NARRATOR (spiritual music under). Eternity is above time, a concept that baffles our finite comprehension. Itís difficult for us to imagine no beginnings and no endings, timeless moments, a forever without frontiers. This is because we live on earth, on a planet where forever is an ideal and not a reality. We have a vague inkling, that eternity exists somewhere in a place called paradise manned by a guy called God. But if God made us then who made God? And more importantly why did he make us? These questions have plagued the greatest of minds. Some have been close to understanding the full picture. The truth however is more convoluted than you or I could even begin to imagine.
(George, Orville and Daniel make their grand entrance into paradise. The walls and furniture are white, the men are dressed in white robes. Three angels serve them champagne before bursting into song: "Praise the Lord most holy and supreme. Praise Him, praise Him." (x 3) One angel sits down and plays guitar while the other two sing "Hallelujah, Hallelujah.")
ORVILLE. Looks like weíre hot stuff in Paradise, eh boys? Do you think one of the angels would object if I asked her to dance with me?"
DANIEL. Weíll have plenty of time for dancing later on. Try to appreciate their efforts to welcome us.
ORVILLE. Paradise is very bright. Can I ask for a pair of sunglasses?
GEORGE. Shhh. Your eyes will adjust once youíre accustomed to the new vibration.
GABRIEL (enters, extends his wings to their full capacity). I am at your service gentlemen to help you settle into paradise. Your every wish is my command.
ORVILLE. Great. Can I have chocolate chip cookies for breakfast every morning and strawberry cheesecake every night with lashings of fresh cream and a sprinkling of low fat jelly.
GABRIEL. Anything master.
ORVILLE (to George and Daniel). This is like so wow.
The angels leave the room leaving the three men to sit down to the table.
GEORGE (speaks in a low voice). Right gentlemen letís begin.
ORVILLE. Why are we whispering?
GEORGE looks furtively around him.
GEORGE. You do realise who we are donít you Orville?
ORVILLE. Sure. Youíre God the Father, Iím God the Son, and this dude here, sorry whatís your name?
ORVILLE. And this here Daniel, nice name by the way, is God the Holy Spirit.
GEORGE. Why are we here?
DANIEL. We are the rulers of paradise sent here because we are all seeing and all knowing. Each of us was promoted to the job from our own planets for our superiority of knowledge and the quality of our vibration.
ORVILLE. Not really.
DANIEL. What do you mean?
ORVILLE. I came here because I won the lottery for the position. Most people were afraid that their bodies would disintegrate from travelling faster than the speed of light. But not me. So here I am God the Son.
NARRATOR. And so the days passed into weeks and the weeks into months.
GEORGE. Anyone for chess?
ORVILLE. Great. Can we ask the angels for some nibblies, a few chocolate peanuts and a Pina Colada for me.
DANIEL. Gabriel! (Gabriel enters.)
DANIEL. Some nibblies old boy, and a few cocktails.(Gabriel rushes out and comes back with a tray.)
GEORGE. Your move Orville.
ORVILLE. Iím tired of this game. Weíve been playing chess since we arrived and so far youíve won most of the games.
GEORGE. Ah but my dear Orville isnít the pleasure in the challenge? The fun isnít in the winning but in the possibility of winning.
ORVILLE. Thatís easy for you to say when youíre always winning.
GEORGE. In time and we have plenty of it, youíll improve and weíll become more equally matched.
DANIEL (at the table reading a book). You could always play something else.
ORVILLE. We could play Scrabble or Backgammon.
GEORGE. No way.
DANIEL. Now, now gentlemen it wonít do us any good if you get upset over a chess game. We need to set a good example to the angels. If they sense any dissension we could have a mutiny on our hands.
(The angels enter and sing.)
ANGELS. Praise the Lord most holy and supreme. Praise him, praise him. (X3) Hallelujah, Hallelujah. (Angels exit.)
ORVILLE. Canít we stop these creatures from singing every few minutes. Donít they know any other songs? Weíve been here for three months and itís the same old ding dong."
GEORGE. Well we donít want to appear ungrateful do we? After all they do all our laundry, cooking and cleaning. The least we can do is listen to them.
ORVILLE. But the poor sods think we like the singing. Honestly if they sing that song once more Iíll punch one of Ďem.
DANIEL. You canít punch angels in paradise Orville. Weíre supposed to be God, remember? All seeing and all knowing.
ORVILLE. Well Iím sick to my back teeth of this crap. Whereís the fun? I donít think Iíll be able to stick this job for all eternity.
GEORGE (gets up and grabs both of Orvilleís hands). I love you Orville.
ORVILLE. And I, er, love you guys too. Youíre both really cool and know more than I ever will but I need more.
