Thursday, September 16, 2010
To mark the Papal visit to the UK (which I am mercifully not in the country to witness) I have decided to share a scene from my new play Kill Everyone Now with you, lover. I have been working on it on and off for two years and today finished the first draft of the textual components. So, have at it.
Joan Crawford; talking to her partner above the general noise begins a monologue, turning outwards to address the audience as she does so. The tone is melodrama, silver screen acting, glamour as tough as nails, she has a lit cigarette.
I wonder, I have always wondered, where do communion wafers come from? Who bakes the body of Christ? Those paper-thin discs, the heavenly host, those wafer like slivers of immaculate flesh, tasting oddly of polystyrene.
“Do this is memory of me”, He said at the last cocktail party, but darling where does one buy them from? I’ve looked all over Harrods, Fortnums, Ka De We and Gristedes but all I can ever find are blinis. Are they by special order? Are those tiny slices of snow white bread cut from holy loaves? Tended to lovingly by devout monks in the highest hills of Umbria? Are they carried one snowflake at a time for inspection by a wizened but beautifully radiant Father Abbot, each and every one? Are they packaged up in baskets woven from wheat and decorated with bright white flowers to be carried down the mountainside on the backs of blessed donkeys, to the port where ships sailed by celibate seamen carry them o’er the water and on to the lips of the devout?
No. I rather expect they come from dour factories, housed in the Mid-Western regions of the United States, that they’re churned out mechanically by hair netted, carcinogenic grandmothers hacking their lungs out over the conveyor belts as they go by. That they fall in their hundreds of thousands through mundane pipes and cylinders, shredded ignorantly by ever duller whirring blades and then embossed with the holy seal, as though each one was a collectable Texas Rangers sticker pack, destined for a tube of potato chips. Forced fed into a vacuum pack and shipped off on the back of a hulking twelve-wheel truck, through the driving grey rain of a freeway at midnight.
Yes, and from time to time the driver, delirious in his exhaustion (he hasn’t slept for 36 hours and he’s hallucinating little green men at the window) the driver from time to time confuses his deliveries and turns off too soon from the freeway. His monstrous truck feels a part of him, like an over full bladder and all he can think of is release. Barely cognisant anymore he spins the wheel in the wrong direction, mixes up his deliveries, and leaves the communion wafers at the McDonalds up on 42nd street, and then unwittingly continues on to St Patrick’s with the frozen fast food.
Now, with the lightning quick commercial brainpower that has made the brand a global powerhouse of misery and misinformation, McDonalds quickly sell on the mysterious tasteless wafers (that no-one can account for) as their new low-cal, low-carb air burger – the healthy option – and for two Tuesdays in June it is their biggest seller. And on Sunday, as the Arch Bishop turns the key in the lock of the tabernacle, raw minced beef slides out and onto his immaculate shoes. Steak tartar. Body of Christ.