Sunday, May 20, 2007

Great Jerry’s Ghost!

[Scene: Pat Robertson's opulent study. Time: the present, late one night]

Paaaaaaaaat! Paaaaaaaaat! Are yooooooooooou thereeee?

What? Hello? Is somebody there? Jesus Christ that's spooky.

Noooooooo. It's not Jeeeeeeeeeesus. It's meeeeeeeeeee, Jerreeeeeeeeee. Jereeeeeee Faaaaaaaaaalwell.

Jerry Falwell? You're, I mean he, is dead!

Some believeeeeeeeeeeeer you are! I'm Faaaaaaaaaaaalwell all right. Look over here!

[Robertson turns to see the ephemeral figure of Jerry Falwell, dressed in a coarse brown robe. He is dirty, sooty even, and disheveled. There is a rope tied around his waist like a belt, and one end of the rope is looped into a hangman's noose around Falwell's neck. There is the smell of brimstone in the air.]

Jesus, Falwell, you look terrible! What do you want with me?

I haaaaaaaaaaaaave cooooooooooome to waaaaaaaaaaarnnnnnnnnn yoooooooooou!

Warn me? Come on; I've read Charles Dickens. Get out of here, you fraud! [With that, Roberson picks up a leaded-crystal paperweight and hurls it at the Falwell figure. It catches him square in the chest but passes right through, striking the wall and shattering.]

Niiiiiiiiice shot. Doooooooooo yoooooooooou believe meeeeeeeeeee nowwwwwwwwwww?

It must be some kind of trick. Or maybe the potato salad I had for a late night snack was bad.

Oooooooooooooh, that potatooooooo saaaaaaaaaalad was naaaaaaaaaaasty, all right, but I'm reeeeeeeeeeal, as reeeeeeeeeeal as any ghost can be.

[a little uncertain now] Okay, but what do you want to warn me about?

I waaaaaaaaaaaant yoooooooooou tooooooooo repennnnnnnnnnnnnnt.

From what? A little gluttony? Compared to you, I'm Adonis, for chrissake!


What so funny?

You're as bliiiiiiiiiiiiind as I was.

God has given me great vision.

Noooooooooo, Pat; you gave you great vision.

I must say your diction is getting better.

Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuu. But don't change the subject. D'you see this rope around my neck? It is the braid of bigotry. I have been weaving it all my life. And now I must wear this coil, this noose, of my own making. It is my eternal punishment. And I have seen the one you have been weaving, Pat, and it is already longer and thicker than mine.



What can I do, Spirit Jerry, to avoid your fate?

Listen up, Pat. In coming days, you will be visited by three ghosts or spirits, or perhaps even persons. I'm not sure who has been lined up for you yet. But listen to them and ye may yet avoid my fate.

And if I don't?


I understand.

I'm not sure that you do, but heed them well. Goodbye, old friend. If you're lucky, we won't meet again. [the ghost vaporizes]

[Robertson sits quietly for a moment, trembling. Then he brightens.]

I gotta tell the housekeeper to get rid of that potato salad. I need a scotch!

[Pat will get his visitors in coming days.]

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