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386-394 AD LINUS (a middle-aged fat guy lying on a couch being fed grapes): What prompted me to form the world’s first Christian band? (sits up straight) Let me set the record straight—it was never about the faith. I never really cared about any of that. What happened, though, was the Pope and the Emperor called me into the palace and said, “Linus, we hear that you’re a pretty dang good musician and already have quite the following for not yet breaking into the major scene. We have a proposition for you: if you don’t want to be given over to the torturers and die a horrible, painful death, then you will be the leader of this Christian band we just made up, that will not only unite the masses but also keep them under control.” That’s a direct quote. POPE (a la Rick James): Heh, yeah, I said that. LINUS: So I told my kid brother Timothy he had to join, threatened Echinacea at sword point, and then found blind Diophocles playing his pan flute for pennies outside the city gates. ECHINACEA (a buff, goat-hide wearing drummer with his sleeves ripped off showing lots of tattoos; in short, he’s hardcore): Hades, no, I didn’t want to join the Way. I’m not even close to being a Christian—never was, never will be. Then why did Linus choose me? Because I’m the best drummer this side of the Euphrates, that’s why. Gotta respect Linus that he recognized talent, though. I still have that stupid scar he gave me (rips his shirt in half revealing a cross-shaped scar on his chest). DIOPHOCLES (like Stevie Wonder): Me and Tim were the only believers in the band. Of course, that was hard, being in a Christian band with a pagan and the biggest ball of sleaze in the Empire. Poor Tim, though. He hacked it out for as long as he could. All the way up until the Coliseum concert. NARRATOR: Tension in the band had been building up for three years. Linus’s constant threats of torture and subtle changing of pure Christian doctrine found in the band’s songs, most of which were written by Timothy. flashback: TIMOTHY: Ole! The next one’s called “Charity Never Faileth!” (singing) The Apostle Paul / Wrote us all / That charity never faileth / She’s always there / Pure and fair / If we only asketh / The truth she loves / Is not puffed up / And love is all around / Envies not a—(cut off) LINUS (singing): And her butt / Is nice and round! / Do it in the b—(Timothy’s lyre comes flying at Linus head and knocks him over)
TIMOTHY: What do you think you’re doing? You’re ruining the song! You’re ruining everything! LINUS (takes a swig of wine): Whatever, little bro, I’m totally getting a little bit of charity tonight! TIMOTHY: I hate you! You don’t even believe in Jesus! LINUS (immediately drunk-angry): That’s a lie! Blasphemy! Of course I do! TIMOTHY: Then what were you doing bathing in the blood of goats you sacrificed to Jupiter last Thursday? LINUS: Lies! Falsehoods! Heresy! Guards—seize him! NARRATOR: The soldiers took Timothy to the Vatican square and drew and quartered him on the spot for ‘blasphemy’ and ‘defamation of character.’ end flashback ECHINACEA: Yeah I was actually gonna skip town after that show, but after that little episode, I decided I’d stick in there a little longer. His own brother, man, his own brother. DIOPHOCLES: So after Tim was killed, we got a letter from the Pope, saying that the emperor’s daughter Diana was going to be joining the band. The other guys really liked her but I never saw what all the fuss was about, heh heh. I didn’t think her voice was all that great, even. Silly rich and spoiled 16 year old girls. LINUS: Oh yeah, Diana. Most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen. Sales shot through the roof— she made me so much money. Yeah, she was a handful with the whole ‘alternative’ thing going on, but she was worth it. DIANA: (pregnant and gothic, but you can tell she was really pretty a few years ago) I never, ever wanted to be in that band, but I had to, because it was my punishment for setting my dad’s pet Siberian tiger on fire and then eating its charred remains. ECHINACEA: Yeah, Diana was a total babe. DIOPHOCLES: I noticed that having her in the band was going to be trouble, so I began right about then to plot the downfall of the band. DIANA: As much as I hated being in the band, it was pretty sweet having two guys fighting over me. Makes you feel wanted, you know? And I have to admit that the limelight is rather addicting. NARRATOR: Addiction was another factor in the Way’s breakup.
