Off topic: The Little Translator and the dark corridors of power
Thread poster: Mervyn Henderson

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:01
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jan 31

The Little Translator addresses the Queen of England: http://www.proz.com/forum/lighter_side_of_trans_interp/107185-the_little_translator_addresses_the_queen_of_england.html

The Little Translator relates the Barcelona Connection:
http://www.proz.com/forum/lighter_side_of_trans_interp/110255-the_little_translator_relates_the_barcelona_connection.html

The Little Translator makes a right royal faux pas:
http://www.proz.com/forum/lighter_side_of_trans_interp/116080-the_little_translator_makes_a_right_royal_faux_pas.html

The Little Translator throws his hat in the ring with Obama and McCain:
http://www.proz.com/forum/lighter_side_of_trans_interp/119758-the_little_translator_throws_his_hat_in_the_ring_with_obama_and_mccain.html

The Little Translator solves the world economic crisis:
http://www.proz.com/forum/lighter_side_of_trans_interp/121724-the_little_translator_solves_the_world_economic_crisis.html

The Little Translator slides into the crease at the end of 2008:
http://www.proz.com/forum/lighter_side_of_trans_interp/123911-the_little_translator_slides_into_the_crease_at_the_end_of_2008.html

The Little Translator amid terrible rates and late payment too:
http://www.proz.com/forum/lighter_side_of_trans_interp/126646-the_little_translator_amid_terrible_rates_and_late_payment_too.html

The Little Translator, MI5, and Jimmy the Weasel:
http://www.proz.com/forum/lighter_side_of_trans_interp/129145-the_little_translator_mi5_and_jimmy_the_weasel.html

The Little Translator, unorthodox policing, Foxy Roxy and a twist in the tale:
https://www.proz.com/forum/off_topic/318326-the_little_translator_unorthodox_policing_foxy_roxy_and_a_twist_in_the_tale.html

The Little Translator, a sad and sorry tale, a call from a customer and a letter from Paris: https://www.proz.com/forum/off_topic/319945-the_little_translator_a_sad_and_sorry_tale_a_call_from_a_customer_and_a_letter_from_paris.html

The Little Translator, a dead end, and the Man with the Golden Thumb:
https://www.proz.com/forum/off_topic/321034-the_little_translator_a_dead_end_and_the_man_with_the_golden_thumb.html



I surveyed the Sergeant, now clutching a stool and giggling uncontrollably.

“You know”, he gasped, “I think the windows are melting. Can’t you see? And my teapot’s walking home, look”.

I snatched the spliff from his fingers, threw it away, and turned to Dreadlocks:

“Now you know why it’s called AK 47, don’t you? Because it blows your head off, that’s why.”

“So what do we do?” he asked.

I shrugged. “Wait for him to wise up, and get back to Bilbao to take on his mother-in-law problem, I suppose. Unless, of course, the circumstances change. As they very well might.”

There was a short silence. I looked at my phone on the table expectantly.

“… Unless, of course, the circumstances change. As they very well might”, I repeated crossly.

Just then it rang. Now that was more like it – what with the Laughing Policeman and cues not being picked up on, this story was already limping around on crutches. Anyway, I smiled as I held it to my ear. Who could it possibly be?

A man came on the line, very sharp and business-like:

“Am I right in assuming I’m speaking to Mr Little Translator in the Basque Country?”

“We-e-e-ell …”, I said cautiously, shooting a glance over to where Garmendia was laughing at a chair, “… not if this is the police, customs or tax office.”

The man didn’t seem in the least fazed. “Mr Little Translator, you should know I’m about to put you through to the most powerful man in the entire world. It would help if you could stammer and grovel occasionally. Thank you. Good night, and good luck.”

Angela gave me an enquiring look.

“Who is it?” she enquired. Obviously she said that enquiringly too, but let’s get on, shall we.

“I’m not sure”, I breathed, holding my hand over the phone, “but I think I’m about to speak to Lloyd Blankfein. Or it could be Bono.”

