Sunday, March 27, 2005

Pharyngula: The Musical (Conclusion)

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Nota Bene: To begin with, we intended to write only one conclusion to our Most Entertaining and Respectable Musical Production, in which PZ Myers escaped his terrible fate, and the Church of Divine Creation was cast forever into Ignominy and Disrepute. However, by reader request, we hereby present you with two endings: one comic; one tragic.

ACT THREE, SCENE FOUR

At this point, all the Players freeze in place upon the Stage, save for the Narrator, who steps forward with Grave and Serious Intent.

POMPOUS NARRATOR: --it's in your hands entirely, dear Audience! What say you? Does our dear Mr. Myers not impress you? Does his passion not inspire you, yea, to greatness? Were you not moved to tears by his dying words? Would you not like to see him rescued, and the Church of Divine Creation flung into disrepute? Dear friends, by your cheers and applause, which among you would like to see our Professor spared?

He pauses to allow for any forthcoming Applause.

And now, by applause most improper, are there any vile crawlers amongst you who would prefer to see P.Z. put to death, and this great nation plunged into a thousand-year Age of Benightenment?

He pauses to allow for any forthcoming Neanderthal Hooting Applause. From this point forth, there are two possible Conclusions which might be Performed, depending upon the decision of the Audience.

CONCLUSION A: IN WHICH PZ MYERS IS RESCUED BY MEANS MOST IMPROBABLE


POMPOUS NARRATOR: Ah, I knew my faith in you was not misplaced! Congratulations on your impeccable judgment and civilization! And now, without further ado, I present the conclusion of tonight's performance of Les Myersables, or The Crucible Tongs!

Exit the Narrator, at Long Last. In his place, enter Mr. Iscariot Unconvincingly Disguised as a Priest. The main component of said Disguise seems to be an Irritating Nasal Voice, and yet Everyone is Fooled.

MR. ISCARIOT: Buona sera, signori miei, from il sacro suol Romano! Son l'umile Fra' Bertolio, qui venuto per chiamarlo--

HIS HOLINESS (Interrupting): Momento, momento; no hablo esperanto!

MR. ISCARIOT: Che?

HIS HOLINESS: No...espanol? Italiano? No!

MR. ISCARIOT: Ah, no!

HIS HOLINESS: Yes!

MR. ISCARIOT: Siiiiiiii....

HIS HOLINESS: And?

MR. ISCARIOT: Una parola....

HIS HOLINESS: Yes?

MR. ISCARIOT: Una preghiera....

HIS HOLINESS: Well?

MR. ISCARIOT: Ma breve....

HIS HOLINESS: Ma, bravo! What is this? Get on with it, would you?

Mr. Iscariot, as he speaks, has been Insinuating himself between PZ and the Executioner, and is now shielding the Former with his Own Body.

MR. ISCARIOT: Giovanni Paolo, Excellenza
E Sua Divina Onnipotenza
On his t'rone firmamentale
Bid you halt this bacchanale!

HIS HOLINESS: Who?

MR. ISCARIOT: Il Papa.

HIS HOLINESS: What?

MR. ISCARIOT: Ah, ferma!

HIS HOLINESS: But--

MR. ISCARIOT: Mercy, mercy, deh, salvarlo!
Execution--ah, non farlo!
Fra' Bertolio begs forbearance;
For this Roman interference!

HIS HOLINESS: But we're--

MR. ISCARIOT: Ah, udirmi!

HIS HOLINESS (roaring with Fury): We're not Roman Catholic!

His Holiness attempts to get Around Mr. Iscariot, and pull the Trapdoor Mechanism himself, but Mr. Iscariot throws himself upon the Ground, seizing His Holiness about the knees and clinging on for Dear Life.

MR. ISCARIOT: Ah, pietade!

HIS HOLINESS: Let go of me, you ridiculous little man!

MR. ISCARIOT: Una parola ancora!

Offstage, an Ominous Rumbling can be heard; the chatter of Angry Voices, and Many Pounding Footsteps, drawing ever nearer.

HIS HOLINESS (imitating Mr. Iscariot): Una parooolaaaaa! The hell with your "parola"!

MR. ISCARIOT: Oh cielo, pietà!

His Holiness kicks Mr. Iscariot hard, Dislodging him, and releases the Trapdoor. Mr. Iscariot, struggling to his feet, seizes the gasping Professor, and holds him aloft with great Difficulty, thereby preventing him from choking to Death. His Holiness begins to Loosen Iscariot's Grip.

ANGRY AMERICAN PUBLIC, OFFSTAGE: (We can remember the scent of September,
of schoolbooks, erasers, and gum,
Biology teachers with curious features
lecturing us on the thumb.)

HIS HOLINESS: What's that?

