(We are in Satan’s board room. In the room are the six ministers of his cabinet: RELIGION, FINANCE, POLITICS, EDUCATION, WAR, AND DISEASE. They are waiting for SATAN to arrive at the meeting to which he has called them all. As they are waiting for the Dark Lord to arrive, one of his ministers, perhaps by drumming on the table before him or her, begins distractedly keeping a beat. Another minister joins the rhythm of the first—and then a third joins those two. Before long all six ministers are pounding the same raucous beat. They play for maybe a minute before, on the exact same beat, they all spontaneously stop.)
RELIGION: That was pretty darn tribally inspiring.
FINANCE: If we could package that, we could sell it. And I would know.
POLITICS: We’d have to be sure to stay on point as we aggressively got out the message about the advantages of that opportunity.
EDUCATION: My inclination is to most readily concur with that estimable evaluation.
WAR [to EDUCATION]: My inclination is to beat you even more senseless than you usually are.
POLITICS: I’m sure that if we form a committee to consider all sides of this issue, we can, if we but work together toward a common goal, find a satisfactory solution to this matter. I’m reminded of an old woman I met just last week. She had worked all of her life in a sweatshop, and as I …
WAR: If you don’t clam up right now I’m gonna hang you by your tie.
FINANCE: Hold on—I want to hear this. A sweatshop, you say?
DISEASE: Those people get no health care insurance.
FINANCE: And sweatshops exploit children!
ALL [in unison]: Ooooo. Exploiting children. Yaaaaaaay.
RELIGION: Okay, does anyone know the purpose of this meeting? Why did he convene it?
EDUCATION: I’m certain that I am unaware of the origins of this meeting.
WAR: I’m certain that it’s no surprise that you know nothing.
EDUCATION: What is the compunction of your dysfunction?
WAR: So it’s true. You really can’t read.
EDUCATION: Oh, and you can.
POLITICS: All right, all right. A question’s been raised that I would very much like answered. Does anyone know why we’re here?
RELIGION: All I know is that when he contacted me, he sounded awfully intense about something.
EDUCATION: That he did.
DISEASE: He did! I was busy poking holes in some malaria nets when his message came in. Almost jabbed a screwdriver through my hand.
FINANCE: Really? You do that sort of thing yourself?
DISEASE: Sometimes. I like to keep it real.
FINANCE: I do, too. Sometimes I poke holes in peoples’ pockets, so their money falls out.DISEASE: Lots of holey pants out there lately.
[They all laugh and lightly applaud FINANCE.]
RELIGION: Speaking of holy pants, let us not forget that I excel at making people feel afraid and inadequate.
WAR: Big whoop. I make people kill each other.
POLITICS: I have two words for all of you: Hanging. Chads.
WAR: Yeah, but what have you done for us lately?
DISEASE: Can we get back to the point, please? What is the point of this meeting?
WAR: I think it’s because it’s over.
POLITICS: Excuse me?
WAR: You know. Done. Finished. Over. I think we’ve won. I think that’s what he wants to talk to us about.
EDUCATION: What a preposterous thing to say.
FINANCE: Are you serious? Over? Are you really saying you think it’s over?
WAR: That’s what I’m saying, money-bags.
RELIGION: No. It can’t be. It just … can’t be.
WAR: Okay. Satan called this meeting because he wants to exchange cookie recipes with us. He’s looking for a sale on air conditioners. I don’t care. It’s all the same to me.
DISEASE: You’re actually talking about … end times?
ALL [in a sort of dazed, monotone awe]: End times.
POLITICS [to WAR]: You’re saying you think it’s end time time.
WAR: I’m saying I think it’s likely. We have been wreaking havoc up there for a long time now. It’s not supposed to go on forever, you know.
EDUCATION: But we can’t be that far along already.
DISEASE: You know, I think he’s right. Think about it. We have been …
EDUCATION: No, you think about it! I’m not thinking about it!
WAR: Gee. What a surprise.
POLITICS [to DISEASE]: Are you ready for end times?
DISEASE: You know, I think I am.
POLITICS [to FINANCE]: Are you ready?
FINANCE: The numbers have really never looked better for it.
POLITICS: Jesus Christ.
RELIGION: That was my first thought.
DISEASE: Well, we’ll know soon enough why we’re here. He’s here!
Next is Enter Satan.
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