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The first part here, "Interviewing God", I wrote about a year ago. This morning I've written a short sequel, "Interviewing the Devil", which follows later in the post.

Note: I don't think it could offend anyone, but you never know when it comes to religion, so let it be noted that this is just humor not intended to insult any religious beliefs.

Interviewing God

[A reporter, pen and notepad in hand, cautiously approaches a being who is unmistakably God.]

Reporter: Mr. God... I mean, Sir... er, Lord... what should I call you?

God: No formalities here, son. Just 'God' will be fine.

Reporter: Well, God, I'm a columnist for the St. Paul Times.

God: Oh yes, I read your column every week.

Reporter [smiling, face glowing]: Really? Wow.

God: Actually I read everything anybody writes. Omniscience, you know.

[Reporter, looking disappointed, shuffles through his notes.]

Reporter: I was thinking I should ask you the questions I've prepared here, but I guess you already know what they are without me needing to read them off. Could we just start at the top then, please, if you will?

God: Very well. You seem to have a lot of questions, but I've got all the time in the world. I'll just move time back to where it was when we're done.

Reporter [nervous]: This isn't going to be one of those things where you give the interview and then make me forget it all by rolling back time, is it?

God: Oh, heavens no. I just mean that I'll make time move back for everybody else, not for us. Don't worry if it seems impossible or paradoxical, I do that sort of stuff all the time. Omnipotence, you know.

Reporter: I'd like to trust you, but the devil dropped me a note suggesting I'd interviewed him last week. I don't remember a thing about an interview. That leaves me wondering if he let me interview him and then wiped my memory, or if he's just trying to trick me into thinking I've forgotten interviewing him when I was never there. It's all so confusing.

God: That little rascal, always playing around with people's heads that way.

Reporter: Anyhow, my first question...

God: You want me to prove that I exist. Please, you can't really mean this question seriously now. Just look at me, listen to me, you know I'm here.

Reporter: The senses can't be trusted, I need something beyond that. How do I know I'm not dreaming?

God: Have you tried the pinching method?

Reporter [pinching self]: Ouch. Still, this may all seem perfectly real, but how do I know there's not an evil demon tricking me? I need something which can't be doubted. If I can think of a scenario in which this experience wouldn't be a real indication that you exist, like the demon's deception, then my belief that you exist is baseless. It rests on air, no foundation. I'll have to conclude that you don't exist unless you can give me some proof.

God [frustrated]: You've been reading that idiot Descartes, I can tell. Hell was too good a reward for that one.

Reporter: Should I take it you disagree with Descartes' proofs of your existence? What do you think of his ontological proof? Aren't you the greatest being imaginable, and doesn't existence have to be part of your greatness?

God: Being omnipotent allows me to imagine a being greater than me. The way in which the being I imagine is greater than me is that unlike me it is so great that it's impossible to imagine anything greater than it. Now, according to my omniscient observations of the universe, this being I imagine does not exist. Case closed.

Reporter [slightly confused, but recovering]: But surely, even if you don't like Descartes' proofs, you can show me that it's irrational to doubt your existence.

God: Oh yes, I can... I think we just saw an example of irrational doubt when you said our conversation isn't enough to convince you that I'm here. Do you regularly hallucinate?

Reporter [sheepishly]: Sometimes after I've had too much to drink... gee sir, I mean God, I hope this isn't going on my record. You won't tell Saint Peter, will you?

[God exchanges a look of exasperation with St. Peter when the reporter isn't looking.]

God: Think nothing of it.

Reporter [smiling again]: Thanks! Now, my next question is about...

God: ... evil. You want to know why there's evil in the world. I hate it when people ask that. May I ask you a question before I answer?

Reporter: Shoot.

God: Excuse me?

Reporter: Sorry, Freudian slip.

God: Well. Tell me, what's the least violent and most peaceful and happy and friendly TV show you can think of?

Reporter: Erm... Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood? Barney?

