Immunity Challenge #3 for Survivorblog.

The Kindest Cut of All

Ben, I don't know what kind of Pagan anti-Jesus site you're running here, mister, but I'll have you know that March 26 is already a holiday, at least as far as we devout Catholics are concerned. Since you obviously don't know squat about the significance of March 26, I guess I'm going to have to tell all of you hell-bound non-believers about Brismass.

Brismass is the day that we Catholics celebrate the bris of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus was born a Jew, of course, and all Jewish male babies receive a bris on the 8th day of their life. So it is written that on the 8th day of this baby's life, his mother, Mary, took him to the local rabbi for his bris. Her heart was heavy, for she still hadn't thought of a name for God's baby yet. She had considered calling him "Jehovah Jr," but that didn't seem quite right.

It was a busy season for babies in Bethlehem that year, so Mary had a difficult time locating a suitable rabbi. Despondent, she decided that she would ask Melchior, the wise man who had brought myrrh as a gift to the lamb of God, to perform the bris.

Fortunately for Mary, Melchior had stuck around in Bethlehem after presenting his gift because he had gotten into a tavern fight with a bunch of surly Hittites. The Hittites had claimed that their empire still existed but Melchior, being a wise man, pointed out that their empire had collapsed in 717 BC. He, for one, was already counting the years based on the birth of Christ. He was that wise.

Having just been released from jail, and a little short on cash, Melchior was only too happy to perform the bris ceremony. At the moment that Melchior started to snip off the divine baby's holy foreskin, the wee child exclaimed "Jesus Christ," and that was how Mary was inspired to give him the name by which we all know him today.

The foreskin of Christ was placed in a holy relic called "The Arc of the Circumcision." Hitler sought this relic during World War II because Catholic legend suggests that he who controls The Arc of the Circumcision could more successfully deal with erectile disfunction.


Traditionally, the Brismass celebration starts at dawn on the morning of March 26. All Catholic males take long baths and numbing painkillers, while the females prepare the hot, stinging myrrh for later in the ceremony. Older males who are no longer able to take part in the more holy part of the ceremony (for reasons that will soon be apparent) get to don "the robes of the wise guy," as they will be ritually reenacting the role of Melchior. They are also sent down to the local liquor store to buy beer and other strong drink, which also becomes important later on.

When the clock strikes 3, the men come downstairs. Sometimes, less devout men need to be carried downstairs. Men who lack any devotion or who aren't even Catholic but mistakenly married into a Catholic family, are dragged from where ever they might be hiding and tied to something sturdy.

The wise guys then come in with the sacred Brismass implements and tools. If none are available, they are allowed to use the carving knife from the kitchen, provided it will be washed before the Brismass roast is served.

The ceremony occurs pretty much as you would expect. Since most of these men were already circumcised, the "wise guy" is allowed to snip off whatever bits catch his fancy. Bitter "wise guys" have been known to cause rifts in families for generations or, in some severe cases, prevent future generations from occurring at all. Hot, stinging myrrh is then poured onto the wound. If a family cannot afford myrrh, they are allowed to use hot, stinging salt instead. Sometimes, salt is used anyway, just for fun.

After the ceremony, the ritual drinking begins. Indeed, some non-Catholics have been known to participate in the ceremony just to indulge in the ritual drinking.

In celebration of Melchior's abuse of the Hittites, the prank phone calls immediately follow the drinking. Typically, a drunken Brismass reveler will call a Native American he knows and announce, "we stole all your land, you bloody Hittite." In Northern Ireland, bitter, drunken Catholics will sometimes call each other and announce, "our land was stolen and we are bloody Hittites."

Gifts are not normally exchanged, though sometimes tipsy parents will send the wee ones on a "beer hunt." Cans are hidden throughout the house and in the driveway and street and the children merrily hunt for as many as they can find. Whichever child finds the most beer cans gets to be the Brismass prince (or princess) and gets marked in the middle of the forehead with blood from the ceremony, sort of like on Ash Wednesday. Many a Brismass princess (or prince) will avoid washing their faces for days after this merry celebration just to gloat over their victory.

Finally, it is time for the Brismass feast. For some reason, most Catholic men prefer to forgo the traditional sausage appetizers and just eat some of the great Brismass roast instead.


In modern times, we Catholics celebrate Brismass three months and a day after Christmas. This was because when the Catholics monks brought the religion of Peter to the Irish, they had their own Pagan celebration on March 26, called "All Drunkard's Eve." On this night, like almost every other night in Ireland, everyone got so drunk that they could barely move. What made this night so special was that it had a name. The Catholic monks decided that moving Brismass to March 26 was maybe the only way to get the people of Ireland to consent to the more unpleasant aspects of the Brismass ceremony.

Curiously, the Catholics had no trouble getting the people of the Phillipines to take part in the ceremony, but I suppose the Irish are just more squeamish.


So that, my pagan friends, is Brismass. I don't know what fool holiday you all will be celebrating, but me and the little guy will be experiencing solidarity with the lord through ritual mutilation, like good Catholics everywhere should.
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