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Another upcoming radio play: Late Night with God, or Mr. Bergoglio Goes to Rome

Another upcoming radio play: Late Night with God, or Mr. Bergoglio Goes to Rome

Late Night with God, or Mr. Bergoglio Goes to Rome: A Tragic-Comedy set on the Seven Heads of the Beast

Late Night with God, or Mr. Bergoglio Goes to Rome: A Tragic-Comedy set on the Seven Heads of the Beast

Narrator: Jorge Bergoglio, aka “pope francis”, is disturbed late one night in his bedroom in the Vatican by an unexpected phone call.

Jorge: (mumbling repetitiously) If you Gay, dat’s ok! (pause, clears throat) Suffer the children …. Suffer the children … (pause) First you pay, then you pray, Jesus wants it thata way! … First you pay, then you pray …

Telephone rings loudly.

Jorge: (into phone, irritated) Si? Si?

Voice: Speak English, you schmuck.

Jorge: Que? Uh, what?

Voice: And stop fiddling with that pathetic schlong of yours!


Jorge: Oh. Who is this?

Voice: (mimicking) “Who is this?” I’ll give you three guesses.


Jorge: Am I finally under arrest?

Voice: No, you idiot. It’s me! God!


Jorge: (confused) God? (pause) Here?

Voice: Yeah. Imagine.

Jorge: Is it really you, O Lord?

Voice: No, it’s Bernie Schwarz from Tel Aviv.

Jorge: Oh! Well, I have always tried to welcome our lost Jewish brethren into the faith …

Voice: Holy shit, you are dumb. (pause, angrily) Jorge! This is Jehovah, Master of the Universe speaking!

The room shakes.

Jorge: Oh, oh, forgive me, my Lord …

Voice: Stop all that groveling, you moron! Just get up and listen!

Jorge: Si, I mean, yes, Lord.

Voice: Shit, I thought you Jesuits were on the ball.

Jorge: (timidly) How can I help you, Lord?

Voice: It’s about your cash flow problem.

Jorge: What?

Voice: You’re insolvent, Jorge, and you’re fucking up our operations. I’m thinking of calling in your debts and shutting you down.

Jorge: What, now?

Voice: Pronto. Arrivaderci, Roma.

Jorge: But, Lord, that’s not necessary! Just yesterday the Chinese offered to settle our Zurich accounts …

Voice: Chicken feed. You’ll still owe me billions, and I want my money now. Now, Jorge, and not at the fucking end times.

Jorge: Well, our armament deals are up, Lord, with our expansion into the anti-personnel mines market. And our partners in Beretta say that small arms sales never looked better …

Voice: Do you need a hearing aid, old man? I said I want full payment now!

Jorge: No, I hear you, O great One! But give us a chance! (pause) Look, I can close all those orphanages and schools, and sell off more of the Vatican Museum!

Voice: (skeptically) O come on …

Jorge: (desperately) Okay, look, I’ve got it! I’ll announce another plenary indulgence! That’s always worked before! I’ll double the cost for a special papal dispensation! Three hundred Euros to save the soul of your perpetually damned loved one!

Voice: Look, Jorge, think outside the box for a minute. Try to see things from my perspective.

Jorge: I do, Lord! I pray every day …

Voice: Who the fuck is talking about praying? I’m talking reality. Dollars and cents. The stuff the faith runs on.

Jorge: (soberly) Oh. Right.

Voice: I’ve got stuff in the works you can’t imagine, and I need a trillion bucks, right now. But all I’m getting from your Vatican Bank morons is excuses and headlines.

Jorge: These are uncertain times, Magnificence.

Voice: No shit. And we both know what you little jerk offs do when the times get hard, don’t we, Jorge? Just last week, another one of your cardinals got grabbed smuggling money outta Italy!

Jorge: We’re investigating that …

Voice: Save it for the reporters, schmuck. I don’t care how many slant-eyed politicians and Mafia goombahs you’re in bed with! All your rats are jumping off the ship, and I want my money before it leaks away to some offshore account in Macao …

Jorge: Yes, Lord.

Voice: Just don’t try conning me with that Mister Nice Guy routine of yours. I’ve got my eyes and ears everywhere. Even in Bejing.

Jorge: Yes, Lord.


Voice: So talk to me.

Jorge: Well, we could take out another mortgage on Vatican City …

Voice: That dump? Christ, Jorge, the plumbing doesn’t even work properly!

Jorge: (giggling) You should be around here when the septic tanks back up. Whew! Madre de dios!

Voice: Oh shut up!

Jorge: Yes, Lord.

Voice: This ain’t getting us anywhere. I want to talk to your accountants.

Jorge: Oh. (nervous pause) Well, I don’t know where they are exactly …

Voice: (angrily) What?

Jorge: No, no, what I meant was, uh, I think they’re all asleep, Lord. It’s after midnight here, you know.

Voice: So?

Jorge: Yes, and anyway, we don’t need to bring them into this.

Voice: Are you playing games with me, asshole? You remember what happened to the last pope who tried dicking me outta my money?

