Sunday, April 15, 2007

Mr. and Mrs. of Hosts

(if you are easily offended by the word "phallic", then READ NO FURTHER! Seriously.)

This is a short 10 minute play, set as a dialogue between a man and a woman, playing God and His wife, respectively. The set includes two stools, and nothing more. (The inspiration for this came as I was listening to the weekly "Ketchup" skit on a Prairie Home Companion. The thought of God and His wife bantering back and forth made me giggle. If you have never heard this skit, I recommend listening to one, since their voices are the ones I hear when I read what comes next)


So, Jim, I've been thinking about the exact placement of the big bang.

What do you mean by exact placement?

Well, I don't think it will look good right there. Put it here.
Why here? Here is the same as there, remember? I haven't started creation yet, so we're both here. And there. And over there.

Over where?

Exactly.

Oh... nevermind. Anyway, I've been looking through a few chapters of The Book.

Yes?

Well... Oh never mind...

No, no, what is it?

(pause) um... Lord of hosts?

Yes.

The Lord of Hosts?

Whats wrong with that?

Well.... darling, its a little..., it just sounds so overblown!

Not any more than Lord God almighty, or Alpha and Omega or The migh...

So which one are we going to use when we go out? That one? I can just hear my girlfriends laughing now- Why hello there Mrs. Of Hosts! So good to see you Mrs. Of Hosts!

Oh stop it. No one will do that.

How do you know?

I'm God.

You mean: Mr. Of Hosts.

Whatever.

And whats with the Eagle Nebula?

When?

13.7 Billion years. Over near Earth.

Whats wrong with it?

Oh, nothings WRONG with it... its just so....

So what?

So... Oh Jim, I can't say it, it would make me blush.

So Phallic?

Well... Yeah.

Hey, I didn't plan it that way. It was complete coincidence. It was just a function of dark matter required in the sagitarius arm such that Earth's solar system would form on time, and the Arcturus solar system would even form at all! Any more and Earth will never have a moon and therefore no astronomy, no math, no lunar calendar, no passover... it all blows up! Any less, and the...

Ok! Ok! I got it. You didn't plan it (pause) Still, that sounds like something you would do just as a big joke. You men and your... unique senses of humor. Anyway, I've been crunching through some of those numbers you wanted...

And?

No unicorns.

None?!

Nope. You'll get your horses, but they'll never evolve the frontal cranial horn. The mutations just aren't there- there's no way it can happen.

Oh...

I'm so sorry Jim, I know how much those meant to you.

I know, I know, (sighs) its ok. (thinking) I'll still inspire a few myths though...

You do that. And the news isn't all bad! The duck billed platypus will probably work out. Thats good, right?

Yeah, I guess so. (chuckles) Man they're going to look funny...

Yeah...

(silence)

So I was thinking the other day...

The other day?

Yeah, the other day.

Which one?

Oh I don't know, Jim, thats not the point...

I haven't invented time yet, so how could you be thinking the other day?

It was just a figure of speech, Jim!

So you were really just thinking about this now, since the other day is actually now?

What about tomorrow?

Also now.

What about when you initiate the big bang?

Well, it kind of, sorta, already...

You don't mean...! You didn't accidentally set it off did you?

No, thats not what I'm saying at all! I mean that even though we've been planning it all this long while, and it hasn't actually _happened_ yet, it already has happened, and in fact, is occurring right as we speak.

So it's too late to change anything?

No, of course not- we can call the whole thing off still if we want...

Oh, dear, that reminds me. I'm worried about Josh.

Oh. (pause) How is he doing?

(sigh) Hes fine. Hes still in his room. You know him, he'll never let on that anything is wrong. Its just, ever since he peeked at that middle chapter... he's been a little morose.

(pause)He knows he has a choice though.

Yes, yes, he knows that. Its not that he thinks theres a better way, its just... well, you would know how he feels right now...

(pause)I do.

Then, go talk to him! He won't come out of his room because he doesn't want his little sisters to see that he's been crying.

I'll talk to him.

Lucius has already been in to see him. Such a good boy. That seemed to cheer him up some.

