” he said, “I was talking about down on Earth.”
“So was I,” said St Patrick.