At the end of time, the final battle is revealed as a confrontation between the Vatican and Microsoft. The Pope and Bill Gates face each other, alone, on a vast plain. Boiling clouds mass overhead in shades of purple, red, and black; thunder and lightning play continually.
Bill Gates is tense and drawn; the Pope is serene and comfortable. "You are finished", threatens Bill. "Even now, the vast forces of Microsoft are penetrating the electronic defences of the Vatican. Soon all your computers will fail."
The Pope is unmoved. "Hush, my son", he says, "All will be well. It is not too late to repent.", and beams fondly on Bill.
Bill is not pleased. "Don't you understand ?", he shouts. "The trouble with you non-technical types is that you have no comprehension of the sheer power and subtlety of our machines.".
"Perhaps that's true", replies the Pope, "but God has His own powers and subtleties, against which yours are mere toys.".
"How can you possibly know that ?", rages Bill. "Why are you so confident ?".
The Pope smiles compassionately. "How else could this very confrontation have been predicted thousands of years ago ? Could your machines do that ? And the outcome was predicted too. That's why I'm confident. Come, now; repent, and all will be well with you.".
"Never !", replies Bill. "Show me this evidence !".
"Certainly.", said the Pope. "Matthew 16.18. First there's a bit about me, then there's a bit about you. It goes like this : 'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the Gates of hell shall not prevail against it'.".
"We need no God", the sages scoffed,|
"for now we all have Microsoft".
This rash decision sealed their fates,
they had decided, much too early,
No, it isn't explicitly Christian. Use your imagination.
'Tis the night before Christmas, and Santa's dejected -|
His work's been politic'ly fully corrected.
His workers protested at being called "Elves";
"Vertic'ly Challenged," they now style themselves,
And labour conditions around the North Pole
Were alleged by their Union to stifle the soul.
Four reindeer had vanished - they scampered away
When released to the wilds by the SPCA.
The equal employment rules made it quite clear
That Santa had better not use just reindeer,
So Dancer and Donner and Comet and Cupid
Were replaced by rabbits, which looked rather stupid.
The runners had all been removed from his sleigh,
For the ruts that they made might destroy the highway,
And people had started to call for the cops
When they heard the sled noises upon their rooftops.
The smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened,
The fur on his suit was at best "Unenlightened" -
And such is the strangeness of life's ebbs and flows
That Rudolf was charging for use of his nose;
He'd appeared on "Fair Go", and appealed to the nation
For millions in long overdue compensation.
So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife
Who suddenly said she was sick of this life,
Joined a radical group, packed, and left in a whiz,
Demanding from now on her title be Ms.
And as for the gifts, why, he'd ne'er had a notion
That making a choice could cause such a commotion -
Nothing of leather, and nothing of fur;
Nothing for "him", and nothing for "her";
Nothing that might be construed to pollute;
Nothing to aim, and nothing to shoot;
Nothing that clamoured or made lots of noise;
Nothing for just girls, or just for the boys;
No candy or sweets - they were bad for the tooth;
Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth -
And fairy tales, while they were not yet forbidden,
Were, like Ken and Barbie, much better off hidden,
For they raised the hackles of those psychological
Who insisted that gifts should be stamped "ecological".
No cricket, no football - someone could get hurt.
( Besides, playing sports exposed children to dirt. )
Dolls were called sexist, and should be passé,
And video games make your brain waste away.
So Santa stood puzzled, distracted, perplexed,
He could not decide what he ought to do next.
He tried to be merry, and tried to be gay,
( - though you've got to be careful with that word today. )
His sack was quite empty, and flat on the ground,
No fully acceptable gift could be found.
Something special was needed - a gift that he might
Give to all without ang'ring the left or the right.
A gift to bring happiness, pleasure, or fun
To people of every religion, or none,
Every ethnicity, every hue,
Everyone everywhere - even to you -
So here is that gift, of most excellent worth -
May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on earth !
A strip that links two tracts of land|
Is sometimes called an isthmus.
As Jesus links mankind with God,
I wish you Happy Christhmus !
Spelling correction 2009 January.
Punctuation revision 2010 October.