Crows and Those on Patios
Location Exterior : The patio of Starbucks
Time: 11 am
Lou : Media / News analyst, religious fundamentalist
Terry: Gadfly, writer /Crow apologist, big mouth know-it-all
Edgar: Spawn of Satan
Our scene begins with two men at separate tables working at their laptops.
Lou is a man of about 60. He recently moved from New York to Texas to start his own Videography business.
He is shooing flies away from his laptop screen with a disgusted expression.
A few feet away, Terry begins waving his arms and scowling.
Terry: Thanks. They all came over to me now!
Lou: Oh, Sorry. Starbucks needs to provide flyswatters for people who sit out here.
Terry: You’re obviously not a Republican Conservative!
Lou: Um what? Actually--I am. Why do you say that?
Terry: I’m being facetious. Conservatives preach personal responsibility rather than getting others to provide for them.
Lou: Ahhh, I see. I see. That’s funny. Are you a Republican?
Terry: You don’t want to know. Trust me.
Lou: What--why not?
Terry: It’s like asking Jack Nicholson to tell the truth on the witness stand.
Lou: I’m sorry--I don’t understand.
Terry: What did Nicholson answer when Tom Cruise asked him to tell the truth?
Lou: (Blank expression)
Terry: (Quoting Colonel Jessup in A Few Good Men) “You want the truth? You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!
Lou: (Face brightening. He ‘gets it’) Okaaay. Okaaay. Why though? I’m serious. Are you Liberal, then?
Terry: There are two things civilized people don’t discuss. One is Politics and the other is --”
Lou: (Jumping in) Religion! Haha, okay sorry. I understand. It’s just that I produce many religious videos and I’m a Website owner who provides commentary on news events with a biblical and Christian viewpoint.
Terry: I’m sorry to hear that. That means it’s impossible for us to have a civilized conversation.
Lou: You’re a pretty funny guy. What do you do?
Terry: I write. Among the things I write are analyses debunking religious fundamentalism.
Lou: Sure. Sure. No really. Do you write books or what?
Terry: Books, blog essays, CD liner notes, Short stories, poems, bathroom graffiti.
Lou: I don’t know when to take you seriously.
Terry: Welcome to my ex-wives’ world!
From offstage a crow flaps down onto the patio and begins foraging near the two characters. Terry opens his backpack and removes a bag of corn chips. He proceeds to toss them at the Edgar the crow with deadly accuracy.
Lou: You two know each other?
Terry: Let’s just say there is an interpersonal dynamic at play here. If I don’t feed him, there are consequences.
Lou: Sounds like the Mafia!
Terry: (Looking furtively left and right, raising his index finger to his lips) Sh-h-h-h. OMERTA!
Lou: Haha. What kind of consequences?
Terry: (Relates two blood-curdling tales of Crow payback.)
Lou: Are you being serious?
Terry: Keyser Soze with feathers--that’s what we’re dealing with here.
Lou: (Clueless) I’m sorry?
Terry: (Quoting Verbal Kint in the Usual Suspects) The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.
Lou: I have performed actual exorcisms on people!
Terry: Of course.
Lou: You can hear another person’s voice coming out of the possessed. And when you finally liberate them, their voice changes and a great relief comes over their body.
Terry: (Knows it’s time to go off the cliff) Is the voice coming from the person’s vocal chords or someplace else in the room?
Lou: It’s the person’s vocal chords--but a foreign voice. Very frightening unless the power of Jesus Christ is there to protect you.
Terry: (Sighing) I have a question about Demons.
Lou: Sure, go ahead.
Terry: How big are they? I mean--I’m guessing they must be fairly tiny for a bunch of them to fit inside a human. I’m thinking of the one in the book of Luke called LEGION.
Lou: Beg your pardon?
Terry: A Roman Legion was from three thousand to five thousand plus soldiers. That’s a lot of Demons to cram into a person!
Lou: Uh--well. . . Nobody ever asked that before. You do realize they are Spirits, right?
Terry: If I say the word “Chair” you know what I mean--but--you can’t point to “chair” you can only point to a particular instance of a chair. Right?
Lou: Well. Um. There are spirits. God is a Spirit. They are real but. . .
Terry: If something is real it exist with magnitude, number, dimension, size--or else--why give it a name identity and number? I’m just asking what the point in possessing a person is--getting inside them? Why cram inside like clowns in a Volkswagon?
Lou: (Lost) Uh. Well.
Terry: The difference between Science and Religion is the difference of thousands of years of Stages in human knowledge development. Right?
1. Ignorance and Superstitions
2. Religious myths
4. Scientific method
5. Technology and modernity
Demons are a part of mankind’s first efforts to understand phenomena without Science or the scientific method of testing and measuring. We now know a thing cannot actually exist if it is not measurable, quantifiable, and testable.
Lou: You must believe in Evolution then, rather than the Bible.
Terry: Belief is what you have when there are no facts or evidence available.
Lou: Well, no--I wouldn’t say that. Where’d you get that idea?
Terry: I used to read the Dictionary a lot. People have opinions they think are correct and if there are no facts or evidence--they are said to BELIEVE those opinions.
Lou: I’m not talking about human opinions. I’m talking about God’s--in the Bible.
Terry: Okay. I just have difficulty in the use of language when it is used chaotically.
Lou: Who’s doing that?
