Thursday, July 27, 2006

Jesus and the Air Marshal

Last night we went to dinner at Azniv's place over on the east side. Azniv is a good friend from work, and the dinner was to celebrate her birthday and to introduce her fiance', who is finally back in town. He seems like an incredibly nice guy. I am glad to see her with someone decent. She is a great person who deserves to be happy.

The last time I had dinner at Azniv's, I was duty officer (meaning I had to carry around a phone and take all emergency after-hours calls), and I got the call from Washington instructing me to find Jesus.

His parents were worried.

I wasn't surprised to get the call. Jerusalem Syndrome is pretty common. Practically everyone comes here on a mission, most of them super religious. And it isn't a far leap to then decide that you personally have a mission from God. Next step, you are a prophet, a Queen from ancient times reborn, or even God. Mary once got a call about a guy who went to the Western Wall (Wailing Wall), got overcome with religion, took off all his clothes except for his prayer shawl, which he wore on his head, and ran around the city. The cops said that because he was large, and because it was raining, he was "slippery," so they couldn't catch him. So for a few days, we were searching for crazy naked American guy. Naked except for the prayer shawl. Of course, if he is like the guy across the street from me, he becomes invisible when he puts his prayer shawl on his head, so maybe that is why they couldn't find him.

So back to Jesus. Seems he stopped taking his meds, saved his money and hopped a plane to Jerusalem to warn everyone that hell was about to take over earth. Sadly, the people in the Old City didn't believe him. In fact, they mostly mocked him. I found him in a hotel near the Jaffa Gate, sad like those who are failing in their missions from God often are. He was sad because no one was listening to him. I asked him if he would be willing to come into the ACS section on Monday because his parents wanted to help him come home.

The next morning, I get a call from the Air Marshal, a guy who says he is in immediate danger and is requesting emergency sanctuary in the consulate. I ask him to tell me what the problem is. He says he has signed a non-disclosure agreement and that he can not tell me what is wrong. He tells me to tap into the CIA mainframe and I can get the whole story. I said, "Sir, we are separate agencies. I don't work for the CIA." I took his number and told him I would contact ACS and see what we could do. When I called him back, he said, "I assume you spoke with the people at the agency about my case." I said, "Sir, I am helping you because you are an American in need of help. I have not and will not contact the CIA. We are separate agencies."

The Air Marshal (who also left his meds behind...notice a theme here?) came in that night and told us how he was a duel US-Israeli national sent here by his grandfather to join the Israeli Army to make him a man. He said he grandfather thought he was gay, which he assured us over and over and over that he was not (even as he tried to walk the ARSO into the bathroom with him!). The army rejected him, and not because of his sexual orientation, regardless of what it is. Gays serve openly in the IDF. Anyway, he says that Mossad agents follow him around and torture him, and that the last time he was on a plane, they had a Mossad agent sit next to him. As he got off the plane, he screamed "I know who you are, you Mossad b*stard!" And now they are torturing him for blowing the guys cover. I feel for the poor guy he was screaming at, no doubt some poor sap in the wrong seat at the wrong time.

Jesus came in on Monday morning as instructed. My collegue in ACS told me to come see him. I asked which one he was and she said, "oh you'll know." She was right...long hair, slight beard, sad expression. I asked how he was doing and he said not good. He was afraid hell would not let him leave Jerusalem. I told him we would do everything we could to get him out.

Hell turned out to be Ben Gurion Airport, where security succeeded in making Jesus cry before we got him and the Air Marshal on the plane and back to the states. I can imagine what that flight must have been like. I heard later that the Air Marshal turned up in Hermisillo, no doubt to be with his "Mexican concubine" that he told us all about. Apparently he is no longer an "Air Marshal," but wears full body armor 24/7 and has received an "attractive offer" to be an orthodox Greek monk. So I hear they are now calling him the "bulletproof monk."

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