Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Pharyngula: The Musical (Part Seven of Several)

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ACT TWO, SCENE THREE

SCENE: The Same Church as Before (because these Sets are Expensive). Mr. Iscariot is Pacing About in the Nave, clearly labouring under some Mental Distress. Enter the Narrator, with a great red "A" sewn upon his Chest.

POMPOUS NARRATOR: What, this? (Indicating his "A".) No, I have not been unfaithful to my wife! It's A for A-theist, of course. We all have to wear them now, that the righteous might know whether a sheep or a goat stands before them. Maaaaah! (He makes a Truly Disturbing Goatish Noise, of Sonorous Redound and Extraordinary Volume.) And here, we have a curious specimen, neither sheep nor goat--it is Mis-ter Is-ca-ri-ot, lapsed disciple of Science, and traitor to the cause! Three boos for Mr. Iscariot! Hip-hip-habooooooo! Hip-hip--

SPECIALLY PLANTED AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Haboooooo!

POMPOUS NARRATOR: Hip-hip--

S.P.A.M.: Haboooooooo!

Mr. Iscariot hangs his head. The Narrator marches offstage, to the Enthusiastic Booing of the Audience.

MR. ISCARIOT (singing in an Agitated and Excitable Fashion): If I perished, who would mourn me?
If there was a God, he'd scorn me.
Vile and tainted, here I fester,
No-one answers when I pester.
They don't pick up the telephone,
I eat my dinners on my own.
Why, just today, at Evensong,
My zealous singing got the gong!
My pious hymns are reckoned crass
I'm shunned and cast aside, alas!

(He slows down a little, becoming Reflective.)

Things were better in the lab;
the gutted rats upon the slab;
the mating habits of the crab;
why'd I have to go and stab
our teacher in the back?

Maybe I deserved that D;
perhaps it wasn't him, but me,
and higher learning should be free;
why, oh why, could I not see,
that I was out of whack?

NARRATOR (from offstage): Be-CAUSE you are a TWIT!

MR. ISCARIOT: If only I could abjure!
They'll execute Myers for sure!

S. CHURCH OFFICIAL and a CHORUS OF CHURCHGOERS (offstage): (Let these walls resound with praises
Let each echo speak His name.
Blessed is the man who raises
Every fleeting breath the same.)

MR. ISCARIOT (slamming the door to keep out the song): I hate that jingoistic chant!
Is there no way to recant?

CHORUS (still perfectly audible, even through the door): (Hollow vaults, declaim His glory
Magnify our paltry hymn.
Day and night, repeat His story
Praise and homage be to Him.)

MR. ISCARIOT: I never bought into that rot!
'Tis I who ought to be shot.

CHORUS: (Let our hearts' impassioned beating
Set our anthem's fervent pace.
Let our voices' joyous meeting
Dignify this holy place.)

MR. ISCARIOT: I've come to my senses too late!
Ah, what a terrible fate!

CHORUS (Drawing nearer): (Let our praises soar forever,
Borne on wings of fervid praise.
Let our song go on, unsevered,
For a hundred nights and days.)

MR. ISCARIOT: Maybe they'll torture him, first!
My name will forever be cursed.
They're planning to try him tonight;
He'll hang from the spire at first light!

CHORUS: (Let our chant peal forth, unceasing;
Let us praise Him to the skies.
Passion evermore increasing,
Raise a hymn that never dies!)

The Door opens, and the Churchgoers enter in Grand Procession, singing their Terrible Hymn. Mr. Iscariot runs off, screaming, with his hands over his ears. Who can blame him?

MR. ISCARIOT: No! No! No!

CHORUS: Let each man, however lowly,
Join our consecrated choir.
Let him join in descant holy;
Let his ardour never tire.

Part 8

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