Monday, March 21, 2005

Pharyngula: The Musical (Part Nine of Several)

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ACT TWO, SCENE FIVE

HIS HOLINESS: Very well. Has the accused anything to say in his own defence, before the jury shall convict him?

PZ MYERS (beetling his Brows and tugging at his Padlock): Mm-mm-mm mm!

HIS HOLINESS: No? In that case--

PZ MYERS: MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

HIS HOLINESS: Ah. I see. Remove the padlock.

The Violent Court Official unlocks PZ, who rises, rubbing the Sensation back into his Lips.

PZ MYERS: I've never been accused of excessive eloquence, but I do have prepared, here, a short statement:

He extracts a crumpled Paper from his pocket, and begins to Read, in a Stiff and Stilted Fashion.

A Scientist, sconced in his lab,
Up to his eyeballs in gore,
Has taken his first halting stab
At quashing diseases galore.

His scalpel does not desecrate
Tissue or gristle or bone,
Except that it might obviate
The need for one agonized groan.

MR. ISCARIOT (aside): Oh, furious pangs of remorse!
How can I ever atone?
For want of an A in one course
Iscariot cast the first stone!

PZ MYERS: A Science Professor at work,
Teaching his Schleiden and Schwann
Hopes only that, out of the murk,
New theorems might be born.

He does not preach tumult or war,
Or agitate bumptious protest;
I'd like to bring this to the fore:
Professors exist to profess.

MR. ISCARIOT (aside): His barks echo up the wrong tree,
If it's forbearance he seeks!
If only he'd enter a plea,
He might be out within weeks!

Oh, pitiless, poignant regret!
This is a trial without hope!
He's tangling himself in their net.
(Perhaps I can help him elope.)

PZ MYERS: A Student, enrolled in my class,
Reads about Darwin, it's true.
In order to earn a pass,
He masters his Punnet squares, too.

He finds--

HIS HOLINESS: Enough of this blasphemy!

PZ MYERS: He finds that life's answers are not--

HIS HOLINESS raps his Gavel repeatedly.

HIS HOLINESS: Order! Order in the court!

PZ MYERS: --found in some mouldering book!

The Violent Court Official wrestles PZ Myers from the Stand by Force, Silencing his Protests without Trouble.

MR. ISCARIOT (covering his Eyes): I'm frozen! I'm glued to the spot!
Yet, I dare not sneak a look.

CERTAIN SHOCKED CHURCHGOERS: A Churchgoer, down on his knees,
Baring his soul to his God,
Asks only forgiveness, and peace;
Not that the weak be downtrod!

PZ MYERS: Augh!

HIS HOLINESS: Order! Order!

His Gavel snaps in two, Head from Handle. Gradually, the Court becomes quiet. The Orchestra strikes up a Tense and Foreboding Theme.

HIS HOLINESS: We will now hear the verdict. Gentlemen of the Jury, how do you find?

JUROR A: In the matter of the Church of Divine Creation versus Professor PZ Myers of the University of Minnesota, we, the Jury, find the defendant--

JUROR B:: Guilty.

JURORS C-L, IN TURN: Guilty.

JUROR A: Guilty. By unanimous vote, we find the defendant guilty--

HIS HOLINESS: --and sentence him to hang by the neck till he is dead.

The Orchestra abruptly stops playing. In the ensuing Dead Silence, PZ Myers struggles free of his Captors, and Leaps upon the Podium.

PZ MYERS: A Scientist, sconced in his lab,
Up to his eyeballs in gore,
Has taken his first halting stab
At quashing diseases galore.

MR. ISCARIOT: Oh, furious pangs of remorse!
How can I ever atone?
For want of an A in one course
Iscariot cast the first stone!

HIS HOLINESS: What ludicrous antics are these?
What furor, what empty refrain!
I'll see that man down on his knees,
Begging for mercy in vain.

PZ Myers is dragged from the Podium by various Officials of the Court, and led Offstage. The Churchgoers begin to file out, as well, led by His Holiness and the Jury. The Narrator enters, looking Disheveled.

POMPOUS NARRATOR: Oh, horror! Oh, travesty! What is this? Our esteemed P.Z. Myers, sentenced to death? What a shock! What a farce! What a conclusion to Act Two! Do be sure and present yourself, post-intermission, for the conclusion to our thrilling tale of murder, intrigue, and...fish.
Part 10

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