A screenplay by Lloyd Fricker

The recent decision by the Kansas (U.S.A.) Board of Education to discourage the teaching of evolution in public schools raised the question “what would Darwin think”? In search of an answer, I asked three amateur psychics to contact Darwin and to film the encounter. Well, these three psychics took my large cash advance and disappeared, never to be heard from again. Their videotapes were found several days later. Here, for the first time, are the transcripts of their tapes, which are soon to be released in a major motion picture coming to a theater near you.

SCENE 1- A psychic is seated amidst burning candles and incense.

Psychic #1: Oh Saint Peter, in heaven, guardian of the Pearly Gates.

Voice: Is this another 1-800-COLLECT call? I can’t stand these petty interruptions.

Psychic #1: No. I dialled 10-10-HEAVEN. Is Charles Darwin there?

Voice: Let me see (pause – the psychic is put on hold. The recorded music is the Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”.) Yes – I think so. I’ll connect you.

Second Voice: Yo man -what’s going down?

Psychic #1: Is this Charles Darwin?

Second Voice: In the flesh, or rather, in the spirit, bro. What you be calling me for, earth boy?

Psychic #1: We want to know your view on this Kansas Board of Education thing?

Second Voice: Kansas, I ain’t never been there – what the *@#&$! you talking ’bout?

Psychic #1: Yes, but the Kansas Board of Education recently decided that your theory on evolution shouldn’t be taught in schools.

Second Voice: My theory ’bout what?

Psychic #1: Evolution. Or, “natural selection” as you called it in your book entitled “On the Origin of Species”.

Second Voice: I ain’t even read no book, I sure as #$^& ain’t write no book!

Psychic #1: Isn’t this Charles Darwin.

Second Voice: Yeah, or Chuckie D. as the homeboys knew me – biggest rap star in the hood.

Psychic #1: Are you the only Charles Darwin there?

Second Voice: Ain’t no others. Maybe the book-writin’ cat you’re lookin’ for is in heaven.

Psychic #1: You mean in hell – YOU are in heaven.

Second Voice: You call this heaven!!! This ain’t no #*&% heaven! Everyone’s got to dress in white – I don’t look cool in white – and they’re all singing this gospel crap all day and night – can’t git no sleep, and there ain’t no homeboys here. Heaven, my ass. No way! I’m in hell sure as can be…. Only good thing, I can zap people I don’t dig – people who ask dumb-ass questions – people like you – like this…

(There’s a bright flash of light and clouds of smoke fill the screen. The tape goes blank.)

SCENE 2 – A second psychic is seated amidst even more burning candles and incense, and a tape of Marilyn Manson is playing at high volume in the background.

Psychic #2: Oh great Satan, the giver of dark, the supreme party animal, the…

Voice: Hello – hello – is someone there?

Psychic #2: Oh great Satan, we ask you a small favor…

Voice: Hold on – I can’t hear a thing. Voice – shouting in background: Keep it down girls (pause) I don’t care what YOU want, Monica! You and Ms. Tripp are room-mates for all eternity. Voice – speaking again to psychic: OK – that will keep em quiet for a few minutes. Now, what were you saying?

Psychic #2: Oh great Satan, the creator of plagues, valley girls, and telephone solicitors,…

Voice (interrupting): Cut the flattery. What do you want?

Psychic #2: Sorry, your great unholiness, but we desperately want to speak to Charles Darwin.

Voice: He’s not here.

Psychic #2: What do you mean? Charles Darwin did more to undo the stranglehold that religion had on free thought than any person since Galileo, who wimped out at the prospect of death by torture and recanted. Surely Darwin didn’t make it into heaven, so he must be there with you!

Voice: Well, I don’t quite know how to explain this…. but Darwin, right before he died, he converted to Hinduism.

Psychic #2: What? Really? Was that because he felt that the Hindu concept of the constant recycling of souls until they achieved perfection was most like his theory on natural selection?

Voice: Hell no – he got scared! He realized he’d blown his chance at getting past the Pearly Gates, and not wanting to spend his eternity down here, he saw that Hinduism gave him an out – an alternative.

Psychic #2: So where is he now? Has he been reincarnated somewhere on earth?

