[The curtain lifts in medias res.]
We've got to breathe some life into this thing or we're going to have one humongous corpse to explain away. Any ideas?
We've tried everything. The Gill bio didn't exactly ignite a firestorm of interest in the Church. Talk about pooping in you own nest. And we've oked about everything but human sacrifice, S-M, and group sex. Members don't even have to crack a book any more. We've done it all for them, practically pre-digested everything, and the one or two minutes it takes to get through the full-text lesson is still too much. Maybe we can come up with something they can put under their pillows at night and grow wise and spiritual as they snore away the hours.
We've got to do something to at least look like we're inspired. What do the stars and planets say?
Now, you know I won't talk about that. It's a delicate personal matter.
I'm not talking about your love life. I'm referring to today's horoscope, not your blasted eriscope. Oh, never mind.
Maybe a new Mrs Eddy would create some buzz.
Call "Rasputin" and we'll chew the rag some on that. She's been playing the role unofficially for years anyway. Let's dust off the old girl and let her go for it in prime time.
"I've always depended upon the kindness of strangers." [simper] How's that?
We're looking for MBE not Tennessee Williams or whatever that was. How would you like to play the new Mrs. Eddy?
Play? I thought . . .
Confound it! We're talking serious strategy here, not delusion. If we don't get some spiritual Geritol into this church pretty soon, even the whippersnappers are going to lose their snap. Can you convince them you've got the latest word from cloud-cuckoo-land or somewhere?
Look, things are as lite now as we can make them. Any liter and we'll have to tie it all down and paint it black to find it.
Well, what do you suggest?
I'll do a revised S&H. Always wanted to anyway. That thing is drier than a five-year old fruitcake and needs updating for a contemporary audience. We could call it "Science and Health for Dummies". Kids with lots of loose change would probably think it's neato.
Neato? Good grief, you sound like a 70-year-old teenybopper.
Cool, hip, boss, then.
Oh brother. Maybe a lifelike, inflatable MBE with a good ventriloquist would do just as well. Could you . . .