Good boy, that Lucius. (pause) Do you think he's got it in him?

Who? Josh? Well, he's your son.

That he is.

I'm sure he'll do just fine.

I sure hope so.

(silence)

Are you going to tell me what you were thinking about?

Thinking about? When?

The other day. I mean.. well you know what I mean...

Oh, right. Well, Jim, I was thinking about that passage in the bible.

Which one?

The one that goes: "consider---

No, I mean, which bible?

Oh, the Greek. I was thinking about where it says "Consider the mustard seeds of the field, how they grow, etc etc." I don't think it flows very well.

Oh?

No, it doesn't flow well at all.

But the mustard seed will evoke images of fragile faith growing into a strong tree. Its very beautiful!

Sorry, Jim, it just doesn't do it for me.

Well Mrs. of Hosts, what would you put?

Har, har. No, the mustard tree was nice as faith, but we need an image of beauty in that passage. What about lilies? They will be beautiful! Whites, reds, large flaring petals- Consider the lilies of the field, how THEY grow! Isn't that a lot better than considering the mustard seeds of the field?

Well..., maybe...

Oh, Jim! I knew you'd agree! I'll send that up to the editing department right away...

Dear, I am the editing department..

Figure of speech, Jim.

Right.

(silence)

Well the evolutionary biology department has finished their work and--

You have?

Yes, didn't I tell you? I've managed to evolve the human body up to the point we planned on. After that, its all yours.

And it'll be ready in time?

13 billion, 699 million, 522 thousand 625 years.

Doesn't that cut things a little close?

Well... yes, but that still gives you time to do your thing--

That gives me less than 8000 years! I gave you over 13.7 billion years, and you leave me less than 8000?!

Oh, you can do it, Jim, I believe in you. Now, we had to compromise on a few things.

Like what?

Well, dear, I'm afraid... that is, I'm sorry to have to tell you that...

What?

Jim, dear, its just that there was no way I could make women as... bosomy... as you wanted. The numbers just didn't allow for it.

Oh. Well, thats ok, I guess.

And, the x-ray vision too. Not going to happen.

Well, I kind of figured that.

But, but I managed to squeeze in a few things that we discussed... at least I think I remember discussing them with you...

Oh no...

I've thrown in taste buds, and of course smell.

Did we really need those?

Oh, Jim! How can you say that? If they have lilies in the field, they won't mean anything if they can't smell them. And chocolate! How will they taste chocolate without taste buds? It was no trouble. Really. It only tacked on a few million years.

A few million?

Well, they'll develop along with hearing. Really Jim, it was nothing.

Alright then.

Oh, dear, look at the time- we'll be late for the party...

What party?

The boys are throwing a party. Josh has perked up a bit and Lucius is throwing him a party.

They invited us? Aren't we a little old for parties?

Now, Jim! We're not that old! We're still hip. We're still with it. Of course they wanted their cool parents there.

Would you stop it with the 61st century lingo?

As soon as you stop your bantering.

I don't banter. I'm God.

Fine, then, Mr. of Hosts, lets go before we're late.

Where is this party?

Lucius's place, I think.

Wheres that?

Right here, of course.

Oh. Right.

I think he has something to ask you, anyway.

Who?

Lucius.

Oh. Such a good boy.

(silence)

Jim?

Yes?

I had another talk with Josh.

Already?

Yes- its been ages since we last talked about it.

We just talked about it.

I know that! But I talked to him, about... you know, and he's fine with it.

He is?

But, he asked me to ask you to change a few things.

He did?

Yes. Just a few things.

Like what?

Well..., he thinks you shouldn't be there.

What?

Oh, Jim, try to understand- he doesn't want you to see him like that, and every son needs to get out on his own and feel like he's accomplished something, and, I was thinking about it and well, you don't have to be there. I mean, if you were there, it would only look like you were doing it for him and helping him out, and then it just wouldn't be the same...

(pause)I see your point. (another pause)Can he do it alone?

He has to. If its going to work, he has to.

(pause) Very well. What else did he want?

Well, now don't take this the wrong way, Jim...

