On the evening of the sixth day
God put the finishing touches on the earth,
created a woman and a man,
and said, “That’s Entertainment!”
On the seventh day he rested
in his La-Z-Boy recliner and said
to his favorite Son,
“Pull up a chair; the show is on.”
At first the novelty alone
had all the angels talking.
Soon, however, everyone could see
that God’s new program had a flaw: ennui.
Eternity dragged. God fidgeted.
The Holy Spirit evanesced.
Jesus, comfortable in his Birkenstock
sandals, remained beatific.
The situation was clear. Even the divine,
the most perfectly patient couch potato,
soon grows weary of bliss,
nature, and the naming of animals.
A fit of nervous coughing
from somewhere in the crowd
intensified the silence
like a shroud of dirty linen.
At last one who had been lounging
behind an onyx desk, his back
turned slightly toward the spectacle,
stood up before the masses.
He wore a dark Italian suit of perfect
cut and drape and a red silk turban
(a fashion experiment he later abandoned).
The visual effect was arresting.
It was in fact the second son,
regarded by many as the brighter one,
who now uttered a single word
charged with premonition: “Advertise.”
He strode toward the throng,
smoke rising from his footsteps.
The angels gasped. Clouds gathered
and traded riffs of lightning.
“The woman and the man,” said he,
“are plainly rubes, but not without potential.
Awaken their more complex needs
and you’ll stir that drab tranquility.
“A taste of what they’re missing
is all that it would take.
If you’d like,” he smirked,
“I’ll give them something to chew on.”
Then he turned his attention
to his perfectly polished fingernails.
God leaned toward Jesus and whispered,
“He’s so flamboyant. So predictable.
“Officially I must condemn his plan.
The fall of Man is, of course, inevitable,
but not so the shame that follows
assignment of the blame.”
“Lucifer,” spoke God, rising to his feet,
“This plan of yours I must abhor.
Such crass temptation of my creation
is out of the question. Be gone. I’ll hear no more.”
Lucifer returned an enigmatic glare
and bowed his head
in apparent submission.
As he did, his turban
loosened and unwound, slithered
to the ground, became a serpent, and sped away.
Then with some new sleight of hand
he vanished in a sulphur flash.
The rest, as they say, is history.
An attractive product, a little puffery,
a naive consumer – the woman bit
and it revolutionized the medium.
God made a show of righteous wrath,
took away the actors’ cushiest perks,
changed the set, brought in new writers,
and sent everybody back to work.
Ratings skyrocketed. The heavenly host,
again engrossed, slurped up lust
and war and political intrigue
with uncharacteristic abandon.
Jesus, as children of the upper class
sometimes do, became an activist.
Publicly, Lucifer was sacked,
but according to the star-trackers
and the tabloids he was promoted
behind the scenes
to VP of programming.
Real talent always rises to the top.