Saturday, August 13, 2005

The End is Nigh


God sits at a cluttered desk in a swivel chair. He wears loose fitting robes and a necktie hangs loosely around his throat. A large bank of TV monitors, showing various regions of the world flicker behind him. A plate on his desk reads, JHWH – C.E.O. Afterlife LTD.
The intercom on his desk buzzes


GOD: Yes Mary?

MARY: Lady Di to see you ,sir.

GOD : Good send her in will you.

The door opens and Lady Di Spencer, dressed in sweat pants and shirt, breezes into the room and flops down in a vacant chair

DI: Hi JH! Just dropped by for a chat.

GOD: [looks over to the drink’s cabinet], Good, I’ll get the kettle on.

DI: No thanks, can’t stay long. I’m on official business, Chair of the Sufferers Union.

GOD: Damnation!!!

DI: That’s what I want to talk to you about. The conditions down there are appalling. All that Brimstone lying around, it’s against C.O.S.H.H. regulations and the latrine facilities are non-existent. Human Resources are having a fit.

GOD: I didn’t know they were down there. No-one tells me anything since the business went corporate.

DI: They aren’t down there, silly. They want to see some improvements in working conditions, that’s all. Oh! The fire regulations state that at least two fire extinguishers and a fire blanket should be available per 100sq feet as well.

Mobile phone rings

S/O: [ electronic ‘oh come all ye faithful’]

GOD: ‘Scuse me a minute, Di

He reaches into his robes and pulls out a flip phone

GOD: Hells bells! How do I answer this contraption?

DI: It’s the button with the green icon.

GOD: That’s technology for you.

he holds the phone, gingerly, away from his ear

GOD: Hello, God here… Ah, it’s you Peter. What is it this time?

He pauses whilst Peter speaks

GOD: Oh Christ, Jehovah’s Witnesses???

Another pause

GOD: No… No… Send ‘em next door to Allah. That should be good for a laugh. He loathes hawkers. Ok, see you at lunch… Oh and Peter? Keep me posted will you?

He folds away the flip –phone, can’t resist the temptation to flip it open again

GOD: [Into the flip phone]. Beam me up, Scotty!!!

He remembers Di

GOD: Ahem, now where were we, ah yes, fire regulations?

DI: Yes, you don’t need me to tell you what will happen if the inspector fails you on fire regs again?

GOD: Another fine?

DI: No, he’ll close the facility, you’ll have to relocate.

GOD: He can’t do that… Where will we put the Lutherians? They can’t go in with the Scientologists, there’d be a bloodbath!!!

DI: He won’t care about that. Holy wars are your department.

GOD: By Thor’s golden hammer, how much is it going to cost? We’re already over budget for this quarter.

DI: Leave it to finance, they have their ways.

GOD: Ah! It was all so much simpler in the old days. A bit of Smiting here, plague of seagulls there, it all got sorted out one way or another.

DI: You have to move with the times JH. People these days want to see some features and benefits or they’ll turn to your competitors. It’s all about PR and Marketing.

GOD: I suppose… I can leave it with you then Di???

DI: Can do. Right I’m off for some colonic irrigation.

GOD: What IS that exactly???



Two Jehovah’s Witnesses, clutching pamphlets, are walking towards a large Golden Gate (two broad, ornate, lattices supported by a pair of arms which hold crossed scimitars). They are approached by two, burly, Saracens who wear Kevlar BPV’s. They are armed with Gold plated AK47s The Saracens stop at a portable barrier which has been erected across the driveway.

SARACEN 1: Security passes, please, gentlemen,

JEHWIT 1: Erm, we want to see the houseowner

SARACEN 1: No-one gets past the barrier without a pass. There’s a terrorist alert.

JEHWIT 2 : Terrorist alert? Here?

SARACEN 1: That’s right we have a coach load of suicide bombers arriving at 1600 hrs. Ossama Full Trashcan’s lot..

JEHWIT 2 : Is that a problem? I mean, surely they wouldn’t bomb Allah?

SARACEN 1: They can’t help it, it’s in the training, as soon as they see a closed gate it’s out with the semtex and faster than a Hassari with a Pashtun girlfriend it’s, wam, bam, salaam mam. Habit of a lifetime… Well, what there was of it.

