JABB 181 Playlist
was a golden cord that
bound the family together, heart to heart;
literally, a shining cord of golden
light went from each to the other,
and to all the rest, and back again,
so the whole family was bound together
in a nest of shining gold.
And Marley saw what the cord was; and
he saw that he himself was a part
that the circle came from him, too,
and returned, and that all were
~ from Jacob Marley's
by Tom Mula
Hope you enjoy this holiday story. I decided this year to go back
to parodying/ reimagining/ referencing some of my favorite holiday
films and books. We'll see if anyone else can pick them out or if
I just have some fairly obscure tastes. :-) It got a lil
long so I just put it on a web page.
Please stay tuned til after the story, I have a few words I'd like to
Oh and January 6th will mark the 10th anniversary of the original
airdate for "The One that Got Away." In other words, it was the
first time anyone outside the TBAA family got to see (and hence crush
on) Angel Boy! So JABB would like to do something really special
for our January 6th issue. Please email me if you'd like to be
You'll be hearing from us in 2006!!!
It was three days before
Christmas and an assortment of Dyelanders were
bustling around Tess’ kitchen in her newly built home in Dyeland.
They were baking cookies and wrapping presents. But the
supervisor angel’s mind was elsewhere. She was on assignment in a
small church in New York City and in charge of their Christmas
pageant. Her plans had been beautiful. She’d rented real
animals and fine clothing for her three kings (who she made sure knew
to stand in the most accurate of places) and her Angel Girl was going
to make a beautiful Mary. The parishioners filled the
other parts. But now Tess couldn’t believe what her Christmas
pageant had come to. Monica had gotten called away to an
assignment leaving her with out a Mary! In fact, everyone
seemed too busy to fill in. Everyone, that was, save
Kathleen. Now, Tess appreciated that Monica had brought the
former demon back to the love of God. But Kathleen was still
overly fond of rolling her eyes and needling people, Tess
thought. Rough around the edges you might say. But what
could she do?
“Dam… uhh, darn I burnt
another batch of gingerbread!” the newly
recovered angel shouted as if on cue.
Tess shook her head and was
about the say something when Gloria rushed
in, clutching a bundle to her chest, wearing JenniAnn’s fairy costume
last seen that past Halloween, and looking meek.
“Oh, Lord, what’s the girl
gotten herself into now?” Tess said under
her breath, looking heavenward. Then she heard soft crying and
realized Gloria was holding a baby!
“Okay… I know you said not to
wander off the island but Tess…”
JenniAnn walked into the room
then, “Hey Gloria! Oh… umm,
actually that’s my fairy costume not my elf costume. But you’re
welcome to borrow that, just doesn’t seem as festi… Is that a
baby? Awww… baby!”
Tess looked on in dismay as
the two fussed over the little one.
“Where did that child come from?”
“Can I keep him?” Gloria asked
hopefully. “I’ve decided to
call him Claus.” She winked mischievously then unwrapped the
bundle to display a doll.
Tess groaned. “I see
Lady JenniAnn here has introduced you to her
Christmas movie collection.”
“Well, no actually she let me
read the book. The guy that wrote
it was famous for another book which some say is about the
gold standard but… Tess, do we have a Mantle of Immortality we
bestow on a mortal?” Gloria asked excitedly.
Tess looked sternly between
the angel and the giggling woman. “No
we do *not* have a Mantle of Immortality. Now can you two please
help Kathleen over there?”
Just then Jess, Adam, Miriam,
and Andrew trooped in from the yard
having just finished a match of football. They raided the kitchen
for freshly baked cookies and cider and everyone sat down to relax a
bit before the holiday weekend came throwing everyone into a frenzy.
If Tess thought a reformed
demon as the mother of Jesus was troubling,
things were only going to get worse. It was Christmas Eve morning
and the angel was sitting in the apartment she was staying in for the
duration of her assignment. The phone rang. It was the man
the role of the Angel of the Lord to. But he was not bearing good
news at all…
“So, Pete, third wiseman, ya
know?” the man’s voice trailed off.
“Yes…” Tess prodded through
“Well, he threw us all a
pre-pageant party last night. We tried
to call you but you didn’t answer. Probably best for you you
didn’t come because…”
“Well, see, the meat was a
little underdone and…”
“Let me stop you right there,
baby. If you even think you’re
going to tell me that my entire city of Bethlehem has come down with
food poisoning then…”
“Well, last I heard Kathleen
was all ri…”
“Roger? Roger, what’s
going on baby?”
A glum voice. “I feel
Tess sighed, “Get some rest,
baby. All of you should.”
“But the pageant…”
“God will provide.”
As soon as she hung up, Tess
let out a loud “Hrumph!” and even stamped
her feet a bit. Then she heard snickering from the kitchen where
she found Andrew and Adam, the latter nibbling on a fruitcake.
“How can you eat that?” she
Adam shrugged and continued
“I have no Joseph, no Wise Men,
no angels, and a former demon for a
Mary! And here I thought the Lord had finally given me a chance
to do a Christmas pageant *my* way,” Tess complained.
