News Anchor Bob: Tonight on News Room 13: Last week, we reported that a local member of our fair city was granted permission to declare his philosophy, “Presentarianism”, a federally recognized religion. Mr. Jim Bottoms, whose real estate business, Bottoms Up, went bankrupt in 2008, declared himself a prophet of what he calls “Now Think”. He stated that an invisible angel named Og told him to speak only in the present tense.
This week, Mr. Bottoms is currently in front of the city library waving a protest sign. Our on-the-street reporter, Stephanie Times, is coming in live on this development.
Stephanie? Are you there?
Stephanie: I’m here, Bob. Mr. Bottoms is over by the steps with a sign reading “Og Hates Past Tense”. He is distributing flyers on how to donate money to Presentarianism and is yelling abusive comments to patrons.
Mr. Bottoms: <chanting> Now Think! Now Think! Now Think!
Bob: Can you get in closer to get a few words with him?
Stephanie: I’ll try Bob. He is surrounded by an angry crowd of library patrons that are complaining that his chants are distrusting their reading. Mr. Bottoms! Mr. Bottoms! Can we speak with you, sir?
Mr. Bottoms: As long as we are speaking in present tense, I am happy.
Bob: Oh dear God.
Stephanie: Whew. Ok. I am eager to speak with you. I have faith in my ability to keep up, sir. Tell me why you are protesting at the library.
Mr. Bottoms: You are doing well. I am a Presentarianist. The library has books published in past tense. That is against my religion. To make it worse, this is a public institution. The city is subverting my right to practice my religion.
Stephanie: So you are saying that by serving a as public collection site for books written in the past tense, your right to practice Presentarianism is being violated?
Mr. Bottoms: Correct. I am suing this city for violating my rights!
Stephanie: These people clearly don’t feel that these books violate their own religion. Are you saying that your religious views trump the views of others?
Mr. Bottoms: That is correct.
Stephanie: Isn’t this protest designed to gain attention for your new religion so you can attract more followers?
Mr. Bottoms: Maybe. The more people are hearing the words of Og and are saved.
Librarian: Hey! You! Off the premises. The cops are on their way to evict you. I called them 10 minutes ago.
Mr. Bottoms: I only speak in present tense! You have to say “I am calling the police”.
Librarian: I don’t belong to your money grubbing cult. I can talk anyway I want.
Mr. Bottoms: Oppressor! Oppressor!
Librarian: Sh! This is a library. Lower your voice. Leave now or I will have you arrested.
Mr. Bottoms: Future tense? Oppressor! Og is commanding me to silence you!
Stephanie: Whoa! Did you see that, Bob? Mr. Bottoms just punched the librarian! Are you okay sir?
Librarian: No one pushes me in my own library! This is a house of learning!
Stephanie: Sir? Sir? Whoa! The librarian just hit Mr. Bottoms.
Mr. Bottoms: You hit me! I’ll see you in court!
Librarian: Was that the future tense, you fraud?
Stephanie: Mr. Bottoms stop hitting the librarian with your sign!
Bob: Get all this on camera, Stephanie! They are rolling on the floor punching each other. That librarian has a good right hook. Is that a police siren in the background?
Stephanie: They just got here. The police have both of them in handcuffs. Looks like it’s over for now but I’ll return with more updates. This is Stephanie Times reporting for News Room 13. Over and out.
Written by Sue Sierralupe – All rights reserved
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