You may have heard that police in Philadelphia arrested a character who goes by the name of “Philly Jesus”. It seems He was being belligerent in an Apple store. If there’s one place I could forgive someone for being belligerent, it would be in a store where a polo shirt wearing hipster has the job title “genius”.
There I go, siding with the Son of God again! The cops need to cut him some slack – do you realize how hard it is to throw snowballs at Santa Claus when your hands have holes in them?!
That’s right, we’re talking Philly, where some poor guy dressed like Kris Kringle was infamously pelted with snowballs on National TV during an Iggles game. Actually, the game occured in 1968, so it’s possible the game was not on national TV, and could have very well been pre-empted by a Mummers parade. For the Philly-challenged among you, Mummers parades are an annual event wherein guys dress like the hypothetical off-spring of Vegas showgirls and killer clowns, only not as classy. They then parade down the street with banjos and saxaphones playing ditties like “Oh Dem Golden Slippers”. Picture Mardi Gras with all the public urination, but no beads-for-boobs action.
I’m amazed the national media hasn’t swooped in to sensationalize the handcuffing of Jesus himself – clearly the news hounds are too busy waiting for Donald Trump to say something outrageous again. There are those who believe that the late former mayor of Toronto Rob Ford is not truly gone, but merely reincarnated as a spray-tanned buffoon with hair the color of a traffic cone.
I’m getting off track here. This is about Philadelphia, where scrapple is what’s for breakfast and the most cherished of cheesesteaks are made wit a substance called “Cheez Whiz” (Hats off to the marketing people at Kraft for managing to sell a food product with the name “whiz” in it). Spell-checking haters may have noticed the presence of the word “wit” in the previous sentence. While it may have looked like a typo, it was in fact a crafty homage to authentic cheesesteak ordering parlance. A cheesesteak “wit” will include fried onions, while “wit-out” will result in an onion-free version. Ordering your cheesesteak wit asiago or gruyere cheese may result in a degree of chef spittle in your sandwich, and extra Cheez Whiz. In the event the guy behind the counter is named Charles, his name is pronounced “Chollie”.
I occasionally have to defend Philadelphia from the barbs of friends and family who live elsewhere and feel obligated to trash the city of brotherly love. They bring up the Santa incident, which happened nearly 50 years ago. It’s only a matter of time before the incarceration of Philly Jesus takes it’s rightful place at the left hand of Snowball Santa.
The simple truth is that Philadelphians can recognize a fraud from as even the cheapest seats at Franklin Field. They knew the skinny kid in the ratty red suit wasn’t the real Santa, just as they know that the Lord and Savior wouldn’t be caught (rising from the) dead in an Apple Store. They figured out that Chip Kelly was a snake oil salesman by the time the Iggles lost their first game under his leadership. Many of those same fans had bought Super Bowl tickets shortly after Coach Chip’s Iggles had won their first game, so declaring him a fraud would have seemed to be all the more painful.
Luckily for Philadelphians, a short memory is a side effect of ingesting large amounts of Cheez Whiz and scrapple. Not surprisingly, ingesting scrapple is easier if the eater has already forgotten the ingredients.