He throws a cigarette stub to the floor. Stubbing it out with the butt of his AK

JEHWIT 2 : I thought they got welcomed with open arms.

SARACEN 1: Don’t be daft lad… We have Mohamed (pbuh) in here, and the place is full of Sunni Delight. Ossama’s lot go off at the slightest provocation. Ain’t that right Abdullah.

ABDULLAH: Too true, Hassan. It’s the detonators, very sensitive to spoof trade names. Mohamed (pbuh) drinks Sunni D by the gallon. He’s famous for his drinking ‘round these parts is our Mohamed (pbuh)

JEHWIT 1: Do you want to borrow a handkerchief


JEHWIT 1: You sound like you have a cold coming on

SARACEN 1: Are you taking the St Michael?

JEHWIT 2: Certainly not, he’s designing menswear for M&S isn’t he?

SARACEN 1: Right! That’s it… Bugger off the pair of you. Allah isn’t seeing anyone he’s having his hair done.




It’s a fine summer day. The moulting thistledown clings to the weave of your Chino’s as you push forward, through the scrub, towards the stand of trees ahead. As you near the copse you hear the rustling of robes, the squeak of a wheel sorely needing oil. You smell incense.
Several carrion crows rise from the trees, caw-cawing in indignation. Endorsing a sharp noise that disturbs the calm air like a harbinger. PHWAAAP! It recalls the noise made when a good driving wood strikes the tee, fair and true. As it should recall the noise, for that is exactly what you just heard. Follow the ball through the air… No… BE the ball.
You slam through the air. Picking up speed as gravity loses its jealous grip, slides away to mumble in your slipstream. You leave the ground behind as you accelerate. Had you lungs, you would scream them raw with the joy of it. Had you lungs you would gasp for breath as the air fans out around your tight, dimpled, skin, evading the greedy attempt to imprison it within. Exuberant, you thrust blindly upward, like a chance deflowering, into the clear sky.

It won’t be a long flight by any standards. You are already reaching your climax, your apex. You are already failing. Your momentum spent as gravity, victorious after all, reaches out to reclaim it’s own. Reaches out to claw you back to solid ground.

You feel the crosswind now. You dip and swerve, buffeted by the currents that, only a moment ago, you sought to consume. There is a flag down below. You arrow towards it on your descent. Homing in on the dark pock where it meets the fine, green, turf. Rebounding slightly between the pole and the back of the hole, your pristine, doomed, flight comes to its natural end. You nestle safely in the damp sod… PLINK !

Snap back to the stand of trees…

You hear voices on the other side

VOICE 1: Will you stop doing that?

VOICE 2: Doing what?

VOICE 1: That… It’s cheating, we’re on the tenth hole and THAT is your tenth ‘hole in one’

VOICE 2: I’m sorry but you don’t seem to understand. I’m the Almighty. It can’t be any other way for me.

VOICE 1: Pfah!!!

VOICE 2: It’s true, one thing the vanquished find it hard to accept is that perfection has no free will, no choice. It is what it always has been and what it always will be… Perfect.

VOICE 1: Vanquished is it? Just because you threw me out doesn’t mean I can’t do hole in ones, you know. It’s just that I choose not to. Ruins a good round.

VOICE 2: That was my point, it isn’t my kind of game.

VOICE 1: What is?

VOICE 2: Solitaire, maybe patience.

VOICE 1: Ok, let’s talk business, what do you want?

VOICE 2: The Fire Inspector is coming at 4:30 today. We have a consignment of extinguishers and blankets arriving at 4:00. Can you see them distributed as per regulations?

VOICE 1: Can’t your guys do it?

VOICE 2: Tsk, Tsk. Always trying to get your hands on extra souls. No! Your staff can handle it.

VOICE 1: If we must. Anything else?

VOICE 2: No, I must be going. I have some loose ends to attend to.

VOICE 1: You concede the game then?

VOICE 2: No… No, I don’t think so… I already won it.

Soft footfalls retreat into the silence, a moment then…

VOICE 1: Beelzebub?

A wheel squeaks as the caddy shifts position


VOICE 1: Can you see to it that the 4:00 p.m. assignment gets lost in the lake of Sulphur?


VOICE 1: Don’t you see? If we fail another inspection he’ll have to relocate us

BEELZEBUB: Which means?

VOICE 1: We’ll be free!!!