(Satire For The Holidays) Mrs. God looked somehow ageless in her sequined pink taffeta evening gown, posing for paparazzi and kissing babies. Her husband was sitting on the sidelines, a wallflower at his own party. I sidled over to the bar to cheer him up.
"You'd think she was running for president of the United States," God sniffed as he nursed a Shirley Temple. Clearly it was not all marital bliss for the Author of the Universe and his ravishing mate.
"By the way, don't call me 'the Author of the Universe,'" the Lord commanded, having apparently read my thoughts. "It is sooooo King James version. I mean give me a break, I'm not some has-been hack like that Shakespeare geek who they say didn't even write his own plays."
"Who wrote them?" I shot back, pouncing at the opportunity to solve one of literature's most enduring enigmas. "Beats me," God said. "Either it was Shakespeare, or some other dead English playwright. You know what he said -- a rose by any other name..."
Evidently this question had touched a raw nerve. "I get the same crap from the atheists," the Maker complained. "God doesn't exist. God didn't create the universe, blah, blah, blah... You know what I tell them? I say -- either it was me or Ben Jonson, take your pick. That usually shuts them up."
That sounded like a joke, but I dared not laugh at God. As president emeritus of the Agnostic League of Greater Secaucus, I had been chosen by lottery to represent America's religiously undecided at Mrs. God's annual pre-Christmas birthday bash and benefit. "If we believe the theories of the cosmologists," I ventured apprehensively, "the universe didn't need a Creator -- it created itself."
"It's a chicken and egg sort of question," God mused. "Atheists believes in the egg but not the chicken. The religious believes in the chicken, but scramble the egg. You agnostics can't tell the chicken from the egg. It's all bozos on this bus! You've been talking to my better half?" the Deity queried.
"No, why do you ask?" I replied.
"It's just that I get the same questions at home."
"Your spouse is a skeptic?"
"No actually, she is a theologian -- keeps demanding that I prove my own existence. I tell her, that's your job honey. At which point she stomps out of the apartment and takes a cab to Saks."
"That must be rough," I said.
"Not until I get the bill," was God's deadpan reply.
To be frank, the whole situation felt surreal. Could this unassuming male caucasian graybeard sitting on the barstool next to mine actually be the creator and sustainer of the universe? If so, this was the chance of a lifetime. If not, it was still a passably entertaining way to spend a half an hour on a Sunday afternoon. My mind was reeling with questions... What is your favorite color? Is time eternal? Will the Mets ever win the World Series?
"Why don't you ask me about the Big Bang," God prompted helpfully.