Jorge: Yes, Lord. I remember.

Voice: You little weasels think you’re such hot stuff once you put on that clown’s hat! All your stupid sheep may buy that line about you being Christ on earth, but we know better now don't we Jorge? I've seen the photographs of you and those two choir boys in Buenos Aires …

Jorge: (panicked) No, no! Please Lord! Alright! I'll call the accountants pronto!

Voice: Well you'd better unless you want to see the bottom of the Adriatic in a cement swimsuit!


Voice: (disdainfully) Oh get off the floor, Jorge. And stop pissing yourself. Your corpse wouldn’t be worth the hassle of another fucking conclave. (pause) Look, just forget about the bean counters. I know you’re a man who can get things done once you stop bullshitting everybody. Speaking of which, General Galtieri said to say hi. He’s still a big fan of yours.

Jorge: Really? How is old tight ass, Lord? If you don’t mind me asking?

Voice: Loving the good life up here, naturally. No more bleeding heart human rights groups to deal with. What can I say?

Jorge: Give him my best, will you, Lord?

Voice: No need to, Jorge. He’s forever in debt to you for those Exocet missiles.

Jorge: Oh, that was nothing … just a matter of transferring some funds from Rome …

Voice: I love it when you get all humble like that, Jorge. You do the act so well. (pause) And speaking of lame dicks, how is Rat Boy doing? You guys feeding him okay?

Jorge: Joseph is just fine, Lord. He’s writing his memoirs, I think.

Voice: Oh, wow. That’ll be gripping reading. (pause) Look, Ratzinger may be a murderous little creep but he’s still one of us, so if he gets hassled with any more of those extradition orders or arrest warrants, you let me know, okay? Nobody messes with my boys.

Jorge: He’ll be happy to hear that, mighty one. He’s having nightmares of lawyers scaling the walls …

Voice: (firmly) Look, let’s stay on agenda, Jorge. Let’s get back to my money. (pause) You’ve got exactly 48 hours to get me what I need. One trillion dollars.

Jorge: Um, two days? (pause) Will you take a post-dated cheque?

Voice: (outraged) Alright, that did it! Armageddon, right now!

Jorge: No, No! Wait! It was just a joke!

Voice: You sure?

Jorge: Yes Lord! It’s just my, uh, manner to joke like that. (nervous pause) Look, would I lie to you?


Jorge: Lord?

Voice: I’m thinking. (pause) Okay Jorge, no more bullshit. No more bounced cheques or papal reform commissions or blabadee blabadee blah … Two days from now, I pull the plug on you jokers.

Jorge: Yes Lord. I’ll do whatever it takes to get you your money on time: even if we have to soak every believer and put them into perpetual debt and ruin.

Voice: (chuckling) Well, let’s not go that far. Let’s leave the sorry deluded bastards room for a little bit of faith, eh Bergy?

They both laugh.

Voice: Oh, and another thing, Jorge … about all those protests in Vatican square.

Jorge: Yes Lord?

Voice: I don’t like it. Very bad for the image. Our offshore investors are edgy enough, as it is.

Jorge: Oh, please pay those protestors no mind, Lord. They’re just riff raff. We lock them up pretty quick.

Voice: Who the hell are they, anyway? The ones with the picket signs?

Jorge: Malcontents, Lord. Something about being rape victims …

Voice: Rape? You gotta be kidding me!

Jorge: Child rape victims of our priests, so they claim.

Voice: They must be Protestants.

Jorge: My thoughts as well, Eminence. But we have to appear to be understanding and receptive …

Voice: Well, I’ll leave the spin doctoring to you, Jorge. You’re the old master. That’s why I picked you to be top banana down there.

Jorge: (smugly) Thank you, Lord.

Voice: Stop preening. (pause) Child rape, eh? Well Jesus Christ in a pickup! Next thing we’ll hear about will be all those dead Indians …

Jorge: Well, Lord, now that you mention it …

Voice: (angrily) Look, I don’t want to deal with that, too. You get our buddies over at Langley to handle those brown savages. It’s their specialty.

Jorge: Already done, sir. The CIA is being its usual helpful self.

Voice: (paternalistically) Maybe you’re not so bad after all, Bergy.

Jorge: Why thank you, Lord. It’s nice to be appreciated. And our media strategy seems to be working in that regard, if the polls mean anything.

Voice: (giggles) Yeah, I saw that Time magazine article about you. Makes you look like the Second Coming! Imagine! Little Frankie Bergoglio the Argentine fixer, an overnight saint! (laughs, pause) Hell’s bells, I knew it would work. The kindly grandfather pope cleans up shop after Joe the Rat checks out.

Jorge: Brilliant, sir, as always. Maybe it's true that you can fool all the people, all the time.

Voice: Well, we'd know, wouldn't we Bergy?

They both laugh.

Voice: But Lord, if you don’t mind, there is one thing that’s bothering me.

Voice: What is it?

Jorge: What do we do when Jesus comes back?


Voice: We’re working on it.

They both laugh. Church bells, choir. Fade out.