Terry: The Bible. Religious people. Words are important to me because I’m a writer.
Lou: The Bible isn’t chaotic at all. The Holy Spirit helps us to understand. Without Holy Spirit, it does seem chaotic.
Terry: There are about forty thousand Christian denominations praying for the Holy Spirit to teach them a non-chaotic truth. Which of those forty-thousand actually has that non-chaotic truth. I mean--I’m asking because they do not agree with each other about the specifics.
Lou: God is in charge. He is teaching them through his Spirit.
Terry: You know much more about this than I do. To my untutored mind, all those denominations disagreeing as they do gives the appearance of contradiction. But, how big did you say a Demon is?
Lou: (Trying to figure out where he’s going) I--uh--well. Oh, I was saying: demons are Spirits and um---(lost in thought). . .
Terry: Demons are Spirits and you’ve chosen to believe they are actual persons without any size who can fit inside a human--but it is necessary to extract them from doing so by a ritual of exorcism.
Lou: Yes. I have performed exorcisms.
Terry: Single occupancy or multiple occupancies?
Lou: (Wheels turning) I. Guess. You. Well.
Terry: Nevermind. It’s a belief and non-testable in any scientific sense.
Lou: Well--you can measure the effects. You can prove Spirits by their effects.
Terry: That’s like me saying to a Comedian--I’m not laughing, so you aren’t a Comedian.
Lou: (Suddenly chuckling) That is funny. You are a funny guy.
Terry: You see my point, then?
Lou: Well, let me think about it.
Terry: Is a Comedian funny if nobody laughs? It is a Philosophical question--not an existential one. The so-called ‘Effects” of Spirits is post-Hoc and not propter-Hoc.
Lou: You’ve lost me. Post what?
Terry: When I studied Debate in High School we were given a list of Logical Fallacies to learn. I remember the one called Post hoc ergo propter hoc .
It doesn’t mean the AFTER was because of the thing BEFORE. I was describing your argument in terms of that Logical Fallacy.
Lou: Whew! You are hard work to talk to!
Terry: Colonel Jessup would agree with you.
Lou: Um, haha, okay--okay.
Terry: Let me tell you a little story about a cowpoke who was known throughout the Badlands as the most accurate shooter in all the land. Okay?
Lou: I’m all ears.
Terry: This fellow was called DeadEye Dick. He spent all day practicing shooting. At the end of the day, folks would come out of hiding. They saw targets--very tiny chalk circles barely larger than the bullet hole--hundreds of them and NO MISSES!
That’s how DeadEye Dick got his legendary status.
Lou: That’s pretty good shooting. But, so what?
Terry: I’m getting to that. One day the town Blacksmith sneaks over to watch DeadEye shooting at the barn. Suddenly he smacks himself on the side of the head and exclaims “Awww Noooooo.” In town, that evening, he tells all the men in the Saloon what he saw.
“We’ve been wrong all this time!”
“Why is that, Smithy?”
“He shoots a hole in the barn FIRST and draws the circle AFTERward.”
Lou: (Thinking. Thinking.) Oh. OH, hahaha, that’s good. That’s good.
Terry: If you assume a causal relationship when there isn’t one--your error is the result of being too literal about Cause and Effect and making connections which aren’t there.
Edgar Crow appears again. This time, closer to Lou.
Lou: I guess I better not feed him or I’ll incur a debt and end up like you.
Terry: If only. If only.
Lou: So, do you believe those Crow stories or not?
Terry: I believe what I’ve seen. The other stuff is opinion, scuttlebutt, and hearsay.
Lou: Do you believe in Evolution?
Terry: We are going in a circle, you realize?
Lou: I guess I missed your answer.
Terry: I accept the evidence of Science to the exclusion of the opinions of Genesis.
Lou: The Bible is an infallible source of truth.
Terry: Did God create Eve by taking Adam’s rib from his side or is that a legend?
Terry: Then it was really Adam’s actual rib?
Lou: That’s what the Bible says. Yes. It is a fact.
Terry: That would mean Eve was created by cloning and was, in fact, a duplicate Clone of Adam--and therefore, a man!
Lou: Wuh-wuh-wait a minute--no it doesn’t?
Terry: That’s okay. If the story is just a made up story you can’t expect ancient writers and storytellers to know about DNA. But--if it is the infallible word of God--you’ve got a problem!
Lou: Eve was a Woman--not a man. That’s proof she wasn’t a Clone.
Terry: Which came first, the rib or the woman?
Lou: The rib--but what--?
Terry: Adam was a male. His rib contained his chromosomes and DNA. If they didn’t, Adam was a woman too.
Lou: I--I, that’s. . .God could miraculously change Adam’s DNA into female DNA.
Terry: The Bible is literally correct?
Lou: Infallibly correct. Yes.
Terry: How many animals does the Bible say Noah placed on the Ark?
Lou: Two of each kind.
Terry: It also says Seven pairs of each clean animal and one pair of each unclean animal. Which statement is factually true?
Lou: Oh. Well. That’s--it’s a matter of perspective.
Terry: If you’re renting out a one bedroom apartment and 14 people show up instead of two--is it a matter of perspective or room capacity?
Lou: Hahaha. You’re pretty funny. I enjoy talking to you. I have to go now--I’ve got an appointment. Here’s my business card. I’m sure I’ll see you around.
Terry: My pleasure. Oh--don’t forget your crow!