What is it?

Jim, you know how tenderhearted he is. He's always liked his mommy...

Well he likes me too...

Yes, he _adores_ you, Jim, but he and I have always had a special bond that, that a boy can only have with his mother.

I suppose so.

Anyway, he wants to know...he wanted me to ask you if...I could be there with him.

You?

Yes, dear.

I see.

Oh, Jim, I've looked the whole thing over, and it all works... Mike was planning on being there anyway to help him out, but instead, it will be... me.

I don't know about this.

He was _so_ insistent about it. You should have seen the look on his face when I told him I'd be there. He was so happy! He came right out of his room, and he and Lucius went off and started planning their party...

(pause)Well, I suppose we were going to have Mike there anyway... it might as well be you. If thats what he really wants...

It is, it is, I just knew you'd agree, Jim.

(silence)

Well, when does this party start? We should get going.

Its starting now, Jim. And we're already here. Tuck your shirt in.

(pause) I love you Sophie

I love you too, Jim.

10 comments:

JonnyF said...

Nick, I think this is some of your best work yet. Very philosophical. Get it? Oh, I kill me.

Cabeza said...

Har--Philosophical... Minus two for Jon.

First, I get Josh and Lucius and Mike and even Sophie, but Jim? Where did that one come from?

Second, I know that this was mostly conjecture, speculation, and fun, but there are a couple of points of "doctrine" that I have a small problem with. (1) The evolution of man. This must come from your science background; the only other person I've heard promote this hypothesis of man's creation was a biology teacher at BYU. I just don't feel comfortable with it. Maybe it's just my lack of understanding. I prefer the Adam = begotton son of God NOT in the flesh theory. Though I can see how that would make other people uncomfortable.

(2) Sophie (Heavenly Mother) in Gethsemane to comfort Jesus? I have never heard that one before. In fact, we have some pretty reliable references to say that it was in fact Michael. So where did this Heavenly Mother idea come from?

That is all (for now....).

Nick said...

This was indeed a work of fiction and should not be construed as representing my personal views on anything that happened before or after the world began.

That said, the evolution part is pretty close to my views on the subject. The more I've learned about biology, I've seen that acceptance of the science of evolution does not preclude a belief in a creator, or even preclude belief in LDS doctrine. I definitely don't belittle anyone who does not accept certain aspects of evolution (like believing God directly begat or created Adam's body), since it is just one of those things we'll never know for sure for awhile. But this would make for a great discussion later.

As for Sophie in gethsemane, no I don't think thats what happened. I know Elder McConkie thinks it was Michael too, (I believe his exact words were "...and we suppose is was Michael...") but I'm not sure thats the final word on the subject either, also one that we'll never know for sure for awhile. But for the play, I just wanted something that had more of an emotional impact than a few anatomy jokes.

As for Jim, I couldn't really think of a name that means Elohim. Jim is short for james, which is often translated as Jacob, and Jacob was renamed Israel, so that was as close as I thought I could come. Plus, in the prairie home companion skits, Jim is the husband's name, and everytime I hear the woman's voice in my head I can only hear "Oh, Jim!..."

Nick said...

Dang it, I'm afraid I don't get JonnyF's joke... And I get the feeling that if it had to be explained to me, the humor would be sucked right out.

randy said...

I'm not sure I get Jon's joke, either. But the first thing that came to me, was to replace the first "i" in the word with an "a". Doesn't make a realy word, but I think it's more apparent.

So, about the evolution thing. Very fun subject. Up until a few years ago, I generally took the same opinion as that one "believer" scientist that CNN did an article on awhile back. He basically said that there was no disconnect between science and faith that he sees--perhaps evolution was God's means of creation.

Well, a few years back, I read something churchy (no time to dig it up now, so take it with the usual grain of salt for a reference without a concrete source) to the effect that evolution WAS NOT the means of creating life on this planet after it was formed. Up until the Fall of Adam, THERE WAS NO DEATH, the principle tool of evolution. I realized that this idea, and the idea that life on Earth was "created" through evolution, to be in direct opposition.