I listened again, but all I could hear was a tirade going on in the background …

“ … and I TOLD you not to touch my goddamn toothbrush, didn’t I, woman? Do NOT touch it again. It’s MY toothbrush. MINE, comprende? You under-a-stand thee Eeengleesh? And DON’T tell me you can’t get me any Big Mac-flavoured toothpaste, either. I know it’s out there somewhere. Barron told me, so it must be true. Period!”

Well, there were a few clues there to the identity of the speaker. Then I heard a female voice quavering something in reply, but it didn’t seem to satisfy the man:

“… so, lemme get this straight, you’re calling my son a liar now, are you? My own son! The President’s son is a no-good liar, huh, is that what you’re saying to me? Now you listen to me, listen up, and listen good, moron, what I want you to do now is haul your big fat misshapen ass outta this office right now and focus on doing your fricking job, and let me focus on running the fricking country. I wanna tell you, honey, you better shape up here, and fast too, otherwise you’ll find yourself on a slow boat back to the trashcan of a place you came here from, pronto.”

I quaked as the shouting stopped and the full drawl came down the line:

“… Say, I’m real sorry about all that, Mr Little Translator, but seriously you can only imagine the crap I have to take around here.”

“Oh, that’s OK, Sir”, I said. “It must be a huge responsibility for you over there. And toothbrush issues too.”

“Hey, forget the Sir, Little Translator. They call me The Don around here. I like that a whole bunch better.”

“I suppose they mean The Don of a New Era”, I quipped, nervously. I added a second quip: “Or The Don of Civilisation”.

I quip when I’m nervous, see. A nervous quipper, you might say.

The man cackled. “You know, I like that. I’ll put one of those out on Twitter later, if you don’t mind”. He seemed calmer now.

“I’m calling you from the Oval Office, Little Translator. Hey, the history that’s been made at this desk. Not to mention on it, over it and up against it. In fact, we all call it the Oral Office around here. Or the Oral Orifice”, he guffawed. “On account of Bill, you know. And probably most of the presidents that came before him. If you know what I mean, ha-ha. Take Kennedy, the family man. He was such a family man he shared the chicks with his pop and his bro. Goddamn Democrats. But hey, Bill, you know, Bill I have a lot of time for. It’s wifey I can’t stand. It was likely her that drove him to it in the first place, whaddaya think?”

“Er, I think, Don, that …”, I started, but it appeared that “whaddaya think?” didn’t actually mean he was asking a question, for he was away again:

“I’m getting the same treatment myself these days”, he growled. “Ever since that pussy-grabbing incident. But it’s not true, you know. Fake news. I never said that. I never said “pussy”. What I actually said was “grab some sushi”. I’m a cosmopolitan kinda guy, and I love Chinese food too. But, like I said to the Chinks’ main man on our first meeting, sushi’s been here for so long it’s really American now, just like the Big Mac. Can you believe Mr Chinky was pissed with me about that?”

He paused. I thought it might be a good moment to get to the bottom of this:

“And, … er, the reason for your call, Don?” I enquired.

“Oh sure, yeah, right, you see, that Mrs Queen Elizabeth in London, England gave me your number if I needed a translator, and I sure do, I’ll tell the world I do. You know I’m gonna build a wall, right? To keep out all those rapists and drug traffickers and terrorists from shithole countries. Well, I’m pretty good with walls, but I need a translator for the specifications and all. You translate Mexicanese, don’t you? What’s your rate? Let’s see if we can strike a deal here. But I warn you, I’m the Deal King”, he chortled.

I looked at an i-Pad on the table left over from the raid.

“Oka-a-a-ay”, I said, “just let me bring my dollar rates up on screen here, just a minute, one second, please …” I put the phone close to the keyboard and tapped on the keyboard for a few seconds any old way. “Mm, yes, well, our basic is 0.10 USD per word, Don.”

I could hear him smiling. Yes, I could.

“Ten cents a word? Sounds good.”

“Yes, well, that’s the basic. Then I have to charge a further cent per word for sundry administration and staffing and, er, security ...”

“Still OK by me, pal.”

