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A modern Christmas tale

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Once upon a time in the year 2000, a couple named Mary and Joseph lived happily in their modest-sized bungalow in the suburbs. They were happily engaged and felt no need to have children.

One night when Joseph was working, an angel appeared before Mary and told her she would have God's baby. Mary wasn't happy with this. She had a good career in front of her and Joseph's job as a carpenter was spotty at best. However, Mary suddenly found herself bending over the toilet one morning, puking up toast and eggs. At the clinic, a doctor told her she was having a baby but the doctor was confused because Mary was a virgin. Mary explained about the angel and bearing God's son but still the doctor was confused. Mary shook her head. How could she argue with the will of God? She trudged home to break the news. Joseph fainted but they decided to keep the baby.

When the time came, the couple drove far into the city to find a hospital. But at each hospital, the story was the same: no room due to budget cuts. Lucky for them, a kind veterinarian took pity and gave them a bed next to an asthmatic lhasa apso. And when the baby was born, she wrapped him in Gap swaddling clothes, placed him in a Fischer-Price cradle (as seen on TV) and christened him Jesus.

On a hill overlooking the city, a gang hid from the police. They had seen a bright light in the sky and were scared. However, an angel came down and told them to stop being chickens and visit the new Saviour in a nearby vet clinic.

At the university, three wise astronomy profs were fighting over the use of the university's lone telescope. Dr. Caspar eventually won and spotted a bright star. He looked at the tattered textbook in his hands and proclaimed a new leader was born. He gathered his bruised colleagues and hastened to the vet clinic. The three profs could not visit the mother of God's son without bearing gifts, so they stopped at a 7-11 to pick up cheese puffs, a two-litre Coke and a newspaper, all for $3.99.

When they arrived, they joined the gang and worshipped the baby.

Mary looked down at Jesus' cherubic face and couldn't help but smile. Maybe the birth of God's son (oh, how she snorted at that fact) would do the world some good. The world could be at peace. People would take the spirit of the holiday into their hearts and count their blessings. And she laughed again.

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