Monday, March 21, 2005

Whoever Smelt the Cinnabon Dealt the Jesus

I, too, have grown tired of writing about holy images in the most unlikely of places (bricks, pans, the death-defying smile of Terry Schiavo), and frankly, the whole thing stinks.

Really, Jesus stinks. Or so claims Bob and Karen Tosterud, a South Dakota couple that make and market candles they say smell like Jesus. I know what you're thinking, "Hey, wait, my Bible didn't come in scratch 'n' sniff, where do these Tosteruds get off making Eau of He Who Walks on Eau?" Luckily they have an actual Bible reference that says what Jesus smells like, and even more fortunately it's not a reference to the period after 40 days in the desert (heck, a long weekend at Joshua Tree was enough to leave Gram Parson's stinking, not that he was the lord or anything).

It seems Psalm 45 is "a Messianic Psalm referring to when Christ returns and his garments will have the scent of myrrh, aloe and cassia," says Karen Tosterud.

Now the myrrh might make sense, for he did die young, and perhaps he still carried around a little square of his childhood blanket and some of that myrrh from the Three Wise Men just never washed out (you just try removing myrrh stains centuries before the invention of dry cleaning) (and don't get wise--water into wine is perhaps trivial as miracle fodder, but household chores don't even make the list).

Aloe is always handy for its healing properties and how it's good for the skin, which must be important when you're busy in the Middle Eastern desert being the messiah. Even in pre-televisual days, you can't go leading a people with bad skin, even if they will turn on you in the end.

But it's the cassia that's most interesting. Not only is it sometimes called "bastard cinammon," and we know how Jesus came for everyone, especially the most rejected, but it is used to treat nausea and flatulence. Rumor has it from some of the apocrypha that despite how he's portrayed as the betrayer and all, Judas was the class clown of the apostles, always playing the "pull my finger" joke. It's even possible that cassia kept him from making enough gas-aya, as it were, and he never forgave Jesus for ruining his fun, the little stinker.

Meanwhile back in South Dakota, you have to take what the Tosteruds says with a whiff of suspicion when the article claims, "The candles never stay on the shelves for long. The Tosteruds say each one that goes out is like a ministry in itself. The candles sell for about $18." How many The Trinity, No. 2 have they sold? 10,000, praise the lord.


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