I like to ride my bicycle to Starbucks.
When weather permits I sit on the patio and write in the sunshine.
A pesky crow I call Edgar usually arrives to beg (or steal).
That's all you need to know before we begin.
Location Exterior : The patio of Starbucks
Time: 11 am
Lou : Media / News analyst, religious fundamentalist
Terry: Crow magnet and 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
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. They need to provide fly swatters 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 on to 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 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 accidents?
Terry: (Relates two bloodcurdling 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: Actually, I have performed actual exorcisms on people!
Terry: Of course you have.
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: (Knowing 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.
(And now we begin)
Terry: How big are Demons?
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: What does that actually mean?
The word Spirit--it’s a conceptual label rather than an actual thing, right?
If I say the word “Chair” you know what I mean but only vaguely. A REAL chair is specific, has
color, size, shape, design. I'm not asking a vague conceptual question. I'm asking about reality.
Lou: Well. Um. There are spirits. God is a Spirit. They are real but. . .
Terry: If something is real--as in reality--rather than imaginary--it exist with some 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 Volkswagen?
Lou: (Lost) Uh. Well.
Terry: “The difference between Science and Religion is the difference of thousands of years of human 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: Forty-thousand Christian denominations tap into that same source and -at the same time- DISAGREE each with the other.
That, my friend, is not only chaos - it is a contradiction.
LOGIC is the art of non-contradictory communication.
No Truth self-contradicts.
Lou: God is in charge. I let Him worry about that.
BACK TO MY QUESTION: how big did you say a Demon is?
Lou: (Trying to figure out where he’s going) Oh, I was saying: demons are Spirits and um---(lost in thought). . .
Terry: Demons are Spirits without any size who can fit inside a human-- making it necessary to extract them by a ritual of exorcism? Is that what you are saying?
Lou: Yes. I have performed exorcisms.
(Terry is temporarily stunned at his good fortune)
Terry: Single occupancy or multiple occupancy?
Lou: (Wheels turning) I. Um. What?
Terry: Never mind. It’s 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.
(A brief moment of regrouping)
Terry: Did you ever hear a little story about a cowpoke known throughout the Badlands as the most accurate pistol shooter in all the land?
Lou: I’m all ears.
Terry: Dead Eye Dick, that’s him. He spent all day practicing target shooting.
At the end of the day, folks would come out of hiding.
“What’s he shooting at?”
Then - astonished -The Townsfolk saw targets--very tiny chalk circles barely larger than the bullet hole--hundreds of them and NO MISSES!
That’s how Dead Eye Dick achieved his legendary status.
Lou: That’s pretty good shooting. So what?
Terry: Don’t get ahead of the story.
One day the town Blacksmith sneaks over to watch Dead Eye shooting at the barn.
Suddenly he smacks himself on the side of the head.
In town, that evening, he tells all the men in the Saloon what he saw.
“We’ve been wrong all this time!” The Blacksmith shouts.
“Why is that, Smithy?”
“He shoots a hole in the barn FIRST and draws the circle Afterward.”
(At this, Terry pauses and stares at Lou the Exorcist and waits…)
Lou: (Thinking. Thinking.) Oh. OH, hahaha, that’s good. That’s good.
(Pause ... and then ...)
Terry: You, my friend, are Dead Eye Dick.
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 its my turn to miss your answer.
Terry: I accept the evidence of Science to the exclusion of the opinions of Genesis.
Lou: Terry, 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! Now that is Science.
Lou: Wuh-wuh-wait a minute--no it doesn’t? No, it isn't.
Terry: 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: You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; 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!