“ … and then there’s another two cents for translation software, hardware, middleware, er, inware, outware and, um, roundware overheads, and then … I’m afraid there’s nothing I can do about this one, Don … there’s another, er, three cents per word I have to charge for the government’s, um, special levy, it’s called, er, Tasa para Incautos y Pardillos here, it’s something they brought in only … only last week, actually - I don’t get a penny of it, you understand - and it’s mandatory, unfortunately, I’m legally obliged, er, bound … to add it in … by, er, by law, yes.”

“Hell, it’s no problem. Anyway, I’ll just have a word with the new guy at the Fed after Yellen’s picked up all her shit and hauled ass out of there.”

I really thought I should say something:

“You know, Don, and especially if you want to command more respect in general, you really should watch your language. Jared has a horror of that kind of thing, you know.”

“Shoot! That guy? Don’t you worry about him, Little Translator. I can handle Jared all right. He’s only around because he’s married to my little Sweetypoops …”

“Actually, I didn’t mean that J ….” I said, but it was too late:

“… nothing to worry about there, oh no, I tell him every so often, you watch your step with me now, kid. Remember what happened to your pop, because it could happen to you too if you mess with the Goddamn President of the Goddamn United Goddamn States of Goddamn America”.

“I think you mean “God Bless America” at the end there, don’t you?” I murmured.

“Hell, yes, you’re right there. You know, LT – you don’t mind if I call you LT for short, do you? - you’ve got some good pointers on what to say. I could use a man like you on the payroll. PR, spin, you know. To deal with all the fake news and lies.”

Now this came as a bit of a surprise:

“Well, it looks to me like you have a lot of help already, Don. There must be a dozen people at least behind you at every photo shoot.”

A big heavy sigh came down the phone.

“Yeah, well, a lot of those guys are ratting out on me now. I don’t like the way that McMaster bulldog guy looks at me, for one thing. Or they’re incompetent, or both. Can’t trust any of them. It’s a tough job, LT. Sometimes, you know, I … I feel pretty much alone. It’s a lonely job, this president thing.”

“But”, I reminded him, you have your family, don’t you?”

“Sure, I have Sweetypoops to help me, mostly. And Mel. Fredo, sorry, I mean Donald, isn’t much use to anyone, though. And the kid, well, the kid’s just a kid. Hey, you know, I even have to make an appointment to see that kid, because he’s always busy being fitted for another suit. So think what he’ll be like when he grows up. Now I’m President, I can’t be with him much anyway, to hang out with him, show him all those Lower East Side tenements I used to go to with my old man collecting rent with a baseball bat. And the rest are just hangers-on. But there’s all this fake news they’re putting out about me all the time. Not just me, though - look what they did to Weinstein. I was watching it all on CNN the other day with Mel:

I said to her, I said, “These people are the pits with their fake news, hon. They’ve been faking it for years.” Mel was sitting there all pensive looking at footage of the demonstrations. “Me too”, she sighed, which didn’t make a whole lotta sense to me at first, but then she pointed at all those Me Too placards on screen.”

“But it’s not just the Americans”, he mused, “I don’t seem to be getting on too good with the rest of the world either.”

“Well”, I corrected him gently.

“Well …? Well … what?”

“I just meant …”

“… thing is, I do my best to be nice to them, and they stab me in the back. It’s not just Mr Chink, either. Take that guy Putin. We arm-wrestled a little, he showed me his six-pack, we were getting on, I even said I’d show him and his Secret Service people around the Pentagon one day, because he asked me if that would be OK. I thought we were getting along fine. Then I told him a joke. I said, “Hey Vlad, I’m gonna tell you the difference between our mafia and the Russian mafia: Ours is, like, “Hey, c’mere Pauly, you leeesen to a-me and leeesen to me a-good, I want you a-take Carlo, Giovanni, Luigi and a-Tony, and you go pick up a-Gina, Maria, Lucia and a-Sofia atta da Metropole, capish?” And the Russian mafia is like, “Komm here Boris Shostokovich, lizzen, I vont you take Igor Terezchenkolovich, Oleg Krasnoperolovovsky, Vladimir Preobrazhendengensky and Feodor … hey, you know what, forgeddit, forgeddit, I do eet myzelf ...” But old Vlad didn’t like that one at all. He got up suddenly, did a few fingertips-to-toes stretches, and said he was heading off for sushi. At ten in the morning! Well, leastways, that’s what I thought he’d said. Turned out he was going to a place by the sea called Sochi.”