DANIEL (gesticulating wildly around the room). More? More than this? Why you ungrateful selfish son.
GEORGE. Now now gentlemen we have a nice little set up here. So youíre bored. Who isnít from time to time. Boredom doesnít do anyone any harm.
ORVILLE. But not for eternity George. I canít stay here for eternity when I resent the angels. Although we could organise a cull.
GEORGE. You mean kill them?
ORVILLE. Well not all of them. We could keep some to manage the house and gardens. Definitely get rid of the singers. Then Iíll stay.
DANIEL (looking very pious). Itís a sin to kill Orville.
ORVILLE. And what about me, dying of terminal boredom, eh.
GEORGE. Hush gentlemen. I have an idea. We could make a planet and send some of the angels to work there. It would be our special project, one that would keep us busy for all eternity.
ORVILLE. We could get rid of the angels. George you are a genius.
DANIEL (leaves the room and comes back in with paper, pencils and markers). Okay so we are going to make a planet. Name please.
ORVILLE. I have an idea. Letís not make it as nice as here, otherwise the angels will be too happy and wonít obey us as much. Make this planet have some sadness and tears. We could call it earth which as we know has the word tear in it only those dim bats wonít know.
GEORGE. Okay so what shape?
DANIEL. It has to be round or other wise the creatures will fall off, so let me draw a circle.
GEORGE. Draw another circle for the sun.
GEORGE. Orville and Daniel. Let there be light.
ORVILLE. Let me draw some animals, two of each, some with fur, others with scales, some with two legs, others with four legs, six legs. We could call them all sorts. Some with small noses, others with long noses. Iím beginning to like this.
DANIEL. Let me take charge of the oceans and the land. Iíll draw some purple mountains and sinuous rivers. I will also draw the most beautiful flowers and whoever sees them will be reminded of how utterly perfect we are.
ANGELS (enter and sing their usual song). Praise the Lord most holy and supreme. Praise him. Praise him. (X 3) Hallelujah, Hallelujah. (Orville looks at them in disgust. They exit.)
ORVILLE. We could put some people there.
DANIEL. Good idea and one guardian angel for every human.
ORVILLE. Great the minute one is born we dispatch an angel. Singers first. Thatís my job. Okay. Iím thinking white, black, yellow, red and brown people, ten of each.
DANIEL. Iím thinking tall, small, thin, fat, straight hair, curly hair, different abilities.
ORVILLE. This is so exciting, like making our own reality TV show. Will they know weíre up here?
DANIEL. Theyíll have an idea theyíre not alone, that there is more to their life than the planet. They wonít get the full picture until they die.
ORVILLE. Donít tell me theyíll be coming up here with us. Great, we get rid of the angels and gain humans. Sorry boys, no can do.
GEORGE. Alright I have an idea. The minute they die they come up here to say a few words and then we immediately dispatch them into new bodies.
ORVILLE. So paradise would become a recycling reincarnation planet. Mmmmm I like it. I like it. Maybe Gabriel could become the karmic controller. Heís love that 'cos I have a sneaky suspicion he has a very sadistic streak.
DANIEL. Now, now Orville. Gabriel has been nothing but helpful since we arrived.
ORVILLE. Iíve seen him kick some poor angles in the laundry room when they forget to wash our towels. Iíll tell you theyíre afraid of him so heís the man for the job.
GEORGE. Okay gentlemen. We now need to rest. (The men put their heads on the table and sleep.)
NARRATOR (while spiritual music plays). On the seventh day God rested. But while he rested the energy link between earth and paradise was severed. From now on the only thing that God could do from paradise was watch what happened to his creation. He could no longer intervene.
(George, Orville and Daniel wake up. There is a globe on the table.)
GEORGE. Hey boys we did a good job. Itís beautiful when the sun shines.
ORVILLE. Yeah but look up north, the poor bastards are freezing. Theyíre huddling in caves close together for warmth. Mmmm do you see that guy there, the way heís looking at that woman.
DANIEL. Thatís natural Orville. Itís called sexual attraction, programmed into them to ensure the survival of the species.
ORVILLE. I know but thatís not her man. Thatís her manís brother.
DANIEL. Well we have no way of knowing what these people will do. I hope she stays with her first man Ďcos heís the father of her child.
GEORGE. Look her man has found out about the brother.
ORVILLE. Clever dude, heís denying it.
DANIEL. Well he doesnít believe him. Oh no heís picking up a club and, oh my word, heís killing him.
ORVILLE. Canít we stop him?
DANIEL. No can do mate. The humans are programmed with free will which means theyíll behave whatever way they want.
ORVILLE. New soul arriving Gabriel. Dispatch him straight away.
