Saturday, September 5, 1998

God hates puppets

What the end of time...they don't let you into heaven, not because of something obvious like stealing, adultery or murder, but something trivial and stupid you'd never even thought of. Like puppets. Specifically, your attitude regarding puppets ...

ROD SERLING: (walking out, holding a limp ventriloquist's dummy in hands) I hold in my hands a sort of puppet pieta ... a very dead puppet, despite occasional appearances to the contrary. But his intermittent animation at cheesy nightclubs and children's birthday parties is only the ventriloquist's art. In point of fact, this effigy possesses neither a mind nor the instruments of speech. A lifeless figure of wood, resin, paint and string. But...don't feel sorry for this puppet -- or ventriloquist's dummy, as the case may be -- for this dummy was never alive in the first place. (drops dummy) Did you know that some religious groups consider puppets to be instruments of the devil, especially Danny O'Day? They're idiots. But in the Twilight Zone, idiots are often right. Consider what happens when you don't heed their advice ...

EXT - Pearl Gates
YOU stand before ST. PETER. He sits, like a Maitre D' at a lectern, before the entrance to Heaven. Looking into an enormous book. Not finding your name...

ST. PETER: (looking up from book) OK, pal. I'm sorry to tell you this. You ain't in the book. (reaching for Lake-O-Fire button)

YOU: Wait a minute!

ST. PETER: Hmmm?

YOU: I don't get it. What'd I do wrong? Just tell me that...

ST. PETER: What do you think, pal?

YOU: I didn't cheat on my wife. I never hurt anybody. I didn't steal -- not even a paper clip.

ST. PETER: Yeah, yeah. What about puppet shows?

YOU: Excuse me?

ST. PETER: Think back. You recall ever putting on any puppet shows?

YOU: Puppet shows? I don't remember that ...

ST. PETER: You don't, huh? Allow me to jog your memory, pal. You performed a puppet show once at your nephew's birthday.

YOU: I'm still not remembering...

ST. PETER: The book remembers. (points to a page) It's right here, pal. April 17, 1978...

YOU: Oh yeah! Yeah, yeah, yeah. OK. Right. I couldn't afford a present, so I... Right. OK, OK, so I put on a puppet show. So what?

ST. PETER: (closing book) So, there it is, pal.

YOU: There what is?

ST. PETER: It's the puppets, OK? For what it's worth, I'm sorry. This is the part of the job I hate. (reaching for the trap door button)

YOU: WHAT...whoa, wait a minute, whoa whoa whoa, hold on -- you mean you won't let me into Heaven because of puppets?

ST. PETER: (coldly) God hates puppets, pal.

YOU: What do you mean God hates puppets?

ST. PETER: I mean God hates puppets. It says so in the Bible.

YOU: Where?

ST. PETER: The part about the idols.

YOU: What?

ST. PETER: Where it says no graven image...

YOU: That's not the same as puppets!

ST. PETER: Yeah it is. Sorry.

YOU: A puppet's not the same thing as an idol! I don't worship puppets. I don't get down on my knees and...

ST. PETER: Yeah, yeah. There you go -- defending puppets. (shakes head) That just proves my point.

YOU: But --

ST. PETER: (pushes button, dropping you into lake of fire -- then shakes head, shuddering with disgust) Freaking puppet worshiper.

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