“And that Macron guy, well, he even showed up to greet me with his old mom. One hot hot chick, lemme tell you. I couldn’t keep my eyes off her standing behind all the cameras at the official handshake. Jeez, I said to him as we sat down for the photos, I gotta tell you, Monsieur, your mom’s a real knockout. Don’t spill the beans, but if I weren’t spoken for, I might have tried my luck with her. What a mom, such a mom.” He didn’t answer, just stared at me all sullen. Then he tried to give me a bone-crusher on live TV. You saw that, didn’t you, right when we were sitting there? Jeez, the French are real touchy about their moms. I only meant it as a compliment.”

“They’re all out to get me for sure. Big league. And, before you say anything, the time I was called out for that one, I did actually say “big league”, not “bigly” – they’ve analysed what I said with some spectrograph machine or other. But, you know, I really did mean to say “bigly”! Anyway, in Washington and New York and LA and Frisco the great and the good and all those snooty assholes and hipsters and goddamn mincing faggots laughed at me for being an uneducated shithead, but you know who didn’t laugh at me? Mr and Mrs Nobody from Hickville-in-the-Sticks, that’s who. The uneducated white trash the beautiful people of America have given the finger to for years. A long time ago a foreigner on a corporate trip we arranged to New York asked me what I meant by “white trash”, and I said white trash are people just like me. Except they’re poor. And those people sure know what being uneducated is like among all those muttonheads with all the money. There are some emptinesses you can’t really fill, you know. But you can try. And I’m trying.”

The big man sounded pretty down in the dumps.

“It helps being with Mel, though”, he went on. “I missed her at the beginning, when she had to stay in New York with the kid. After we’d been abroad together a few times pressing the flesh, I told her as we were walking off Air Force One back in Washington: “That went well, honey, you oughta come more often”, and she said “Too true, sweetheart.” So she’s up for it.

“I really want to do things for this country, you know. Why should we have to put up with that little Korean butthead? I’ll tell you, he’d better watch his fat face, because I might decide that my fellow Americans and I have to make up for dithering over both World Wars by getting into World War III real early, in at the sharp end right from the start.”

“What you mean is you want to be remembered as the President who made America great again, and not the President who made America late again?” I ventured.

I think I hit the spot with that one, because he snorted with laughter.

“You know, LT, you can do the translations if you like, but I want you on my PR team, man. You could start at a hundred grand if you like. Greenbacks, I mean.”

“I’m very sorry, Don”, I said, “but many translators already make one hundred thousand dollars a year. There’s been a lot of talk about it around here recently, in fact. Besides, you must understand I have my social-economic-political-ethical-environmental principles to consider, naturally.”

The man laughed again. “A year! Listen to this guy! No, I meant per month. Like I said, I just have to have a word with the Fed. I’m the President, for Chrissakes ...”

At my end, for a few seconds the only sounds that could be heard were little puffs of air and my teeth on my lips and tongue as I mouthed “a hundred thousand dollars a month!!!!!!!!” Obviously I couldn’t very well mouth the exclamation marks too, but you get the idea.

“… but if you think your principles won’t allow you to come on board, that’s fine too. I respect that. I respect that bigly. You should …”

But meanwhile LT was rapidly engaging back-pedal mode:

“Actually”, I cut in, “I wouldn’t say they’re, er, carved in marble as such, those principles of mine, you know. Or I can simply put them on hold for a while. Is that, er, a gross figure or a net figure?”

That one really took him over the edge. He must have laughed at that one for a full minute, and when he came back to me again he was huffing and puffing with the sheer effort of speaking:

“Ever heard of Leona Helmsley? She was a businesswoman over here back in the day. Worth hundreds and hundreds of millions, but she said once: “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes”. Forget the taxes, LT. You’re talking to a guy who’s never made his tax returns public, and never will.”