GEORGE. Look theyíre beginning to settle into communities. Theyíre building houses. Theyíre clever buggers after all.
ORVILLE. Well theyíve certainly figured out how to make clothes for themselves. Good job we gave them so many animals.
DANIEL. Theyíre reproducing at an enormous rate. There are 650, 000 alone in this continent here and there are over a million of those yellow people.
GEORGE. Some humans are more powerful than others. They think theyíre like us. Look at whatís happening now. Some are taking upon themselves to become kings and theyíre building up armies to protect themselves.
ORVILLE. Thatís not fair. Look at all those slaves building pyramids for that Pharoah guy. Whatís that heís saying.
DANIEL. Heís telling them heís of divine origin so they will continue to obey him.
GEORGE. Heís a sadist. Look heís sacrificing those poor children to the sun god.
ORVILLE. But the sun isnít God. We are.
DANIEL. Yes but they donít know that.
ORVILLE. Look whatís happening in that Northern landmass. Thereíre druids who think theyíre communicating with us. Boy these duds are clever. Theyíve learnt to tap into the earth energy.
DANIEL. And theyíve cottoned on to the fact that at the solstices they can contact their own divinity but it doesnít last. Nothing does on Earth.
ORVILLE. You donít think these guys will become as clever as us.
DANIEL. Not a chance. They have thousands of years to go.
ORVILLE. I like looking at the families, at home at night, having their dinner. It looks so cozy. Oh no go away you horrible soldiers. What are they doing?
DANIEL. Theyíre dragging away the father of the family cos heís been accused of treason.
ORVILLE. Thatís not fair. He was only stealing bread to feed his family. Itís not right.
DANIEL. I know but once his soul comes up here Iíll make sure he gets a better life next time around. GABRIEL!
GABRIEL. Yes master.
DANIEL. Can you make sure the next soul gets a good life next time round. Send him somewhere warmer. Poor sod was always complaining about the weather. Make him a bit simple so heíll always feel happy.
GEORGE. If he was given a choice he wouldnít go back. Itís hard work on that planet. So much to learn, so much to do.
DANIEL. Yes but I hope they eventually get the picture.
ORVILLE. What picture?
DANIEL. Well that some day they could be just like us, all seeing and all knowing.
ORVILLE. We donít want that sort of competition now do we? Weíd have an invasion. And besides there is no more room here.
DANIEL. Humans have a long way to go Iím afraid. Look at that poor leper trying to beg for mercy.
GEORGE. Poor guy is desperate. Either he dies of this disease or heíll be killed by those soldiers.
DANIEL. The soldiers hate his imperfections. They will kill him so they donít have to look at him.
ORVILLE. Thatís it. Heís up here. Weíll ask Gabriel later what becomes of him. On a lighter note look at that little baby being born. See how happy his mother and father look.
DANIEL. Thatís their own taste of paradise. Thatís why when they dream they dream of where we are. They know deep down it exists only they donít know how to get there.
GEORGE. Some people are very good. They help others, they donít kill, they donít steal. So Iím quite happy really with our creation. What do you think?
DANIEL. Donít speak too soon. Look at those armies invading Europe, killing innocent women and children. No I must say. Iím not happy, not happy at all.
ORVILLE. Yeah well you have to admit itís entertaining. We never know whatís going to happen. I love the suspense. Watch whatís happening between that soldier and that woman.
DANIEL. Sheís gorgeous.
ORVILLE. The soldier thinks so too. Is he going to kill her or take her away with him. Heís thinking she could be his wife.
DANIEL. Yes but sheíd never love him. He has already killed her mother and father.
GEORGE. Would you want to be with a monster who is capable of that.
ORVILLE. Shhhh. I want to hear them talk.
DANIEL. Sheís pleading for her life.
ORVILLE. Oh please donít kill her. Go on take her and make her your wife.
DANIEL. Lovely jubley. Heís putting her behind him on the horse. Sheíll bear him six sons one who will in turn kill him.
ANGELS (enter and start singing). Praise the lord most holy and supreme, praise him, praise him. (X 3) Hallelujah, Hallelujah.
ORVILLE. I thought all singers were dispatched to earth.
DANIEL. They have this urge to praise us all the time. Itís impossible to stop. Iíll get Gabriel to dispatch them with the next batch of humans today.
ORVILLE. Do you know what Iíve been thinking? Look how clever humans are becoming. Look at how they have learnt to follow the direction of the stars. Look at how they are building New Grange and the ingenuous way they know how the light shines into the chambers on a certain day only once a year.
DANIEL. Only some are clever. The rest are no better than animals. All they think of is food and sex.
ORVILLE. What else is there?
DANIEL. Well the world of ideas and lofty thoughts.
