Conversation with an Exorcist
Location Exterior : The patio of Starbucks
Time: 9 am
Lou : Media / News analyst, religious fundamentalist
Terry: Gadfly, writer /Crow apologist, big mouth know-it-all
Edgar the Crow: Spawn of Satan
Our scene begins with two men at separate tables working on 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 a lot. Your refugees have crossed my border.
Lou: Oh, Sorry. Starbucks needs to provide flyswatters for people who sit out here.
Terry: You’re obviously not a Republican Conservative!
Lou: Um Actually--I am. Why you'd say that?
Terry: Conservatives preach personal responsibility and not 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. Why though? I’m serious. Are you a Liberal?
Terry: Two things civilized people don’t discuss are Politics and the other is --”
Lou: (Jumping in) Religion!
Haha, I produce religious videos and I’m a Website owner who provides commentary on political events with a biblical Christian viewpoint.
Terry: I’m sorry to hear that. No civilized discussions are possible with the likes of yer kind.
Lou: You’re a pretty funny guy. What do you do?
Terry: Writer. I write analyses debunking religious & political commentary.
Lou: Sure. Sure. No really. Do you write books or what?
Terry: Books, blog essays, CD liner notes, Short stories, poems, bathroom graffiti, ransom notes...
Lou: I don’t know when to take you seriously.
Terry: The day after March 31st is a good bet.
From offstage, Edgar, a crow flaps down on to the patio and begins foraging near our 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 If I don’t feed him, there are consequences.
Lou: Sounds like the Mafia!
Terry: (Glancing furtively left & right) These are things about which we must not speak.
Lou: Ha! 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: (Pivoting out of context) I have performed actual exorcisms on people!
Terry: Of course you have. I'd have bet money on it. What about Crows?
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: I frequently meet people who talk out of their ass.
Lou: (Ignoring the remark) 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: (Triggered by forces more powerful than personal restraint) Okaaay. I have a question about Demons.
Lou: Sure, go ahead.
Terry: How large are they? About this size of an amoeba?
Lou: Beg your pardon?
Terry: A Roman Legion was from three thousand to five thousand soldiers. That’s a lot of Demons to cram into a person! Like the fella Jesus exorcised in the book of Luke.
Lou: Uh--well. . . Nobody ever asked that before. You do realize they are Spirits, right?
Terry: For something to be real it must have a size.
Lou: Well. Um. There are things called spirits. God is a Spirit. They are real but. . .
Terry: I’m just asking why cram inside a person like clowns in a Volkswagon?
Lou: (Lost) Uh. Well. That's the nature of demons.
Terry: The history of knowledge passed through superstition, religion, philosophy, and mythology before it got to Science.
I'm more of a Post Enlightenment kind of guy. I'd say you're more comfortable Pre-Enlightenment.
Lou: Where’d you get that idea?
Terry: A Dictionary. Opinions without evidence are called FAITH. Science calls for evidence, not wishful thinking.
Lou: I’m not talking about human opinions. I’m talking about in the Bible. God's revealed truth.
Terry: Spirits without a size who cram into human beings by the thousands so Louis can get them to crawl back out again--right?
Lou: Yes. I have performed exorcisms.
Terry: Single occupancy or multiple occupancies?
Lou: (Wheels turning) I uh lost you there?
Terry: Legion in the Book of Acts? 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. If I don't laugh he doesn't exist?
Lou: (Suddenly chuckling) That is funny. You are a funny guy.
Terry: It is a Philosophical question--not an existential one.
Lou: You’ve lost me.
Terry: Logical Fallacy called Post hoc ergo propter hoc.
Trying to prove something by saying, whatever happened BEFORE an event was the CAUSE. I was describing your argument in terms of that Logical Fallacy.
Lou: Whew! You are hard work to talk to!
Terry: Quoting you: "You can PROVE Spirits by their effects."
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 marksman in all the west. Okay?
Lou: I’m all ears.
Terry: DeadEye Dick had the reputation as a fantastic marksman. Why? Reasonable people figured it out by looking at the tiny chalk circles on the side of the Blacksmith's shop where Dick fired his weapon whenever he rode by on horseback. Inside those tiny chalk circles, dead center were Dick's bullets.
Lou: That’s pretty good shooting. But, so what?
Terry: What those people didn't know was that the Blacksmith was the fellow drawing chalk-marks around the bullet holes each time Dick rode by and shot at his wall so he'd have an accurate count when he dragged him before the circuit Judge and sued him for repairs.
Lou: (Thinking. Thinking.) Oh. OH, hahaha, that’s good. That’s good.
Terry: Assuming the result was caused by the thing before or, in this case, the other way around, was logical but dead wrong.
The Crow appears again. This time, closer to Lou.
Lou: I guess I better not feed him or I’ll end up like you.
Terry: If only. If only.
Lou: So, do you believe those Crow stories you tell or not?
Terry: I believe what I’ve seen. The other stuff is opinion and hearsay. Sometimes reasonable stories are wrong and sometimes unreasonable stories are true.
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 factually a Clone of Adam--and therefore, a man!
Lou: No wait a minute--no it doesn’t?
Terry: That’s okay. 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: The Bible is literally correct?
Lou: Infallibly correct. Yes.
Terry: Then it looks like it was Adam and Steve and the "St" got lost in translation.
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: Please perform an exorcism before you leave and TAKE THIS DAMN CROW!
Hilarious! Terry, your stories keep getting better and better. Keep 'em comin'...
The actual conversation with the "Exorcist" took place a year ago and I've not seen the guy again. I did take a look at his business card and watched several of his videos on YouTube. They are about at the same intellectual level as Ken Ham and the Crocoduck:)
Egad, Mr. Johnson. Boswell couldn't have set the scene better.
...Have you thought about doing a dictionary?
This being Fort Worth and the Starbucks being so close to the Seminary, I run into many seminary students. Really, without exaggeration, the personalities are almost always the same. But the exorcist guy was not a Southern evangelical--his personality was vivid. He was incredibly naive and ignorant--but in an intelligent way.
What does that mean? It means he really had mastered the art of apologetics.
Great writing Terry...your cast of characters leaped off the page!
(or I guess that would be screen....)
Do you remember what was said or do you record it and transcribe it later?
Do you remember what was said or do you record it and transcribe it later?
That's an excellent question.
It's like the Bible. The holy spirit miraculously regenerates the details as I go into a trance.
No, but seriously...
I have a pretty darned good memory for conversations like this and write it up immediately afterward. But, is every word exactly correct? I highly doubt it!
Besides, to make it work as a story, I modify how I present the "story" and leave out the boring shit (I hope) and emphasize the dynamics.
If I had to swear how accurate it is I'd say 75% as to who said what and how. The rest i modified to fit your TV screen. :)
You have a talent,..don't bury it!!