“Aww, c’mon Tess.
There’s gotta be a way to make this work
still,” Andrew encouraged and hugged her.
“I hope so, Angel Boy, I hope
so.” Then after a few more
encouraging words from her Angel Boys and another sideways look
Adam devouring the fruitcake, Tess headed to the church where her
pageant was scheduled to begin in 8 hours.
The angels and Dyelanders
crowded into the church around 6 PM that
Christmas Eve. Andrew and Adam craned their necks for any hint of
the solution Tess had come to. But there was no sign of anything
out of the ordinary until 6:30 when Tess sat down at the piano and the
strains of “Away in the Manger” began.
The motley cast walked down
the aisle and to their places around the
stable at the front of the church. There were three petty
criminals recently out from the local jail standing up for the Wise
Men. Joseph was the local “Scrooge”, a shopkeeper known for
angrily kicking children and teenagers out of his store and marking up
his prices. Even he looked kind. They wondered what Tess
had said or done to bring about such a change. And in glorious
great, majestic wings, suspended above the creche was Gregory.
Another of Monica’s special projects, the reinstated angel beamed with
pride as he
spoke the ancient words to a group of ragtag shepherds. Amid the
congregation’s singing of “Silent Night”, a tiny baby’s cooing could be
heard. All eyes fell on Kathleen, cradling the infant to her as
tears rolled down her face and the candle light shown around
them. Tess glanced away from her keyboard and saw for
herself. She whispered a prayer to the Father, she’d finally
gotten her wish of putting on the Christmas pageant. *Her* way...
even if she’d not recognized it at first.
After Tess’ show, some of the
Dyelanders trooped over to a café
they sometimes frequented when in New York. JenniAnn groaned when
she saw Bennie, a former Dyelander who had deserted JABB and Dyeland
after marrying a wealthy investor and now thought herself too
sophisticated for the group.
“Oh my God, it’s the
Androolers! You still fawning over that
angel?” Bennie laughed derisively. “Get over it, move on with
your lives, ‘Touched by an Angel’, JABB, and Dyeland are dead or dying.”
JenniAnn dramatically lowered
her head and began a dirge. “Dearly
beloved let’s say good bye to our fandom. Here she lies, the
late, great daughter of Mother Martha. And so as we celebrate the
birth in that little town of Bethlehem… Raise that ginger ale
glass,” and she added noticing Tess’ horror at her attempted singing,
“Tess please don’t sass, to la vie ‘Angel’ fan…” She jumped onto
the table as the Dyelanders began chanting “La vie ‘Angel’ fan” and
rhythmically hitting the table for the necessary percussive elements
over and over, until JenniAnn started up the song…
“To words of inspiration,
playing hookey to write JABB, creating web
pages and buckets and making friends.”
Each member took up a verse,
joining her on the table. “To hand-crafted
charm bracelets made in JA’s room, to goofy shoes with tassels, and a
“To glowing revelations,
overwrought angelic-human relations. To
tool belts and jeans and leather jackets, too.”
“To Petey to Lincoln to Masons, Wittenbergs, even Dr. Kate.”
“To droolin’, concerned looks,
rescued turkeys, talkin’ dogs, fightin’
“To pocket watches and crying
cause Andrew’s on the stairs.”
“To decaf mocha lattes and
obsessing over his shorn hairs!”
“To Erin and Tony and Molly
and Billie Holiday!”
“To chatting and IMing and
confusing dear old mom and dad!”
Jarrod stood up then and
announced, “In honor of the alleged death of
the fandom, Jess here will paint an impressionistic, abstract, painting
of a scene from “Children of the Night” (using only ketchup, mustard,
and Tabasco!) while I hum the TBAA theme song.”
Then Liz announced amid
thundering applause and cheers, “Then Andrew
will dance with an umbrella while Adam performs a medley of songs from
‘Fiddler on the Roof!’ Backwards!”
And Gloria proclaimed,
“Followed by myself recounting nine years in
which a group of fantastic actors portrayed we angels on TV
And everyone yelled in unison:
”Ultimate reality, help out, fight
JenniAnn began scream-singing
“Is anyone out there watching? Is
anyone out there swooning? Anyone out there Androoling?
Anyone watching the glowing Angel Boy in thrall? Aren’t we
Then everyone lifted their
voices and shouted “La vie ‘Angel’
fan! VIVA LA VIE ‘ANGEL’ FAN!!”
Then everyone calmly sat down
and ate because they were hungry after so
vigorously proving that the reports of their fandom’s death had been
After the impromptu
performance, JenniAnn went back to Tess’ home in
Dyeland with Monica and Gloria. Suddenly Cliff stormed in.
“Matt… he’s coming back for
Christmas after all! With his
fiancee! Tess, can we borrow your tree?!?!” the frenzied man
Tess readily agreed and the
house was thrown into confusion as everyone
scrambled to gather things up to decorate Cliff and Daisy’s
castle. They all worked quickly so the couple’s son would never
suspect his parents had considered boycotting the holiday and taking a
After hauling a ham, 10 dozen
cookies, and three wreaths to Magician’s Island, JenniAnn snuck off.