ANGRY AMERICAN PUBLIC, DRAWING NEARER: (Who can remember the scent of September,
that leafishly redolent zing?
The jubilant quiver of birds by the river,
puffing themselves up to sing?)

MR. ISCARIOT (abandoning the Nasal Voice): I knew it! The live broadcast!

PZ MYERS: What is it?

MR. ISCARIOT: It's your public, sir! They saw you on TV, and--well, look!

He pulls PZ to Safety. The Churchgoing Crowd parts once again, this time admitting an Enormous Crowd, bearing PZ Support Placards, and wearing Mortarboards upon their Heads. His Holiness, the Executioner, and the Church Officials begin to back away in terror. The Students and the Churchgoing Crowd join with the Angry American Public.

ALL: A seagull commotion; the tang of the ocean,
the taste of the sea in your mouth,
A mixture of fishes and salt-spray delicious,
And remnants of birds flown south?

His Holiness and his Minions flee in terror, Leaping from the Stage in their Frenzy. They are chased into the Audience, then Clean Out of the Theatre. PZ is borne off in triumph, upon the Shoulders of the Crowd.

The flash of a salmon, the taste of an almond,
the myriad marvels of life?
Who hasn't wondered just where the bear lumbers,
and why swans take only one wife;

Why serpents are heelless, and deserts are eel-less,
and some folks have two extra toes;
why bats roost together, in huddles of leather,
while sloths hang in lonely repose?

The purpose of science lies not in defiance
Of all that is noble and good;
We live to discover, to dig and uncover,
revealing a world understood.

FIN


- or -

CONCLUSION B: IN WHICH PZ MYERS IS NOT RESCUED, AND THE NATION DESCENDS INTO A THOUSAND-YEAR AGE OF BENIGHTENMENT


POMPOUS NARRATOR: Really? Truly? Cheer now, to change your mind.

He pauses, allowing for a Merciful Change of Heart.

No? Very well. On your head be it. Without further ado, the end of both Les Myersables or The Crucible Tongs, and of civilization as we know it.

Exit the Narrator. In his place, enter an Actual Emissary of the Roman Catholic Church, Late as Usual

LATE EMISSARY (reading from an Official-Looking Scroll): Fra' Benvolio, et cetera, et cetera, qui venuto per--ah, yes; here it is:

Messaggio breve from il Papa;
On vacation in Caracas:
If you have this uccisione,
It's not with his benedizione.

HIS HOLINESS: And?

LATE EMISSARY: E poi...?

HIS HOLINESS: Yes?

LATE EMISSARY (studying his Scroll): Attendi....

He persuses his scroll Intently, Muttering to himself.

LATE EMISSARY: No, that's all.

HIS HOLINESS: All right, then. If we have no further ob-ject-zione....

Several seconds of Dead Silence ensue. His Holiness gives the sign, and the Executioner releases the Trapdoor. The crowd Gasps. PZ kicks and writhes briefly at the end of the Rope, then is Still. Enter Mr. Iscariot and various Members of the Public, too late. They recapitulate PZ's final address in a Sorrowful Minor Key.

MR. ISCARIOT: Remember, remember the scent of September;
how swiftly you faded away!
The fragrance of pages perfumed by the ages,
consigned to a lost yesterday.

DISAPPOINTED AMERICAN PUBLIC: Ah, we remember the scent of September,
now winter has vanquished us all;
With snow on our lashes, we'll weep o'er the ashes
of a happy and colourful fall.

They cut down PZ's Motionless Corpse from the Gallows, and Bear it Away, with much Sadness. His Holiness and his Minions also leave the stage, in Triumphant Procession.

MR. ISCARIOT and DISAPPOINTED PUBLIC: Who knows why the bird flies; who knows why the cell dies;
who knows why our lives are so cruel?
With Mendel and Schwann both forgotten and gone,
What shall we study in school?

Our favourite teachers, supplanted by preachers,
Singing the gospel divine;
Ah, hear us repenting, forever lamenting
a future that's dead on the vine.

We'll always remember that balmy September
When poor PZ taught his last class;
The excerpts he read us; the wisdom he fed us,
We've failed our dear mentor, alas!

FIN...YOU BASTARDS!

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should have posted the sad ending first, and the happy ending second, so as not to leave us with a bad taste in our mouths.

That's how I read it, anyway.

11:38 PM  
Blogger PZ Myers said...

So...which one is tragic, and which one comic?

7:22 AM  
Blogger PhaWRONGula said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:26 AM  
Blogger PhaWRONGula said...

PZ: Though both may amuse,
the loss of your great wisdom
would be most tragic.

Anonymous: A very good point.
Please feel free to read the two
in reverse order.

7:27 AM  

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