ORVILLE . But thereís no fun in that. Look at those women making themselves beautiful paining their faces with berries. Are they thinking lofty thoughts. I donít think so. They want to attract a man. Besides you were the one responsible for programming them to reproduce the species. It doesnít leave room for an awful lot of thought.
DANIEL. I also programmed them with free will which is why they can sometimes be so erratic and unpredictable.
ORVILLE. I like unpredictable, breaks the monotony.
DANIEL. Oh that poor man. His wife is dying and heís hysterical.
ORVILLE. I wish they knew they could be recycled.
GEORGE. Some will in time.
ANGELS (enter). Praise the Lord most Holy and Supreme. Praise him, praise him. Hallelujah, Hallelujah.
ORVILLE. This takes the biscuit. GABRIEL! (Gabriel appears.)
ORVILLE. I thought I told you all singers were to be dispatched to earth.
GABRIEL. These guys escaped. The angels are not happy on earth my lord.
ORVILLE. Not happy. What do they want?
GABRIEL. Itís hard work looking after humans. Their only time out is when the humans sleep.
ORVILLE. Oh boo hoo. Theyíre never happy. Itís all me me me me me.
GEORGE. Donít be unkind Orville. Gabriel and his friends are doing their best. Earth is not the easiest of planets to manage.
ORVILLE. Looks like theyíre not doing a good enough job. Thereís war, famine, unhappiness, greed. I bet the angels are doing nothing, nothing at all. Probably playing chess like us, ignoring the mess around them.
DANIEL. Well there is nothing more we can do.
GEORGE. Well actually there is.
DANIEL and ORVILLE. What?
GEORGE. The one that that we as God can do is we can only intervene if one of us goes down there.
ORVILLE. You mean as a human.
ORVILLE. Iíll go.
GEORGE and Daniel. Are you sure?
ORVILLE. Never been more certain in all my life. Can I have a girl friend. Oh please say I can have a girl friend.
GEORGE. Weíll see.
ORVILLE. That means no.
GEORGE. No it means there will be some very important things for you to do. Itís up to you to clear up the mess we made. Tell the humans about the kingdom of God and how they can get there.
ORVILLE. How do they get there?
GEORGE. Well they all get there eventually but tell them to be good to each other and not to steal. Things like that.
DANIEL. Do you think the people will listen?
GEORGE. If Orville can persuade them I think they will. Okay Orville you will be prepared for dispatch later on today.
ORVILLE. Iíll miss you guys but I canít miss out on this adventure. I want a really good looking girlfriend. I might even have a wife and children. I am so excited. This is so wow.
DANIEL. Weíll miss you Orville but donít forget youíre the son of God. You are special, very special.
ORVILLE. Daniel please send me somewhere warm and give me a nice mother, one that loves cooking.
GEORGE and DANIEL. Goodbye Orville. Bon Voyage.
ORVILLE. See you around guys (exits).
GEORGE. At last heís gone. Phew. Peace.
DANIEL. The angels can sing to their hearts content. There is no one to hurt their feelings now.
GEORGE (takes out a packet of cigarettes). Smoke Daniel?
DANIEL. Sure. No Orville to nag us about passive smoking.
GEORGE. This is the life. Look Daniel heís born today.
DANIEL. Heís so cute - got a nose just like Orville.
GEORGE. Honestly where have the years gone. Heís all grown up. Handsome bugger isnít he.
DANIEL. Would you listen to him telling those people heís the son of God.
GEORGE. He should have kept his bloody mouth shut.
DANIEL. Some of the people are listening to him. Heís telling them that the meek will inherit the earth.
GEORGE. We never told him to preach did we?
DANIEL. No but Orville is blinded by fame, strutting around telling everyone heís the son of God. Do you see that woman Mary Magdalene. Sheís fallen in love with him and thinks heís only playing hard to get.
GEORGE. The damnable thing is we canít contact him. Ah well he canít be doing any harm.
DANIEL. I knew heíd make enemies. Look. The soldiers are coming to take him before a fat guy called Pontius Pilate.
GEORGE. Well Orville doesnít seem worried does he.
DANIEL. Thatís because he thinks we can intervene if something bad happens. I told him we could which wasnít exactly true.
GEORGE. This is awful Daniel. Theyíre about to execute Orville.
DANIEL. Which means?
GEORGE. Which means heíll be back here by tea time.
DANIEL. Gabriel! (Gabriel enters.) Gabriel, man by the name of Jesus arriving tonight. Can he be dispatched straight away.
GABRIEL. No problem. Anywhere in particular?
DANIEL. No. You choose.
GABRIEL. It will be my pleasure.
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© 2004 by Nell Sullivan