“Are you saying”, I asked him slowly, “that you can do something which is basically illegal?

“What I’m saying”, he replied, “is that when the President does it, it is not illegal.”

Well, that certainly sounded familiar. Same old same old. Grand old grand old.

“Anyways, you think about it, LT. Me, I gotta vamoose outta here. Said I’d ring to see how Mel’s getting on with the two Puerto Rican wrestlers she hired to sort out the exteriors in Mar-a-Lago. Said it would be good PR for me, since these poor guys lost their gym business in the quake over there, you know. She wants to put in some new shrubbery in the garden, and the façade to the rear of the compound is a real mess. Her secretary told me Mel would have one of them hard at work on her bush while the other was busy around back. By the way, this is a secure line, but obviously everything we’ve been talking about is confidential, so don’t say a word to anyone about this conversation, will you? Especially to any Russkies.”

“Conversation? What conversation?” I asked.

“This one, the one we’ve been … oh yeah, I’m with you now, LT. Right on! What I mean is this conversation we never had. Later!”

I put down the phone.

“Was that who I think it was? asked Dreadlocks in awe.

“I regret I am unable to give you any further information at this time”, I told him sternly. Crikey, I heard myself and it was like another person talking. I was moving into the new role already. “My professional trajectory would appear to be developing in another direction. We may have to discontinue, abandon and ultimately terminate Project Bilbao in the short to medium.”

“You can’t do that”, he moaned. “What about all our big team plans? And what about the wavies? James Bond Part II, remember?”

“Bond”, I said firmly, “can surely wait for another episode. What is it with you anyway, are you with the Wavies Police or something?” I wagged my finger at him. “I know what you’re after. What you want is for me to stick around here and go on making a fool of myself by getting my asterisks mixed up, while you strut about interfering with my wavies. Well, all that asterisk stuff is over, Dreadlocks. Finished. Ended. Gone. So if you’re waiting for that kind of thing, you’d better take a seat, because you’ll be waiting a l**g fucking time, I can tell you. Out of the blue this man’s just given me the chance of a crack at absolute power, and I’m not passing it up. Call it a miracle if you like.”

“A miracle? Like God, you mean? Or Jesus?”

“Yes”, I breathed, “like Jesus. Like Jesus of Nazareth …”

Oh, bollocks. I’d fallen for it again.



Well, Nazareth … we moved around a bit at the beginning. Had to. It got way too scary where we were, due to a guy called Herod who was on a paranoia trip a hundred times Josef Stalin’s. So Mum and Joseph and I had to lay low for a while, and eventually on to Nazareth.

Me, I was just a kid, but I know it was tough for Joseph all right, what with all the tittle-tattle about the immaculate conception. And Mum? Well, she never said much, Mum. She just kept those things in her heart, and pondered them. That was Mum all over - Joseph had to speak to her more than once about the way she was always keeping things in her heart and pondering them, but she never changed. That was just the way she was.

I was pretty worried about being the Son of Man on earth, so I went to the boss man for some guidance before everything was set in motion: “You have to be mysterious”, he advised me. “Move in mysterious ways. It’s all mystery, you know, this is. And say mysterious things, too. That one about the camel and the eye of a needle I told you about, for instance. Makes them sit up and listen, that kind of thing.”

“Talking of mysterious things, can you explain that Holy Trinity thing to me again? You know, to explain it to everyone myself?” I asked, but he just laughed:

“That’s easy, son. There are three of us – me, Spook here, and you.”

You could always tell when the Holy Ghost was around – nothing you could actually see as such, just a kind of shimmering presence around you.

“But really”, he went on, “we’re all one and the same. I am you, and you are me, and we are all together. I’m your father, but so is Spook through the conception. Obviously. And Joseph, well, he’s your earthly father, but it amounts to nothing. Just a vehicle for a greater cause, like the Duke of Edinburgh. In fact, really, since we’re all the same, technically you’re even your own father too.”

“Hell’s teeth, I sighed to myself. “What a palaver I have to tell these people. They’re gonna crucify me.”

