< 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
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
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
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
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
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-
Proud member, HASA