DIOPHOCLES: I started spiking Linus’s wine with opium, hoping he’d get hooked. And it worked. He was so hard on that stuff that he had to buy 12 pounds of it a week. That’s a lot of seeds. LINUS: (doing a line) Opium’s a styx of a drug. No, really, it is. It saved all of our lives, actually. NARRATOR: In 391, the band was in trouble. The Pope was concerned with the recent plunge in sales on the part of the band and the lack of interest on the part of the people. ECHINACEA: That was the scariest day of my life when the Pope called us into his ninth floor Vatican penthouse office. Now, you remember, I’m a pretty hardcore pagan, but that man put the fear of God into me in a way that no one ever could. I was sure that if I didn’t do exactly what he told me I’d for sure be damned for eternity. I literally pooped my pants. flashback POPE: (fiddling with his rings) Now, Linus. I’m a little concerned with your performance these past few months. You are the face of the church, my son, and you have to wear that face all of the time, understood? LINUS: Yes, Father, but it’s— POPE: Linus, shut up. I am the Hand of God, and do you know what the Hand says to the face? LINUS (a little confused): No… What, Father? POPE: Come in here a little closer. LINUS (still wary): Yes, Father. POPE: SLAP! (Linus falls over and his face is bleeding) Shape up or I’ll feed you to the giant spider we keep in the catacombs. end flashback LINUS: I still have an imprint of one of his rings on my face, see? DIANA: So to increase record sales, the church introduced the school girl uniform. And guess who got to be the first to show that off? Yeah, I was not happy. ECHINACEA: Oh yeah, the uniforms. It sounded, and looked, like a good idea at the beginning, but oh, man. DIOPHOCLES: We were set up to play from a boat off the coast of Naples. We were gonna play “The Sermon From the Boat”—I even had a sweet pan flute solo planned—
and everything was going fine until Diana came on stage. True, I didn’t see it, but I sure did hear it. ECHINACEA: I guess the fourth century Christian world was just not ready for plaidshort-skirt and pigtail immodesty. LINUS: It was basically a full-scale riot. Bottles flying, screaming, swords drawn—I freaked and popped some opium, and saved us all. I took enough to overdose. But instead of dying, a vision was opened up to me. Well, that’s what I told the media anyway. I guess technically it was a hallucination. DIANA: I ducked below deck, and I heard that Linus started chanting all kinds of weird stuff, about angels and thrones and trumpets and stars. Pretty weird. ECHINACEA: It was completely disturbing, but the audience loved it. When he started talking in jibber-jabber, everyone went crazy. Probably thought it was another Pentecross or something. DIOPHOCLES: While he did scare us from death from mutiny and saved our careers, I still despise him for abusing their faith like that. DIANA: That show really effected Dio. He told me that was trying to tear apart the band, and so I told him I’d help him out. I figured that was as counter-culture as you could get. LINUS: All of them teamed up to destroy me. Fools. Look at where I am now, living in luxury. And where are they? Echinacea is prancing about the forests in goat skins, Dio is begging again, and Diana married a B-rate Greek actor and now lives in a shack with their six ugly kids. DIOPHOCLES: I figured Linus’d steal all of the money, but by that point I didn’t really care. DIANA: But oh man, what we did to him—there’s a reason he doesn’t talk about our finale concert. ECHINACEA: It was the kick-off show for the summer ’94 tour, “Baptism by Fire.” We had all sorts of sweet pyrotechnics ready, shipped in from China. During the last song, Linus was lifted up on a pedestal, but Dio had sabotaged it. It fell down and threw Linus into the air right as some fireworks blasted right between his legs. DIOPHOCLES: We couldn’t have planned it any better. Sure, we knew he had antieunichification insurance, but it was well worth it. Good thing, too. I’d hate for there to be any more illegitimate Linus juniors running around. LINUS: That was the final straw, that accident. I went to the Emperor, he killed the Pope with some poison, and then the new one let me quit with a very generous retirement plan.
(pause) Wait, you mean they planned that? It wasn’t an accident? I’m gonna wring that fat beggar’s neck dry! ROMAN SOLDIER: Death threats are against the rules of your house arrest! Punishable by death! Ole! (slices him in half).
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