Manger Manager’s Brag

Manger scene in Inwood Hill Park on Payson Str...

Manger scene in Inwood Hill Park on Payson Street for filming of Law & Order SVU (Photo credit: promaine)

Manger Manager’s Brag

Luke 2:7: “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

In your day and time they would call me a sanitation engineer. I go by the title “Manger Manager.” What you are about to hear is a strange but true recollection.

Don’t mind me. I’d forget my manners if it weren’t form my mother’s upbringin’. I’m Sam. Sam the Manger Manager.

What I do is clean stalls. That’s it. I run a muscle powered fork lift. Think what you will about my line of work. It sure makes the greenhouse folks happy when I show up with a load of organic fertilizer.

The incident I recall happened a long time ago. You see, I take pride in my work. When I am cleaning stalls I approach my work like an archaeologist digging through the strata of the centuries. Learned that in some book, I did. In fact, I like to think of myself as an archaeologist in training. You get the idea.

People drop stuff. You would be surprised at the good stuff I have found over the years in stalls where camels were stabled. So, on this particular day as I was cleaning the Bethlehem manger I kept an eye peeled for any treasures. ‘bout the time I got into the second strata I ran into a streak of gold flakes.

I am not too proud to go diving for the good stuff. No sir. But these were just gold flakes I was forking over. So, I kept on truckin’. Thrust, squish, lift, pile. On and on it went ‘til I ran through the layer of gold dust. Not a nugget to be found.
Pretty soon I came on the strangest packages. In your day and time I suppose they would be like security bags for the bank’s night-teller box. Had them fancy locks on the silk bags. They were empty, but I could tell what had been inside. One had some of that gold dust, but the gold was a missin’. Another was smelling to high heaven like it had some sort of perfumed ointment. They were empty sure ‘nuf. So, I just kept a digging.

When I say I can fork through the layers in a stable you gotta’ believe me. Just below them pretty bags I found a layer of diapers. Diapers don’t you know ‘nd dirty ones at that. Well I said that was the right place for them dirty diapers. Ashes to ashes, and diapers to dung; if you get my meaning.

Well sir, all that gold dust and diapers got me to wonderin’. So, I started asking questions. You wouldn’t believe the tales I was told.
For one thing, I was told that there was a pregnant girl in this here manger claiming to be a virgin. Had her baby right here in this manger, this very manger. Believe that if you want, I say.

‘nother thing they says. They says this child was called Jesus. That’s right. Called him Jesus.

Don’t know ‘bout you, but I’ve heard some pretty powerful things ‘bout that Jesus. Some say he preaches real good. Others say he heals the sick and cleans the lepers. I even heard he raised the dead. Don’t that beat all. I guess that this Jesus would be as good a one as any to say he came from heaven.

I’m getting ahead of myself I know, but I want to be sure you get my point. Me, I’m just a plain old manger manager, and you Mister and Miss high-and-mighty can look down your snout at me any time. Yes, you can. But here’s something I don’t know any of you can say for yourself.

Me, little old me. It was me that got to clean up after Jesus. Beat that if you can.


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