God: Tell me, how do those shows make you feel when you watch them?

Reporter: Bored, sickened. If I'm subjected to the suffocating cheerfulness for too long sometimes I start to feel suicidal.

God: Exactly. That's why evil and suffering exist.

Reporter: I see. You give us evil so that we aren't all driven to suicide by the dullness, by the disgusting perfection and happiness.

God: No, you misunderstand. I put evil in the world so that I don't end up driven to suicide. It's hard enough to find diversions to make all eternity interesting as it is without making Earth into a dull paradise.

Reporter: So, do you like it when we kill each other? Does it give you pleasure?

[A loud crack of thunder over the reporter's head.]

Reporter: I'm sorry, that may have been a sensitive topic... um, moving on to other matters now. How are things in heaven? Have you ever had any problems, discontent people? Post-Lucifer, I mean.

God: Labor issues are omnipresent. There was that strike by the saints a while back. They said I wasn't treating them any better than the billions of regular residents of heaven, and insisted that their position demanded better compensation. Worse yet, most of the angels took their side insisting that there should be a hierarchy of happiness with saints and angels kept substantially happier than the common residents of heaven.

Reporter: Were things shut down for a while, or did you hire scabs [ahem] I mean, replacement workers?

God: The devil lent me some of his staff. For two months I had them answering prayers. As you might expect, it didn't go too well. Our complaints department was really getting stressed out from all the negative feedback it generated.

Reporter: Sounds like a difficult situation. How did you resolve it?

God: Finally I had to make an example out of their main organizer by sending him to hell. That put them all back to work quickly enough.

Reporter: I'm sure our readers would like to know who's been relocated.

God: Section C paragraph 12 of this year's God-Devil labor agreement specifies that I'm not allowed to release the names of his customers without his permission. If you're curious, just remember to ask him when you meet him.

Reporter: I'm going to meet him? You mean you've arranged an interview for me with him?

God [laughing softly]: Oh yes. An eternal interview, even worse than this one.

Reporter [nervously]: Well... let's see, I have just a couple more questions left. What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment? Perhaps the big bang, the earth, human life... what is it?

God [thoughtfully]: Nitrogen.

Reporter [confused]: I don't understand.

God: I wouldn't expect you to.

Reporter: My final question -- what are your goals for the future?

God: I'll let this universe run its course for a few trillion more years, then I'll make a bigger one. I feel so confined here. My next universe will have twice as much spacetime, but using only half the materials.

Reporter: How would that work? Will it be spread out and mostly empty?

God: No, no. It'll be three times as dense. By switching to a 12 dimension model of superstring I can create a new type of virtual particle which will elongate bozons and eventually create a ripple effect which will make the universe much more efficient than this one. I'm really looking forward to it, sometimes I think about doing away with this universe early in order to get on with it.

Reporter: I see.

God: I rather doubt that, but your time is up.

Reporter [startled]: It is? I'm only 32. [pause, then relief] Oh, you mean the interview. Thank you for your time.

God: Don't mention it.

Reporter: Perhaps I can come again with some followup questions in a few months?

God: Don't even think about it.

[The reporter disappears. God shakes his head in disapproval, turns, and walks off.]

Interviewing the Devil
(a sequel to "Interviewing God")

[A reporter, pen and notepad in hand, cautiously approaches a being who is unmistakably the devil. The red skin and horns are a clue, but the pitchfork removes doubt.]

Reporter: Mr. Devil... I mean, Satan... er, Lucifer... what should I call you?

Devil: Just 'Devil' will be fine.

Reporter: Well, Devil, I'm a columnist for the St. Paul Times.

Devil: Why oh why do they name cities after saints? My emissaries have so much more to do with what goes on there.

Reporter: That brings me to my first question. Could you give our readers some idea of what you've been doing lately and what your plans are for the near future?