When I finally took up my earthly presence, it wasn’t always easy being the new kid on the block around Nazareth. Especially at school. I could hear some of the younger lads all tittering and whispering as I walked across the quad with hands piously clasped in prayer. That Jeremiah Major:

“Lo, there goeth Jesus of the Lower Sixth. Begotten by an chippy and an virgin. Dost wot? Where doth he get off? And, verily I say unto thee, he cannot even talk properly, this lad. Not an iota of grammar. He knoweth not his doths from his dosts, nor his hasts from his haths. Behold him with his sandals and his beard.”

“Forgive him, Lord, for he know not what he doeth”, I muttered under my breath. Or maybe that should be knoweth and doth? He did have a point - I was never quite sure about all that. It’s so hard to get it right sometimes.

Childhood went by like lightning, though, because there was much for a Son of Man to do in a sin-infested vice-ridden world, ever since that unpleasant business with the apple and the snake and That Woman - as Dad called her – and I had to go out into the world and spread those tidings of great joy. Since I was going to need a bit of help, I started recruiting. I found two brothers fishing, Simon Peter and Andrew. I know that really makes three, but one of them couldn’t decide whether he was Simon or Peter. Either Simon was schizophrenic, or Peter was. Or both.

Looking back, I should have chosen my words with much more care. Perhaps the bit about promising to make them fishers of men was a dodgy phrase to kick off with as a total stranger. But they freaked out when they saw me walking on the water, of course. It’s always a big wow when you see it done, that one. Though Thomas had his doubts when they told him about it later. “Seeing is believing”, he said firmly, and I knew I was going to have to keep an eye on Thomas. Bad for morale among the troops, you know.

There were a few other candidates, you know, but I had to reject them. For example, there were two lads came up and asked if they could join us. I asked their names, and one of them said “Well, me, I’m Bert, and this here’s Ringo.” I thought long and hard about the future implications. It wasn’t a decision I took lightly, but no, I just couldn’t see it. “The Gospel according to Saint Ringo”. “Saint Bert’s Epistle to the Corinthians”. A teensy bit too, how can I put it? – well, too earthy, I suppose. You want a bit of earthiness for sure, for that spiritual/terrestrial God-and-Man makeup, but in the end you have to draw the line somewhere. Anyway, we gathered up a happy little band, and went all over the place preaching, healing the sick, and most especially working miracles.

O, the miracles!! In terms of miracles, I had some enormous shoes to fill there after the Creation, the staying of Abraham’s hand, the Parting of the Red Sea and all that, but I do like to think I was up to the challenge, you know. One day we had a mega preach-in - man, there must have been 5,000 at this gig. John came up to me at one point and told me everyone was milling about ready for the off, but they were starving because Bartholomew had forgotten to organise some food. All we had was a basket with a few loaves of bread and some fish, he told me. “Bring ‘em on”, I told him, grinning confidently. Well. The punters had never seen the like of it. We packed them in for miles around, they just kept coming and coming, and that basket never emptied. Mark came up with a skin of water and whispered that maybe I could do a repeat of the old water-into-wine trick as well, but I thought about all these bozos staggering home through the streets shouting and maybe duffing up their old ladies to boot, and reckoned we couldn’t afford the bad publicity.

Then there was Lazarus. Mrs Lazarus met us at the door, distraught. “Oh Jesus, it’s terrible, it’s terrible, terrible, terrible, so it is. He was out digging the allotment, and just dropped down stone dead. What am I going to do? How am I going to go on?” she wept. “There’s the children, all the work, the house …”

“Fear not, Mrs Lazarus, for the Lord art with thee. Verily, it will be a cinch”, I soothed her, before going inside and getting down to business. In I went and there he was, all laid out on his camp bed.

“Lazarus, lift up thy ears …”, I started off gravely, but Luke nudged me and whispered in my ear:

“It’s “thine”, Jesus”. Preceding a vowel. Remember: “thy’s just fine, but with vowels it’s thine”.

