The Catering Service on the Mount

Robert Morella

32 AD, Somewhere in Northern Israel

Dusty and hot, Sol McSolomon thought to himself, no wonder his restaurant was always so empty. It was a slow and hot afternoon at Sol’s Restaurant as usual. The heat of northern Israel was not his friend. Although he owned the restaurant, he was also the chef, the waiter, and the one who swept the floor.  He leaned on his broom and let out a sigh. Despite being close to the Sea of Galilee, the restaurant was simply too dusty and hot. 

Suddenly the phone rang. Sol sprang from his seat and answered on the first ring.

“Sol’s catering, Sol speaking. How can I brighten your day?” he said.

“Sol, it’s Jesus, I hope I caught you at a good time,” He said.

“For you Jesus, it’s always a good time. Remember you cured my blindness. I was blind as a…what do you call those things?” he said.

“Bats,” Jesus said.

“Bats, I was blind as a freaking bat and you fixed it, so I owe you big time,” he said.

“Don’t mention it,” said Jesus, “I’m glad to help out when I can.”

There was a long pause, then Jesus cleared his throat.

 “Um, Sol, the reason I called is that we’ve got a huge freaking problem,”  He continued, “we got the bread and fish you sent earlier—those were great by the way—but we have a huge problem.”

“Jesus, what kind of problem?” he said, “was the food okay?”

“Well here’s the deal—we made a mistake—maybe we printed too many flyers for the event. As it turns out we have a lot more people than we expected. Can you do me a solid and send over more of your most excellent bread and fish?” He said.

“Sure Jesus, anything for a good customer. What do you need?” he said.

“We need a LOT,” Jesus said. 

“No problem,” Sol said, "how many portions?”

“Five thousand and twelve,” He said. 

There was a long silence on the phone. 

“Jesus, is this one of those prank calls they put on the radio? I mean, Jesus Christ, we do get a lot of those!” he said.

“No, I’m serious bro, it’s no prank—my dad taught me better than to do something like that,” He said.

“Okay, give me a minute to add up what its gonna cost,” he said.

“Um Sol, I was kinda hoping you would comp this food. Trust me this would be great publicity. I’ve got a sweet book deal and…”

Interrupting, “Comp? As in FREE?” he said, his voice rising, "Jesus H. Christ, you want five thousand freaking portions of fish and bread for FREE? I don’t run a charity here! I don't give a rat’s ass about your friggin book deal! Call me back when you want to pay!” he said.

The phone line went dead. 

“Hello, Sol? Hello?” He said, but was met with silence. 

Jesus wept. 

He put down the phone and felt dejected. There was only one other catering company in the region and he hoped he would have better luck with them. Jesus picked up the phone and dialed the number.

Robert Morella is an IT guru from Atlanta, Georgia and also a part-time college professor.