Devil: I'm afraid that's classified information. All I can say is that you should expect a number of murders this week and a new war starting within the year. Perhaps you'll also be interested to know that I was responsible for the series of disasters that have hit your planet lately... I chalk up the earthquakes in Bam and Kashmir, the Indian Ocean tsunami and the hurricanes in America as some of my finest work.

Reporter [cautiously]: Actually, science has explained each of those incidents as the result of weather patterns and the shifting of tectonic plates. Science also tells us that shoddy human construction was responsible for many of the deaths, and poor political planning and slow response cost more lives. I don't see where you come into the picture.

Devil: You believe it? You believe this primitive so-called science of yours over my word?

Reporter [nervously]: Well... yes.

Devil: I hate science. Oh, what's the use anymore? I admit it. I haven't been doing anything up there lately, I've grown too fat and old and lazy. When I look up at the Earth and see what you people do to it I can't think up any more evil things than you already have, so I no longer bother trying.

Reporter: Thank you for your honesty, it's quite commendable.

Devil: Not so loud, please. The last thing I need is a reputation for morality.

Reporter: Sorry, I didn't mean it that way, I'm sure you had ulterior motives for your honesty. Now, my next question for you goes back to when I interviewed your partner in the business of post-life human soul housing, Mr. God. He indicated that the two of you have a labor agreement. Would you mind telling our readers if the number of souls you can capture is specified in such an agreement?

Devil: I used to get a guaranteed minimum, so that if there weren't enough immoral souls in a given year I could take in some virtuous ones to do some of the milder jobs. These days the tables have turned a bit, I've been getting more than I can process and the agreement forces God to take in some people of rather questionable virtue who he assigns to some of heaven's more menial tasks.

Reporter: And what are the sorts of tasks you put people to here in hell?

Devil: There's quite a variety, much like on your Earth. We have janitors, telephone sanitizers, inventory specialists, leaf-blower operators, et cetera. We also have lawyers to handle disputes and contractual issues, and lots of advertising specialists to sell our image to the world. For law and advertising we use people who excelled in the fields during life... fortunately we get quite a lot of them. The rest of the jobs are assigned according to how evil the person was in their life.

Reporter: Could you tell me what the worst, most tortuous job is? What do the very worst people have to do?

Devil: You can actually see them from here. Look, over in that corner.

Reporter: No... it can't be... you wouldn't?

Devil: It is. That lot of murderers spends all day taking tech support calls from abusive AOL customers who comment on their computer's convenient slide-out cup holder while complaining that they can't locate the 'any' key. We require our help desk staff to be friendly and cheerful while they run through the troubleshooting procedure to fix the problems of our valued customers.

Reporter: Please, say no more... I'm really going to clean up my life when I get back to Earth. Getting back to my prepared questions, I asked God what his greatest accomplishment was and he gave me the perplexing answer "Nitrogen." What's been your greatest accomplishment to date?

Devil: Fire.

Reporter: But wasn't fire invented by people in the Paleolithic period, about a half million years ago?

Devil: Who told you that?

Reporter: Archaeological records.

Devil: I faked those. Haven't you heard?

Reporter: Sorry sir, I don't believe you.

Devil: Oh, hell. I don't seem to be any good at lying anymore. Rub it in, why don't you? Yes, hell was originally just a pile of wood. Yes, it was an early human arsonist who after his death showed me that by rubbing sticks togeather he could set off an eternal blaze. You'd have it that I've never accomplished anything, but that's where you're wrong. It's not the method for making fire that matters, it's all in how you market it. The idea to make fire the main symbol of hell and to highlight it in all our brochures, well, that was my very own special directive.

Reporter: If you say so. I'm afraid it's getting late and I must be going now. Thank you for your time and your frank answers to my questions. Goodbye.

Devil: Until we meet again.
 

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You're a pretty talented writer with quite the imagination. The interview with the devil kind of freaked me out though. But still...do you write professionally? I think you probably could.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The only thing I've tried to get published (failed) was non-fiction, I'd say there's little chance and little possible reward for my fiction. Just a hobby, but a fun one.
 
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