Digging up dead relatives that never existed is a little game I play to make my life seem more worthwhile than it really is.
The greatest thing about these non-existent relatives is that they are surrounded by riches and fame and notoriety, yet they somehow manage to avoid or completely miss the spotlight. Which, when it comes to cleaning ancient toilets or fixing lunch for a gangster, isn't that bad an idea.
But, as it usually does, another one of my fake ancestors came to mind last night when I was trying to fall asleep. History gives him the name Noroaster but we refer to him as the sheep boy.
Good ol' Noroaster made his drachmas tending the sheep of richer Bethlehemenians back in the day. He had plenty of responsibility--watching over the cash crop of lambs and mutton back when the innocent animals were used in sacrifices in the temples that riddled the dry desert towns. By day he would watch them gambol in the field. By night, he would snuggle up with some of the fluffier ones and sleep, vigilantly with one eye open waiting for the occasional lion or panther or sheep rustler. Evidently there were plenty of sheep rustlers back in the day.
The sacrifice business was going pretty good there for awhile. If you wanted to appease the Lord God Yahweh, you killed an innocent lamb and waited for Yahweh to respond. Somehow. I'm willing to bet the temple priests ate lots and lots of lambchops, but I digress.
Noroaster's one misclaim to fame was that one night as he was drifting off to sleep, still with one eye open, he noticed a big hubbub over on the next hill. The sky was filled with fuzzy blurs, blaring trumpets and lovely singing in Latin. Being fairly nearsighted, things were blurry, and he had his ears nestled in the woolly coat of a big ol' mama sheep, so he didn't pick up what exactly was being sung.
He noted the annoyingly bright light of this huge star twinkling over head, but rather than investigate, he snuggled back down, pulled a lamb close to his shoulders and went back to sleep.
Reminds me of the famous line from the movie Endless Summer. (Shoulda been here yesterday, friend. Waves were terrific.) You just missed it.