So I had to alter my thinking a bit. I came to accept the theory of "transplants". Perhaps we'll call them "grafts". Every person was born in the same way (Yes, Adam has a belly-button). Did Adam and Eve's bodies come from another planet? I wouldn't claim knowledge of that, but that's the idea... Supposedly Brigham Young taught something like that, and I guess that's where I came upon it, but again, I don't have any sources at the moment. Cheers!

Cabeza said...

Nick and Randy-

Jon's joke was not a reference to Nick's interpretation of the Eagle Nebula. Philosophy comes from two Greek root words: philos and sophia. Philos is love and sophia is wisdom (I assumed that that was why Nick chose Sophie for a name). So, by ending the play with Jim telling Sophie that he loves her, it was very "philosophical." Consider the humor sucked out.

Randy-

What you're saying sounds very much like what Bruce R. McConkie taught in his talk entitled "Seven Deadly Heresies." I too have read the talk and feel somewhat influenced by what it says--this is part of my hesitance to accept the idea of evolution as creation. On the other hand, the talk was given at BYU and as far as I know has never been reproduced in any official Church forum or publication. In short, it hasn't passed Correlation and therefore can't be considered official doctrine. I continue to claim ultimate ignorance on the issue.

Nick said...

Wow, I need to be careful with how I use names. I did know that Sophie had its basis in "wisdom", but hadn't made the philosophy connection.

My only reason for using Sophie was that I have been reading a book about the book of revelation and I've learned that belief in a heavenly Mother was a very widespread belief in ancient times, even in Judaism (before the "deuteronomist reformation"- see wikipedia entry for deuteronomist), but that it had been stamped out by the time of the babylonian captivity. The name traditionally given to her was Wisdom. As I asked Jenny what she would talk about with her Husband-God as they were going about creating a universe, she told me things like make sure I paid attention to good design, aesthetics, etc, things I wouldn't necessarily pay attention to, that struck me as very wise- it made me think about why spouses are necessary for godhood, without them we leave out a very necessary part of our development.


I'll write a whole evolution post later.

Jenny said...

Ok, I just have to say that I laughed out loud, multiple times, while reading this, and that I don't do that too often. Shoot. Nick's a good writer now, and I'm still not any good at math or science!

Warren said...

The ancient belief in a Heavenly Mother is something I’ve studied off and on for years now, if you want to know more you should definitely read this, it’s what everyone cites.
http://www.amazon.com/Hebrew-Goddess-3rd-Enlarged/dp/0814322719

I was reading (I think in Doctrines of Salvation) on my mission and it said there was no physical death before the fall. I asked my mission president and he said of course there was, the dinosaurs died to give us oil etc. So I thought about it some more. My conclusion is that there are two kinds of death, physical and spiritual. Spiritual death is what really matters in the long run, not physical. So I believe there was no spiritual death before the fall, but all sorts of physical death, which is what the scripture means that there was no death before the fall. If humanoid species evolved from monkeys (Cro-Magnon Man, Neanderthals, Lucy, Kennewick Man etc) it doesn’t matter to me. They all lacked the capabilities of experiencing a spiritual death. The world went according to science, then God creating the Garden of Eden and put Adam and Eve in it. Various humanoids could have gotten the earth ready for them (I don’t necessarily believe this, but something I’ve thought about).

According to Hugh Nibley: “One thing we should understand is that the image of the pre-hominid is not a discovery of modem science any more than the idea of evolution is. Primitive man is the easiest thing in the world to imagine. Just look at your neighbor.”
http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=transcripts&id=73&mp=T

And Jon I was going to give you +1 for your comment. It was esoteric and witty, regardless of what Jared says.

ps It was Euler's 300th birthday on April 15.

Julie C said...

I must have a different sense of humor - I was making it "philoSOPHIEcal" - maybe because one of the only philosophical books I likes was Sophie's World.

Nick - it was fun to read, even though I'm lacking the right voices in my head. It's okay - there are plenty of other voices in there already. :) It again makes me wonder what you and Jenny really say to each other when I'm not around...

So what am I supposed to do to follow this up? My mind is totally blank and today's my day.