The Minutes of Our Last Meeting – The Inn Keeper v The Christ Family
The Inn Keeper v. The Christ Family
In attendance: Joseph Christ, Mary Christ, Inn Keeper, Kanipf the Arbitrator,
Samuel the Scribe, Taker of Notes
Morning, Summer of 1 AD, post census season, Bethlehem
Kanipf: Joseph and Mary, thank you for coming all the way from Nazareth. How was the trip?
Joseph: Carpentry isn’t paying much these days. All we could afford were mules. Need I say more?
Kanipf: We appreciate the inconvenience this must be for you. Please, help yourself to the pillows on the sill behind you. I use one myself and my bottom dances in heaven all day long.
Mary: Thank you.
Inn Keeper: Do you want to wash their feet, too?
Kanipf: We’ll get down to business. As you are aware, the Inn Keeper is not satisfied with your arrangement when you stayed at his establishment during the big census.
Joseph: We paid for our stay in a manger. We didn’t even have a room.
Inn Keeper: There weren’t any rooms.
Kanipf: It’s been established that there weren’t any rooms in the Inn. We are all in agreement with that, yes?
Inn Keeper: You took advantage of my generosity.
Mary: Generosity? You charged us the same number of shekels that you charged guests with a bed.
Inn Keeper: Supply and demand. It was census season. I did what any inn keeper would do. What you did, you still owe me money for!
Joseph: We paid our bill.
Inn Keeper: You paid for two people and a mule.
Mary: Are you trying to charge us for our baby Jesus?
Joseph: She gave birth in straw. Straw!
Mary: Would it have been too much to give us towels and some sheets?
Inn Keeper: Had I given you linens we’d be talking about a whole other charge. That stuff doesn’t come out.
Kanipf: The Inn Keeper is referring to your guests.
Inn Keeper: There is a “no guests” rule.
Joseph: Guests? What guests?
Mary: The Three Wise Men? We didn’t even know they were coming.
Joseph: We don’t even know their names. The only thing we know is that one out of three wise men know how to give a good gift. Do you want any frankincense or myrrh?
Inn Keeper: I don’t even know what those are.
Samuel: I’ll take some myrrh. It’s good for your feet. I get dry, flakey heels. Smells nice, too.
Kanipf: Just take the notes, Samuel.
Inn Keeper: All I know is that I rent to two people and a mule, they pay in advance, and when I go check on them at dawn, there’s three grown men and their camels crashing on the hay. Three extra men and three camels. They had some kind of party. Pay up!
Joseph: We didn’t invite them. We didn’t even tell them where we were.
Kanipf: How did they find you if you didn’t tell them where you were?
Mary: They followed a star that showed them the way.
Inn Keeper: All I get is nonsense from you people. Anything to avoid paying.
Kanipf: They followed a star that specifically was guiding them to where you were?
Mary: That’s what they said. They called our kid King of the Jews and gave him gifts.
Inn Keeper: Drunkards.
Joseph: Look, if you want compensation for the wise men-
Inn Keeper: I do. They also were hanging around the complimentary continental breakfast in the morning. My wife makes the bagels from scratch.
Joseph: We had nothing to do with them being there. When they showed up at the manger, we thought they were local people and we had won some “first baby of the new census” thing.
Kanipf: We have better prizes for that. Leeches. Every home with a new baby needs leeches. There’s some over there in the first aid kit if you need some. Samuel, get them some leeches.
Joseph: We’re good on leeches, thank you.
Inn Keeper: Just give me what you owe me. 20 shekels.
Mary: 20 shekels. That’s outrageous!
Inn Keeper: I was at capacity. It was census season. They did not have a reservation. They did not even talk to me first. They ate my wife’s everything bagels. I think I am being very reasonable.
Mary: Can we just pay him and go?
(Joseph puts 20 shekels on the table.)
Inn Keeper: Well, what do you know? The father of the King of the Jews has money to pay his debts. I thought carpentry wasn’t doing well.
Joseph: It’s the last of the gold. The third gift from the wise men. This is what’s left after we redid the baby’s room.
Samuel: Can I still get that myrrh?