Of all the weird celebrity cameos in the Bible, the one that freaks me out the most is that creepy Persian king from the movie 300. That’s right: the bald dude with the banana hammock and Dennis Rodman-esque body piercings is in the Old Testament. And no, he’s not in one of those bush league Catholic chapters. I’m talking about the real Bible.
From the book of Esther, we learn that King Xerxes used to call himself King Ahasuerus (pronounced “haha serious”). When our story begins, King X was feeling kinda lonely on account of him having recently told his wife, Vashti, to screw off. He did that because she wouldn’t let him parade her around in front of his buddies, which was pretty much the only thing queens were good for in those days.
Recognizing that he was too much man to stay single for more than a couple days, King X told one of his eunuchs (ask me about this later) to round up as many virgins as he could get his hands on and Xerxes would pick the hottest one to be his new squeeze.
So the eunuch set up this thing called Iranian Idol where a buncha hot chicks moved into this mansion and spent the whole year grooming, and tanning, and bikini mud wrestling until Xerxes could decide which one of them he wanted to marry. He didn’t know anything about these girls, but he had always been more of a butt man so he ended up going with the one who looked like Kim Kardashian.
The Iranian Idol version of Kim Kardashian was named Esther and, despite her ample caboose, was actually the opposite of Kim Kardashian in that she was not a monstrous whore with a taste for black dudes. She was a real sweetheart who wanted to do nothing but be a good Jewish girl and make her uncle Mordecai proud. This worked out great because Ole Uncle Mordecai had recently gotten himself into a bit of trouble with Xerxes’ right hand man – a bad dude named Haman.
What happened was: King Xerxes had developed a pretty serious man-crush on Vice President Haman and he decided one day to make it a law that everyone had to bow down to Haman whenever he walked by. Only problem was: Uncle Mordecai didn’t bend his knee to anyone not named God or Eric Clapton so he just stood there and gave Haman the stink eye whenever he walked by.
Needless to say this pissed Haman off something fierce. He decided to kill Mordecai but he didn’t stop there. He decided every other Jew in the kingdom needed to die as well. For most people, this would probably seem like overkill, but Haman was that kind of cat. Go big or go home, right?
So Haman went up to Xerxes and was like, “Yo, I think we should kill all the Jews.” And Xerxes was like, “Whoa! Easy on the genocidal rage there, Adolf.” And Haman was like, “I’ll pay you $10 million if you let me do it.” And Xerxes was like, “Cool, here’s my royal ring. Go nuts.”
Mordecai heard about this plot and – having seen Schindler’s List – he knew exactly how it was going to end. He called up his girl Esther and told her, “Hey, your husband’s boyfriend, Haman, is going to kill you, me, and all our friends. You should probably ask Xerxes to call him off.”
Esther heard this and started balling her eyes out. She knew she should say something to Xerxes, but he almost never came out of his man cave. Women weren’t allowed in man caves back then unless they were invited, and they were almost never invited unless the man wanted to play Twister. She told this to Mordecai, and he started quoting Bill Pullman’s speech from the end of Independence Day. When he got to the part about, “Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from annihilation!” she said, “Alright, fine! I’ll do it.”
She downed, like, six pomegranate margaritas and headed for the man cave. She poked her head in and saw Xerxes in there playing Halo 3 on his Xerxes-Box. When he saw her, he immediately paused the game and jumped up to give her some love. Esther was so pumped about not getting hit with a pool cue that she forget what she was supposed to ask him. So she said, “I had something to ask you but I can’t remember now. Why don’t you bring your friend, Haman over to my side of the palace for dinner tomorrow night and I’ll ask you then?” Thinking this was probably code for “you’re gonna get lucky tomorrow night”, Xerxes was all for it.
The next night Haman and Xerxes headed over to feast on the female side of the palace. After they finished the weird, goat-based entrees, and listened to a bunch of Sitar music, and smoked a bunch of hashish, Xerxes finally got around to asking Esther, “Hey, baby doll, didn’t you have something you wanted to ask me? I’ll give you anything you want, up to half my kingdom – as long as it’s the Pakistani half.”
And Esther said, “No, no, no, nothing that fancy. I’d just love it if me and everyone I’ve ever known didn’t get murdered next week.”
Even with the herb making everything hilarious, King Xerxes could tell she wasn’t joking. “Who and what army think they’re gonna lay a finger on my Desert Rose?!” (The King was a big Sting fan.) Esther pointed at Haman and said, “Your creepy man-friend, that’s who!” Haman about choked on the pita crumbs he’d been picking out of his beard and started sputtering like he’d just been called out for not washing his hands after using the bathroom.
Xerxes, on the other hand, was piiiiissssssseed. He said to Haman, “I want to kill you real bad right now, but I’m baked and I don’t have the energy to move around a bunch.” Then one of the eunuchs (we’ll talk about this later) said, “Haman just built a giant set of gallows in his front yard that he was gonna hang Mordecai on. You could hang him on those.” And Xerxes says, “BINGO! Let’s do that. Just make sure to get my ring back.”
So Haman got served. Mordecai got promoted. Esther got a festival dedicated to her. Xerxes invaded Greece. And no one ever tried to massacre the Jews ever again.