to be made of a pearly substance. An older gentleman in a white smock sits alongside one o

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< Scene: A quiet pastoral setting outside two very large gates that appear to be made of a pearly substance. An older gentleman in a white smock sits alongside one of the columns on a bench made of the same substance. A large gold key hangs ponderously fron his neck almost totaly obscured by the long luxurious beard which hands his chin. The landscape is mostly clouds, with a bit of blue peeking through here and there. An escalator sits in front of the gates with a booth, a small placard hangs from a chain denying entrance to the escalator. Standing next to the bench is a man shaped figure bathed in a nimbus of light. Bubbles seem to come from the head of this figure and Alan Parson's Pyramid album playing "you Can't Take It With You" can be heard. > PETER - sighs, then stands - "My LORD?" GOD - "Not now Peter, I'm busy! Ooooh! A blue tinted one! By Myself, that is a pretty sight. Peter?" PETER - "Yes LORD?" GOD - "Whatever happened to that fellow who use to lead the Heavenly Choir, the one preoccupied with these things?" (GOD waves his hand in the direction of the bubbles.) PETER - "You dismissed him for being unable to count, my LORD." GOD - "Ah yes, now I remember, 'an a onea, an a towa', I could never figure out why he insisted doing it that way. Even after I tried to get that Motzart fellow to explain it all to him. By Myself that fellow was stubborn! Whatever did you reassign him to?" PETER - "He's in Michael's Marching Saints, my LORD." GOD - "A good place for him Peter, a very good place." (GOD and Peter stand discussing other events in the Heavenly Sphere when the escalator begins to move. Peter jumps up and rushes over to it reaching it just as a man looking like Gene Simmons from KISS steps off and bows deeply toward GOD. He nods Peter's direction.) SATAN - "Your Most Reverdship!" (SATAN walks toward GOD, his features transforming into the Prudental Man as he arrives. GOD looks his direction.) GOD - "SATAN! You old vile angel you! How the devil are you?" SATAN - wincing - "I see your still the master at bad puns, GOD." GOD - "It was bad wasn't it? Sit down, sit down! Peter! Bring a chair for SATAN and one for yourself! It's been a long time since we've chatted, not since Chernyobal. So, Prince of Darkness, how goes the war?" SATAN - "Pretty well GOD, pretty well. Up seven percent since last year and the catch promises to reap a bonus harvest this year. Mostly actors and war veterans, but I'm sure it will pick up. Which is partly why I came to see YOU. There's a bit of trouble down below that I want to clear up." GOD - "Trouble? In the realm of Darkness? Who is it this time?" SATAN - "Well GOD, it's this Oral Roberts fellow." GOD - "Roberts? I don't seem to recall....." PETER - setting up two lawn chairs for him and SATAN. GOD continues to blow bubbles. Peter clears his throat and GOd and SATAN look at him.- "Oral Roberts an evangelist down on earth, LORD. He's claiming that YOU have condemned him to death unless he raises 4.2 million dollars to help continue his ministery in YOUR name." SATAN - "The fellow also claims that you've already given him a reprieve of a year, but at the end of that time.....erkkkkkt!" - SATAN draws his finger in a slashing motion across his neck - GOD - "Hmmm, you say he's claiming I talked with him?" SATAN - "Not just talked, GOD, he claims that claims YOU talk with him on a regular basis. He's saying that in order to continue his ministery to clean up America and make it safe for the *real* Christians, he's talked to YOU and the deal is 4.2 mil or it's goodbye Oral, hello worm food!" GOD - "What a strange little man! Peter, did I ever talk with this man before? Send him a Candygram, flowers, or anything like that?" PETER - "No LORD, not that YOU'VE mentioned to me." GOD - "I see. The man is an evangelist?" SATAN - "Even worse, he's a television evangelist. Runs a whole bloody network preaching the Good News to people." GOD - "Doesn't sound like a troublemaker. Did he mention why I'D like to remove him from his mortal existence? He didn't want his dead wife back, did he? I remember that last fellow, Lat...." PETER - "Lot, LORD." GOD - "Yes, that was the fellow. Had to litter the landscape with salt because he didn't listen. Wasn't anything like that, eh?" SATAN - "No, not from what my sources told me. No, he just up and claimed YOU told him he needed to raise the money or he'd be removed." GOD - "Hmmm, how strange! Why would I want him to raise all this money? I'M not going on a long vacation, am I?" PETER - "No LORD." GOD - "Well then, seems as though Mr. Roberts has developed a case of onimparanoia, fear of GOD striking him dead!" -GOD chuckles, and SATAN smiles. Only Peter remains impassive- GOD - "So SATAN, what seems to be the problem here? There's a loon loose in the cuboard, but nothing really serious. I certainly don't intend to kill anyone, especially an evangelist who preaches by using