“Bow before me, joo,” said Haman, barely above a whisper, “show some respect to your Prime Minister.”
Mordechai, ignoring the line of people who’d already bowed as Haman had walked down the corridor of the Royal Palace, and caring neither for those waiting their turn ahead, replied matter-of-factly, “I’m good, thanks.”
“You’re… good ? Is that so ? What, just because you saved the King’s life you think you’re better than everyone else ? You think you get special treatment now ?” said Haman.
“Eh ? Listen, you might be able to pull this stunt with those other derpy sheep, but I’m not your fucking pawn. I told you ‘no’ last time, so why the fuck would my answer be any different now ?” responded Mordechai, cooly.
“I don’t think you realise what you’re doing here,” said Haman, starting to become irritated as those in cue behind Mordechai began taking notice of they delay, and thus their conversation.
“I realise precisely what I’m doing. And I suggest you tread lightly, pal, because while you might have the King’s ear, you don’t control his heart,” said Mordechai, his spine as long and as adroit as ever. “Besides, I don’t bow to my own slaves.”
“Hey, I don’t know wtf you’re on about,” said Haman, trying to shush his opponent before a scene ensued, “short of Ahashveroshi himself, perched there as he is atop King Solomon’s throne, the throne of your shitty people’s shittier king, no man alive today can refuse to bow before me. So… bow!”
“Listen up, Haman, that “shitty King” was a greater man that you or Ahashverosh will ever be. You might be rich, rich beyond my wildest dreams, but you’re as blind as an old woman and as stupid as a child. You think you can buy satisfaction and you think I owe you something, but on both counts you’re dead wrong. There’s only one above me and only to he do I bow. So take that precious little idol around your neck and choke on it, because there’s no fucking way I’m bowing down to you,”ii said Mordechai, indignantly.
“You will do as I command, joo, or I’ll have your head and those of every last one of your tribe. Don’t test me,” said Haman.
“This is how fucking pathetic you are. This is how deaf, dumb, and blind you are. If you were truly powerful, instead of a victim of the trappings of power and a giant asshole, you wouldn’t even need to ask me to bow down at your feet, I’d beg you to let me. Instead, here you are, practically grovelling at my feet. Again.”
“This is the last time I’m going to ask you nicely, joo. Bow! Now!!” said Haman, his face now visibly red with anger.
“I was hoping you were a better, smarter man than this, but since you seem intent on playing children’s games, it’s children’s games we shall play,” said Morchechai, crossing his right ankle over his standing leg to remove his right sandal.
“Hey, wtf are you doing ? Keep your shoes on! Don’t even think about bringing up that food ration thing. That was a long time ago… and I was under duress! That shit doesn’t count!” Haman pleaded, the tables turned for neither the first nor the last time between these two.
Mordechai quietly pulled off his right sandal, revealing to those down the line from him, those yet to bow before Prime Minister of the Achaemenian Empire, the contract signed thereupon. There, scratched into the well worn leather sole, read the words:
“I, Haman the Agagite, have sold myself to Mordechai as his slave in consideration of bread.”iii
“You piece of shit…” muttered Haman. Embarrassed beyond compare, he ripped himself from the conversation and stormed off down the hall towards his chambers, blinded by a berserker rage and swearing to have his revenge on Mordechai and his people. As Haman exited the hall, he felt his wounds torn open by the trailing words of the contract being read aloud for all to hear.
“I, Haman the Agagite… have sold myself….”
___ ___ ___
- Ahashverosh (Hebrew: אחשורוש, Greek: Ξέρξης) is also known as Xerxes I, is famous for his ultimate military defeat at the hands of the Greeks, despite success at the famous Battle of Themopylae against Leonidas and 299 other Spartans.↩
- And you wonder why the jooz are known as ‘the stiff-necked people’ ?↩
- It’s said that, while on an emissary’s trip across the desert towards Persia, Mordechai and Haman each brought just enough, just barely enough, provisions for their journey. Haman, being greedy and short-sighted, ate his rations too quickly and soon became very hungry.
Mordechai, who had the foresight to eat just as much as he needed, soon had a beggar for a traveling companion. At first, Mordechai refused Haman’s pleas, but eventually caved to his requests for food on the condition that Haman agree to become Mordechai’s slave. Without pen and paper upon which to draft contract, Haman scrawled the following pledge on the sole of Mordechai’s shoe: “I, Haman the Agagite, have sold myself to Mordechai as his slave in consideration of bread.”↩