GOD AND THE DEVIL MEET FOR A BUSINESS LUNCH (5-minute version)
By Dwayne Yancey
Copyright 2004; all rights reserved.
(The scene opens with the devil already at the hostess stand, and the waitress getting ready to seat him. The devil is agitated, tense, and looking around nervously, fearful of being spotted meeting God for lunch.)
WAITRESS: Smoking or non?
DEVIL: Smoking! By all means.
WAITRESS: Right this way. Table for one?
(She escorts the devil to a table. The devil is looking around over his shoulders.)
DEVIL: Ill be having, uh, someone join me.
WAITRESS: Very good. Can I get you something to drink?
DEVIL: Whiskey. Straight up.
WAITRESS: Very good. Heres a menu you can look over while you wait.
(Waitress exits. The devil studies the menu.)
DEVIL: Damn. Look at these prices.
(God enters, walks up to the devil who is unaware. God is serene, almost happy-go-lucky.)
GOD: Ah, there you are. Speak of the devil, eh? (He laughs.)
DEVIL (startled): Where in hell did you come from?
GOD: You know better than to ask me a question like that.
DEVIL: Oh, hell! You know what I mean
GOD: Ive been here all along. From the beginning!
DEVIL: Oh dont give me that.
GOD: Its true.
DEVIL: Look, I dont like this anymore than you do. Lets just get it on with shall we?
GOD: So whered you find this little place? I like what theyve done with the decor.
DEVIL: Its hell, I tell you. Trying to find a place where we can get together without, you know, either of us being recognized. (Whispers) Bad for the image, you know.
GOD: Bad for your image maybe. I get credit for this sort of thing. Sort of like going into the lions den.
DEVIL: Oh, hell. Not that again.
(Waitress enters, with the devils drink. At some appropriate point in the following dialogue she hands God a menu.)
WAITRESS: Ah, I see your friend is here.
DEVIL: Not friends. Were, uh, acquaintances.
GOD: Dont listen to him. We go back a long way. Back to the beginning practically.
DEVIL: Thats enough!
GOD: Were associates.
DEVIL: You fired me!
GOD: You brought it on yourself. (Alternate: Oh, go to hell. I just love saying that.)
WAITRESS: Can I get you something to drink?
GOD: Just water for me.
WAITRESS: Very good. Ill give you a few moments to look over the menu.
DEVIL: Just water?
GOD: What? I like water.
DEVIL: Oh, youre not going to pull another one of your little tricks are you? (He refers to the water, and the water into the wine story.)
GOD: Its not a trick.
DEVIL: If I did it, itd be called a trick.
GOD: Actually, I think youre confusing me with someone else, but Ill take it as a compliment anyway.
DEVIL: Hell, I never get credit for anything. All I ever get is the blame. "He made me do it."
GOD: Can I help it if I have a better publicist? Im still on all the best-seller lists, you know.
DEVIL: So what was it? Merlot? Bordeaux?
GOD: Dont worry about that.
DEVIL: I bet it was Merlot.
(God shoots the devil a stare.)
What? I like details. You know what they say.
GOD: Actually, Einstein said I was in the details.
DEVIL: What does he know?
GOD: He knew that I dont play at dice.
(Waitress returns, with Gods water.)
WAITRESS: Here you go.
GOD: Bless you, my child.
WAITRESS: Youre welcome. Do you gentlemen know what youd like?
DEVIL: Ill have the blackened chicken.
WAITRESS: And you?
GOD: The fish. Broiled.
WAITRESS: Very good. These wont take long. Ill be back with some bread.
DEVIL: All right, so listen, we have some business to discuss.
(Begin optional trim.)
GOD: Mind if I put some money in the jukebox?
(God gets up to put money in the jukebox.)
DEVIL: Only if you play some of my music.
GOD: That rocknroll stuff?
DEVIL: They do call it my music.
GOD: Im partial to trumpets myself. You know, jazz, big bands.
GOD: Nah, hes more into that new age stuff.
DEVIL: I give up!
(God returns to his seat.) (End optional trim.)
GOD: So whats on your mind?
DEVIL: I have a business proposition for you.
GOD: A deal? I dunno. You know what they say about making deals with you.
DEVIL: Look, Ive been thinking. This whole rivalry thing, I dont think its working for either of us.
GOD: Its working very well for me with the Baptists. But go on.
DEVIL: The way I see it, you owe me.
GOD: I owe you? (God laughs.) Whats with that? The wages of sin dont pay well enough these days? I think not.
DEVIL: No, listen, hear me out. Look, Im not hurting. You must admit I do a pretty good job attracting market share on my own.
GOD: Ill give you your due.
DEVIL: But you still need me. See, the way I look at it, Im really doing your dirty work for you. That whole eternal punishment thing. If you didnt have me to deal with the wicked, youd have to invent me.
GOD: Hmm. Youve got a point there.
DEVIL: Thank you.
GOD: Get it? A point. (He makes a jabbing motion, as if referring to the devils pitchfork.)
DEVIL: Hah, hah, very funny. If you knew how sick and tired I was of that
GOD: Sorry. Forgive me? Wait, thats my business. You just go on. You were saying?
DEVIL: Im saying that Im really sort of like, well, the head of your correctional system.
Sort of the ultimate maximum security.
GOD: And you do a very good job with it, too, I must say.
DEVIL: Thank you.
GOD: So what are you proposing?
DEVIL: A merger. A partnership.
GOD: Out of the question.
DEVIL: Or at least some sort of formal subcontracting relationship.
GOD: Let me get this straight: You want ME to pay YOU for looking after the people I condemn to hell?
DEVIL: It seems only fair, doesnt it?
GOD: I dunno. My people might not understand that sort of thing.
DEVIL (leaning in): We wouldnt have to make it public. It could be, you know, an under the table sort of arrangement.
GOD (astonished): A kickback? Youre offering me a kickback?
DEVIL (leaning in even more): Ssssh! Were just talking about compensation for services rendered. Nothing wrong with that is there? Just the whole render under Caesar thing, right?
GOD (hesitantly): I suppose.
DEVIL (grinning): But you do believe in tithing dont you? Ten percent of everything should go back to you, right?
GOD (somewhat confused): I guess. But that would mean
WAITRESS: Im sorry. Were all out of the blackened chicken.
GOD: Try the fish. Im sure they have plenty of fish.
-------- THE END ----------
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