Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Rapture. Ooops.

The time is in the very near future. The place is the Oval Office in the White House. President Bush is meeting with Jerry Falwell, Karl Rove, Pat Robertson and Dick Cheney. They sit around an oval coffee table talking.

FALWELL
…so I ask again, gentlemen. What can we do to kick start the faith-based initiative? It’s floundering.

ROBERTSON
Amen to that. We would love to see some movement on this very important issue, Mr. President.

BUSH
Believe me, fellas, I hear you. Loud and clear. But I gotta tell you quite honestly, whatever mandate I had is quickly slipping away. I’m at…what is it today, Karl?

ROVE
41 percent. You see, gentlemen, it is just not an opportune time to push this issue to the forefront. We’re taking some hits from the enemy and by pursuing this right now, we’ll just be giving them more ammunition.

CHENEY
We’re having a harder and harder time getting our legislation through. It’s time to rally the wagons, not hand out candy bars.

ROBERTSON
I’m not sure what that means, Dick, but it sounded real good.

BUSH
We’re in the middle of some damned hard negotiations right now with a few moderates who’re starting to spook at the poll numbers. We just can’t jeopardize that.

FALWELL
With all due respect, George, we’re talking about God’s work here, not some traffic light in Peoria.

ROVE
Jerry, come on. You didn’t get where you are by ignoring political reality. It’s not off the radar for good, just for a while. Get through a bit of choppy water.

ROBERTSON
You guys got anymore of that single malt? Feeling a little parched.

CHENEY
(stands and goes to a cabinet where he starts pouring drinks) Jerry?

FALWELL
A short one. I gotta record something tonight. Not even sure what.

BUSH
Look, guys, I feel really bad about this, but….

At that moment, a young man bursts into the Oval Office, trembling with excitement.

YOUNG MAN
I’m sorry, Sirs. Very sorry, but you have to hear this. THE RAPTURE IS UNDER WAY.

ROBERTSON
What?

FALWELL
Son, if this is some kind of joke….

YOUNG MAN
It’s no joke, Sir. People are starting to rise up into the sky. As I speak.

CHENEY
The hell you say.

They all get up and go to a window.

BUSH
I don’t see nuthin’.

FALWELL
Oh Lord. There. Over there. A spec rising up into the clouds.

CHENEY
I will be a son-of-a-bitch. I see another one.

ROBERTSON
There. There’s one that’s even closer.

FALWELL
It’s the Rapture. Christ is returning.

BUSH
I still don’t see anything.

ROBERTSON
Lord of Lords. Jesus is coming. Jesus is coming.

CHENEY.
Now hold on. Let’s talk to some people first and get a bead on this thing.

An elderly black man enters the room with an ice bucket.

BM
Mr. President. The ice you requested.

BUSH
(looking the other way) Fine. Fine. Just set it on the—

The black man’s body slowly starts to rise into the air. Cheney, Rove, Robertson and Falwell watch as it disappears through the ceiling.

ROVE
Oh God….

ROBERTSON
Praise the Lord.

BUSH
(still looking out the window) What? Did you see another one? What is it?

FALWELL
It’s the second coming of our savior, Jesus Christ.

BUSH
(turning around) Where? I wanna see. The President should be there when Christ arrives.

ROVE
I should be making some preparations. Some calls to the press.

BUSH
(turning back to the window. Excitedly)
I see one. I see one. Look. I see a body going up into the air. It’s incredible. Oh, Jesus, there’s another one.

ROBERTSON
(falling to his knees) Oh Lord, your prophecies are fulfilled. We knew you were coming. We knew it.

FALWELL
Amen. Amen, amen, amen.

CHENEY
Is anybody….wondering why none of us is floating up?

FALWELL
(laughing) Oh Dick. Always the pragmatist. It’s an ongoing process. I suspect they start with a fringe group of believers and work their way up to the truly worthy. Pat?

ROBERTSON
(standing) Absolutely. You always save the best for last. Always.

BUSH
Right. Like the punch line to a joke.

ROBERTSON
Not exactly what I had in mind, but….

FALWELL
Soon, very soon, we’ll be in the company of our beloved Jesus Christ.

ROBERTSON
It should just be a matter of moments, I’m guessing.

FALWELL
Let’s pray. Silently. And wait patiently for our ascension to God’s kingdom.

There is a long silent period as they all bow their heads in prayer. After about ten minutes, Rove lifts his head and looks around.

ROVE
Everyone’s still earthbound.

ROBERTSON
It’s a world of five billion people. It’s going to take some time to move up the food chain.

FALWELL
Well, we’re only talking about Christians, Pat, not…the rest of them.

ROBERTSON
True. True.

BUSH
I’m not seeing anymore bodies floatin’.

ROVE
(looking intently out the window) There’s gotta be more. Right?

FALWELL
Of course there must be more. We’re still here.

Waiting turns into toe tapping, humming, loosening of ties. Soon, the room begins to darken.

BUSH
Clouds. Dark clouds are rolling in. What does that mean?

ROBERTSON
Probably nothing.

FALWELL
Perhaps we will be introduced to the heavenly body with claps of thunder.

CHENEY
Perhaps our asses are grass. Perhaps we ain’t going nowhere.

ROBERTSON
Preposterous.

FALWELL
Totally out of the question.

Again a long, painful silence. Cheney goes to the bar and pours himself a drink

CHENEY
Anyone join me?

ROVE
(slumping) Sure. A double.

ROBERTSON
Oh ye of little faith—

BUSH
Shut up, Pat. Make mine a triple.

FALWELL
The Lord would not abandon his most devoted servants. No.

ROBERTSON
(sheepishly) We’re not on the list, Jerry.

FALWELL
Nonsense.

ROBERTSON
(walking toward the bar) Give me the bottle.

FALWELL
I will not forsake you. My Lord.

ROVE
You know, this could turn to our advantage,

BUSH
What?

ROVE
Think about it. Okay, the truly good and righteous people are gone. Hell, they’re the ones who didn’t like us in the first place. What’s left are the…salt of the earth types, beer guzzlers, swindlers, cheats, liars…our people.

CHENEY
Good point, Karl.

BUSH
They are the ones we went after anyway. The “one quart low” types. Now…that’s all there is. It’s brilliant.

ROBERTSON
I…I can start a new church based on greed and lust. A theme park…..

FALWELL
(falling to his knees)
No, no, no. I can’t be sent to hell.

BUSH
Hey, that’s negative thinking. You know how I hate negative thinking.

FALWELL
(slowly standing, eyes full of tears) Yes Sir.

BUSH
Now come over here and get blasted with the rest of us. We got some strategizing to do.

Falwell joins the group, and they all toast and drink as the skies darken.

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Alvin Miller said...

My inaugural address at the Great White Throne Judgment of the Dead, after I have raptured out billions!

At: http://www.angelfire.com/crazy/spaceman/


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