TV. Peter, isn't there a commandment I gave that grovler covering this, that Muses or Meses fellow?" PETER - "Moses, FATHER, and yes there is a commandment against it." GOD - "Ah yes, Moses. I knew I covered that base with someone. Peter you're a marvel!" PETER - "I live to serve you, O LORD." GOD - "There is the end to that. No killing, no dead Roberts." SATAN - "A simple proceedure GOD, but it still leaves us in a dilemma. YOU are aware that your credibility has slipped in recent years? Especially in America? The country that claims YOU favor them?" GOD - "Yes SATAN, I'm well aware that I'M not in the top ten. But to kill an innocent man.....I still don't see the problem." SATAN - "For YOUR sake GOD, it's as plain as the nose on YOUR face! If don't kill him, Roberts will continue to claim special heavenly dispensation from YOUR wrath, however if you do kill him, then YOU'LL be considered to be cruel and heartless. Either way YOU lose." GOD - sighing - "It was so much easier in the old days, a plauge of locusts and *wham*, instant obedience. Now it's much too complicated, takes all the fun out of it. Maybe Jupiter would take this one, for old times sake." PETER - "Zeus is a bit overzealous sometime LORD. Remember the Flood....." GOD - "Ah yes, all those animals, Noah, damn shame that. Lots of hard work down the tubes all because some adolecent Rain Maker decided to overstep the bounds of authority." SATAN - "I sympathize, LORD, but this Roberts fellow needs to be given a well deserved lesson, don't you think? I mean his crimes are pretty well known." GOD - "Such as? SATAN - "Well, there's the whole idea about speaking to YOU and having YOU put in the position of "Chief Executioner"." GOD - "Trivial matter SATAN. It does no lasting harm." SATAN - "Oh? What about those Inquisition fellows?" GOD - "The problems of allowing man a free will SATAN. They do the strangest things in MY name, but I don't necessarily give it MY seal of approval." SATAN - "Still, it's bad PR GOD, real bad. Oral has been trying to convince others that you intend to kill him if the money isn't raised. Then there's the nature of where the money comes from." GOD - "Still, that's no reason to kill the man. Bilking old folks out of their money is hardly a capital crime. I thought I covered this in the Book? Peter?" PETER - "Yes LORD, you did." GOD - "There. His reward awaits him upon his death. Whenever that may be. Far be it for ME to interfere with the course of what I'VE already set up." SATAN - "But there's the matter of his claiming that YOU are the central villain in this whole purpose. And there's talk by the agnostics and atheists that if he does die, there might be proof of YOUR existance. Damnit GOD! what's there left for me to do if you get credit for everything?" GOD - "Hold on to your hooves Satan, and stop prancing all over the tile, your leaving scuff marks. In the first place, I don't care a bit what the agnostics and atheists believe in. I could have settled their hash eons ago. In the second place, I doubt that even if anyone believes that I'D waste My valuable time reducing some twit into some primeveal pile of goo, that it's an execution a.k.a Al Capone style. Third, remember Chernyobal? I doubt that you've been forsaken as the leader in world atrocities. By MYSELF, I'D even be willing to bet that with enough of your PR people working on the problem, they could turn this whole thing around and make it look like you did it." - GOD returns to blowing bubbles - SATAN - "Well, as long as you don't intend on killing him, how are you going to settle this issue?" GOD - "I'VE got a year SATAN, doubtless I think of something. Meanwhile, why don't you go and cripple some unborn children. It always brightens your day when you're up to no good." SATAN - "A good idea, thanks. Poker Friday?" GOD - "Why yes, that would be fun. Say about seven-thirty?" -SATAN nods and vanishes in a cloud of smoke- PETER - "Excuse me LORD, but why?" GOD - "Why what, Peter? Why leave MY reputation in a sling?" PETER - "Well LORD, it does seem peculiar, allowing this Roberts fellow to set YOU up this way. Especially since with but a gesture....." GOD - "Ah Peter, you silly! Of course I could take care of the problem like that, but just think of the consequences! I'D be up to my ears in converts, the prayer requests alone would swamp the staff, there would be panic in the streets in no time. No, I think I'VE given man more than enough help in other ways that he should be able to figure things out for himself. If he can't.....well there's not much more that I'M willing to do." PETER - "But GOD! I mean, if YOU can't do anything, who can?" GOD - "Replace can't with won't Peter. It puts the whole thing in perspective, doesn't it?" PETER - "If you say so LORD." GOD - "Of course I do. Now, let's wander down to the park. I was talking to Voltaire about the "higher order"....." -God and Peter stride away into the clouds- Happy Trails, Glenn glenn@src.dec.com Proud member, HASA

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