Ernest Hemingway's "Today is Friday," published in 1926 by The As Stable Publications, is a one-act play/story in much the same format as his "The Killers." Raised a Roman Catholic, Hemingway was taught the importance of health and physical fitness in Christian men, and his play reflects this "muscular Christianity." Hemingway was aware, too, that a Psalm foretold that at his death, Jesus would be the song of the drunkards, which is the subject of "Today Is Friday."
At eleven o'clock at night, three Roman soldiers are still drinking after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. When the first soldier suggests they try the red wine that a Hebrew wine-seller has in an earthenware pitcher, the second soldier agrees, but the third complains of a stomach-ache; nevertheless, he drinks some, only to complain about the wine. The wine-seller merely replies that if the third soldier will drink it, the wine will "fix" him up, and the other soldiers encourage him to drink. As he drinks the cup down, the soldier makes a face, exclaiming "Jesus Christ." To this, the second soldier says, "That false alarm!" and the first soldier answers, "Oh, I don't know. He was pretty good in there today."
To this remark, the second soldier counters that all crucifixion victims want to come down from the cross, adding observations on the brutal process of crucifixion. The two men continue their discussion with the first soldier reiterating his phrase, "He was pretty good in there today" as though speaking of a prizefighter. The third agrees that he "was all right."
Then, the first soldier asks, "You see his girl?" and the second says that he knew her before "he did," then asks what happened to his "gang." The first replies that just the women stuck by Christ. The first soldier adds, "You see me slip the old spear into him?" Hearing this, the second advises him that he will get into trouble by helping. Finally, the wine-seller tells the men that he must close, but the first two object. However, the third wants to go, saying he "feels like hell tonight." As they depart, the second soldier makes a pejorative remark about the Hebrew wine-makes and tells the third he has been doing his job too long, "That's all."