The three days passed pretty quickly. Esther lost a couple of pounds, put on a beautiful gown that fit better now, took a deep breath and walked down to the Man Cave. She had pretty good timing. The Bears had just killed the Rams in overtime and the King was in a good mood. He saw her stand in the doorway looking like a magazine cover and suddenly remembered he had a wife. He extended his golden scepter to her which meant, “Hey, Baby, what’s up?” and she accepted his invitation to come in the room and talk.
“What’s going on in that pretty little head of yours?” he asked.
Esther took another deep breath.
“Well, I’ve been craving minestrone soup, Caesar salad, rib eye steak with baked potatoes, lasagna, jalapeno hummus with pita bread, and Snickerdoodles. So the chef fixed up all that stuff and it’s waiting down in the cafeteria for us. And I thought you could even invite your best bud, Haman, to join us for dinner, too.”
She waited with baited breath to see if he’d take the, uh, bait.
“Yum!” her husband exclaimed.
So the three of them sat around the table and feasted. Over his fourth glass of wine, King Xerxes looked at his beautiful wife and was inspired to give her a little gift.
“Esther,” he said, “I feel inspired to give you a little gift. But I’ve run out of ideas. Why don’t you tell me what you’d like me to get you and it’s as good as yours. I’d even be willing to turn half of my kingdom over to you, even though this isn’t a community property state.”
Esther kept her eye on the prize and took another deep breath.
“Darling, you’re so sweet!” she gushed. “A girl needs time to think, with an offer like that. Why don’t you and our dear friend, Haman here, plan to have dinner with me again tomorrow night and by then I’m sure I will have thought of something.”
It was a win-win situation. Esther was still alive, the King was fat and happy, and Haman couldn’t wait to brag to his wife and friends about how he and the royal couple were thick as thieves. He chuckled to himself all the way out the door, nodding to all the poor nobles who weren’t as popular as him, when suddenly he made eye contact with Mordecai. Who would not bow. It completely threw off his groove. But he kept thinking to himself, “December 13th, December 13th,” and went home to take some Tums.
Of course, he was big man on the campus and all his neighbors dropped by to rub shoulders with him and listen to him brag about his good fortune.
“I’m practically a member of the family, you know,” he boasted. “I’m the only one they invited over for supper!”
“We know,” muttered his wife.
“And, I’m invited back again tomorrow night for Tacos and Margaritas!” he gushed.
“Amazing,” his wife said, and rolled her eyes.
“Yes, but I can hardly even enjoy my good fortune. That guy, Mordecai, still acts like I’m a nobody whenever I see him. He’s ruining all my fun.”
Well, of course, Haman knew his audience. And they didn’t let him down.
“What?! Who does he think he is?!” his wife and friends demanded. “He can’t treat you like that—you’re the King’s best friend! Tomorrow, just see if the big guy will do you a favor and turn Mordecai into a shish kabob. It’s a small thing to ask. Then go on to dinner with your friends and have a good time.”
Haman rubbed his hands together in glee. What a great idea! Then he told the castle carpenters to set up a pole with Mordecai’s name on it. He knew everything was going to turn out fine.