Adam and Andrew had went to
the latter’s house to quietly enjoy a
holiday movie after the excitement of Tess’ pageant and the song and
dance in the café. When he heard a knocking at his door,
Andrew left the TV room to answer it.
JenniAnn stood on the porch
holding a CD player and a bunch of poster
“What are you do…” Andrew started
to ask but she put her finger to her
lips and hit a button on the CD player which sent the sounds of a carol
through his house. She then proceeded to draw the cards
from behind her back and began a slideshow of sorts. The cards
(Password- labyrinth, choose
"LJA to Andrew")
View slideshow as
And then she simply walked off
into the snow and went back to Tess’.
Andrew went back into his
house, smiling a bit and shaking his
head. Adam was trying to hide the fact that George Bailey was
making him cry. Stifling a laugh, Andrew handed him a box of
“Thanks,” the other angel of
death mumbled. And they watched Mr.
Bailey run through the streets of Bedford Falls, embrace his wife and
children, and smile beatifically. As the credits rolled they
became aware of a strange sound above them…
“Lulu upstairs?” Adam
“Uh…” Andrew looked around and
then saw his dog poke her head out from
beneath the couch and yawn before curling back up into the cozy
“Reindeer?” Adam’s eyes
twinkled but then his eye brows arched when he
heard a holler.
Andrew bolted up and ran to
the window. “There’s a guy down on
the ground!” The two angels dashed outside. A man in red
and white was moaning.
“Are you okay? Can you
breathe? What’s your name?” Adam
The man sat up but his face
was etched with pain. “Yeah, I think
I may have broken a rib or two, though. Lucky, I guess.
Name’s Scott but most people call me Santa this time of year,” he
grinned despite his discomfort.
“We need to get you to a
hospital. St. Andrew’s is just a mile or
so away. Adam, can you get the car?”
Adam nodded but the man
grabbed his arm. “Not yet, here.”
He withdrew a card and held it out to the two.
“Put on the suit, the reindeer
will know what to do?” Andrew
“Well, see had this little
spill of mine been fatal you’d have just
found the suit. But since I lucked out, you can use the spare in
the sleigh. Please, one of you has to do this. The kids
can’t be disappointed,” the man pleaded.
Andrew looked at Adam, “You
have more facial hair than I do! And
you look older!”
Adam shook his head.
“But I have a tentative at 2 AM and may have
to leave. And every minute counts, my friend. Besides, did
I ever tell you I think red is really your color?” he grinned.
“That’s right, every minute
counts so can one of you please get
moving?!” Santa pressed and both he and Adam stared expectantly at
Monica, Tess, Gloria, and the
Dyelanders gathered around the huge
Christmas tree outside Willowveil for one last carol sing-along before
they all departed to their homes to spend the holidays with family.
“Where’s Andrew?” Jess asked.
“I don’t know, I heard he and
Adam went to go watch a movie but that
was a while ago…” Liz answered and shrugged.
Tess began to lead everyone in
the carols when the sound of sleigh
bells filled the air.
“Ho! Ho! Ho!” a
booming voice echoed all around them.
“Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”
Everyone looked up and could
faintly see a sleigh flying above
them. It grew smaller and smaller until it disappeared out of
Dyeland, going to other realms to spread cheer and generosity.
There was a moment of silent
awe and then…
“I don’t know why but suddenly
I feel like I have a huge crush on
Santa,” JenniAnn confessed.
Andrew. NOW Santa!?” Margherita cried in
dismay but the woman only blushed and returned to the caroling.
Margherita noticed several of the Dyelanders were staring at the ground
and looking a tad guilty as if they shared the sentiment!
Adam had appeared then, safely
getting Scott to the hospital and
calling his wife to explain the situation. He overheard the
conversation and laughed to himself. Only he knew that, on that
night, Andrew and Santa were one and the same!
So I hope you enjoyed that.
All due apologies to the authors of the works that served as
inspiration. Especially Jonathan Larson who I'm sure never
thought his anthem to Bohemia would be taken up by a frenzied "Touched
by an Angel" fan. 0:-) Now for a bit of seriousness...
I chose the opening quote because I love "The Christmas Carol" and its
various incarnations but knew JABB did NOT need another parody of
that! But I figured a quote would be okay. I also chose it
cause this year, with this story, I found myself really focusing on the
ideals of community, friendship, and love. And I just wanted to
say that JABB has meant a lot to me and I feel so blessed to have
gotten to know so many of you. It's just really great to have a
group of people, all touched in some way by the same show, who we can
share our lives with. This has been a really difficult year for
some of you, I know, and you're in my thoughts and prayers. As
are those people who touched our lives and inspired us and may never
have even known it. So Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all
you, your families, and your friends. And to all of those bound
to us by God's "shining cord of golden light" and love, both here and
May you all have a truly blessed 2006!
that Inspired this Issue
(Photo Credits: The photograph used on this page is from "Touched by an
Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon
Water Productions. It is not being used to seek profit.)