Voice: Well- let me check (pause – the psychic is put on hold. The recorded music is the Rolling Stones “Sympathy for the Devil”. After 10 seconds, the voice returns). Let’s see – I’m trying to get his file up on the screen now – damn this Windows program – can’t wait until Bill gets down here – OK – here it is – — let’s see – first he was a grasshopper, then a fish, …

Psychic #2 (interrupting): I don’t need the details. Where is he now?

Voice: You’re in luck. He’s a human again – took a while, but he’s back!

Psychic #2: And where can I find him?

Voice: Des Moines, Iowa.

Psychic #2: What’s he doing there? Science? Art?

Voice: Looks like his name’s “Pierre”, and he’s working as a pet hair stylist at the “House of Beagles”.

Psychic #2: Thanks for the info. You’ve been great.

Voice: No problem. You ready?

Psychic #2: Ready for what?

Voice: You didn’t think that this was a toll-free call, did you?

Psychic #2: But the psychic manual said…

Voice: That’s what they all say! Don’t they? (laughter, then applause from a studio audience) Psychic number 2, come on down… This is YOUR afterlife (more applause, smoke, a brilliant flash, and the camera goes dead).

SCENE 3 – Psychic number 3 enters pet boutique. Behind the counter is Pierre, wearing a leather jacket without any shirt, and with a large earring in his left ear and numerous body piercings and tattoos.

Pierre: May I help you?

Psychic #3: I’m looking for Charles Darwin, who is currently residing in the body of someone named Pierre.

Pierre: I’m Pierre, but who’s this Darwin character “residing” in my body?

Psychic #3: Ever heard of Charles Darwin?

Pierre: No – but then I grew up in Kansas – there’s many things I didn’t hear about (he winks at the psychic).

Psychic #3: Well, I’ve reason to believe that you’re a reincarnation of a famous scientist from the last century.

(Andre, the assistant who is dressed just like Pierre, enters the shop carrying a large Beagle)

Andre: Oh sorry – I didn’t know you had a man in here with you…

Pierre: It’s a customer. What’s up, Andre?

Andre: I simply can’t decide whether Butch here would look better with the purple accent, or the more natural hair dye.

Pierre: You know, I always prefer the natural selection.

Andre: I know, but you’ve also said that you’re gradually adapting to a greater variation. Just thought I’d ask… (he leaves)

Pierre: So what were you saying?

Psychic #3: We want to know your thoughts on the recent decision by the Kansas Board of Education to ban the teaching of evolution and the big bang.

Pierre: I can understand why they would ban the “Big Bang”.

Psychic #3: Why is that?

Pierre: It’s quite obscene. Especially that scene with the Jell-O…

Psychic #3: What are you talking about?

Pierre: The movie! What are you talking about?

Psychic #3: There was a movie called the “Big Bang”?

Pierre: Yeah – starred that woman who played the lead role in “Snow White and the Seven Vertically Challenged but Otherwise Well Endowed Forest Dwellers”.

Psychic #3: I didn’t see either movie, I was talking about…

Pierre (interrupting): Oh, it was great – especially “Happy”, although “Sleazy” and “Disheveled” were also very good.

Psychic #3: Never mind the movie. I’m talking evolution – natural selection – the descent of man – the theory about sexual divergence…

Pierre: Sexual diversions? The scent of man? Sounds like fun. You know, you’re kind of cute…

Psychic #3: I’m being serious.

Pierre: So am I…come here big boy (he grabs the psychic). Say, you are big…

Psychic #3 (shouting): HELP!

Pierre: Now tell me more about “sexual diversions”…

Andre (entering room): Say Pierre, about this Beagle… (sees Pierre and the psychic together) Hey – what’s going on? (grabs a gun from under the counter) That’s the last time you’re cheating on me. Let’s see you adapt to this! (he sprays bullets around room, tape ends abruptly).

EPILOG – Announcer’s voice: So there you have it – the Darwin project. Apparently Darwin doesn’t seem to care what the Kansas Board of Education thinks – he’s too busy dodging real bullets, not the metaphorical ones he dodged last century. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a while before we can ask Darwin any more questions. According to our sources, it looks like Darwin will be coming back as a human again. Later in life he’ll become a film star, and achieve fame for his role in the Jell-O scene in the remake of “The Big Bang”.

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