Well, really, it was hardly the moment, but I acquiesced all the same:

“Lift up thine ears, Lazarus”, I said, and then paused for effect. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to pause for effect during a miracle. Much more important than thy and thine, for crying out loud – I mean, who really notices that kind of thing, anyway? Finally I announced grandly, raising my arms dramatically in front of me as I did so, palms upwards: “Lazarus, take up thy bed and walk”.

And lo, he did, too. Lazarus opened his eyes, shook himself a bit, got up, walked from his bed and stared at his missus. The wife near swooned.

“Lazarus, O Lazzie love”, she gasped, “this is a miracle, praise the Lord, a genuine miracle and no mistake. My life! Now you can get down to fixing that leak in the roof, and then there’s the tiles in the kitchen, those hyacinths I want next to the hortensias, and you know the hedge needs trimming, the kids need new sandals, and ... Lazarus, where the hell are you going? Lazarus? Lazarus, you get back here this minute! Lazarus! …”

Yea, friends, Lazarus walked. Too right he walked. He walked past me, he walked past the disciples, he walked past his wife, and he walked out of the room and out of the house. Old Lazarus just walked out the door, down the path, and kept on walking. It’s a funny old world you created, I told Dad later. I thought it might be bad PR, even though it wasn’t really my fault. Thomas said he doubted it, but then he would say that, would Thomas.

Yes, we were a grand little team all right. Except for Judas ...

I never liked Judas from the start, you understand, but I wanted them to be twelve, and I was casting around and needed somebody else in a hurry, and there he was. That made thirteen of us in all. Yes, thirteen! I know it sounds crazy now, but I swear I never gave it so much as a second thought at the time. Let me tell you something about Judas:

One night we all went out for a special dinner, the Last Supper I called it, and at the end the waiter put the bill in front of me. All those ruddy apostles, they just sat there looking away, or chatting to each other, or drumming their fingers on the table and whistling. And Peter was already in a bad mood, too, because I’d told him that he would deny me thrice before the cock crew, and he said I’d got him all wrong. Besides, he said all huffily that there was no such word as “thrice”, and that the past of “crow” was perfectly regular, “crowed”. Matthew said he had had a birthday party the night before, and had no dosh left. Mark said he had had a wedding party the night before, and had no dosh left. Luke said he had had an anniversary party the week before, and had only a few coins left. John said he had had a farewell party the night before, and had very little dosh left. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were like that – they always said more or less the same thing, with only the odd difference. Thomas, of course, doubted he had any money in his wallet, and it was the same story with the whole lot of them. Finally they passed it on down to Judas, sitting at the end, because he always kept a little apart from the rest, did Judas. From where I sat I could see him staring at the bill aghast, muttering: “Thirty pieces of silver! Thirty! Where on earth am I going to get thirty pieces of silver from?”

Well, I suppose I should have seen that coming, a table with a gang of Jews around it, if I’d been hoping for anyone to shell out some shekels. Still, Judas agreed to pay, and went off somewhere to get the money. He came back after a while, a little sheepish and shame-faced, I thought, paid the man, and even came up and kissed me on the cheek later, something he’d never done before. Jesus wept.

I did, really. I was so touched by this I remember thinking, “He’s not such a bad sort, old Judas. Looks like the evening’s not ruined after all …”



 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Lolz Jan 31

the President who made America late again, lmao

I give it until lunch.


 

Jennifer Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:01
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Crying with laughter Jan 31

Great work, Mervyn! It's difficult to type with one's eyes full of tears.

 

Nikolaki  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:01
French to English
Cliffhanger Jan 31

Can't wait for the next Jesus wavy, to find out what happened next…

Oh, and gratz on landing the White House job, LT. $1.2m a year doesn't go far these days, but you gotta start somewhere.


 

Ben Gaia  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 18:01
French to English
ROTFL May 27

Your talents are wasted here! Thanks for cheering up this desolate website!icon_smile.gif

 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Fernanda Rocha[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

The Little Translator and the dark corridors of power

Advanced search






CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »
WordFinder Unlimited
For clarity and excellence

WordFinder is the leading dictionary service that gives you the words you want anywhere, anytime. Access 260+ dictionaries from the world's leading dictionary publishers in virtually any device. Find the right word anywhere, anytime - online or offline.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search