By Mark DanceyFADE IN
[Images of attractive older couples playing tennis, jet skiing, ballroom dancing, taking romantic walks on the beach—all accompanied by energetic music]
VOICE-OVER: Would you like to live to be 900 years old? Have great sex well into your 700s? Live in harmony with the Earth and heaven and finally have time for all those things you've been putting off?
[Attractive older man in cashmere sweater cleaning rain gutter]
VOICE-OVER [continues]: For years, "experts" have claimed that this was not only impossible but also expensive. But today on Incredibly Astounding Unbelievably Awesome Stuff, we'll see an exciting new lifestyle program that, its developers claim, not only makes it possible but also affordable. Ladies and gentlemen, from BibCom Studios, located in Busch Gardens Moline, please welcome the host of Incredibly Astounding Unbelievably Awesome Stuff, Mark St. Mark!
MARK: Thank you, thank you. Wow, what a show we have for you today. Say, is there anyone here who's afraid of dying?
[Crowd shot of people nodding their heads, recoiling in fear, thoughtfully rubbing their chins]
MARK [continues]: For years, people have been complaining that they had to die and couldn't do a thing about it. Well, today we're going to meet a man who says death is a thing of the past. That you can live forever on the system he and his colleagues have developed. Would you be interested in something like that?
MARK: Well, okay, then, let's bring him out. Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to two-time Mr. Beef Cake Daytona Beach and one of South Florida's leading biblical scholars, Dr. Mitch Del Rio!
DR. MITCH: Thank you, thank you. Hello, Mark.
MARK: Whoa, whoa, Dr. Mitch! Stop with the hard sell! We don't want to die, and you claim to have the answers. Just give us the facts.
[Audience members nod skeptically, shake fists, flip off Dr. Mitch]
DR. MITCH [chuckling]: Fair enough. You know, Mark, people have been dying for years. It's sad, many times messy, and it can be expensive.
DR. MITCH [continues]: And perhaps the saddest thing is that it's all so unnecessary. At BibCom, we've been studying this probably for months and have come across some exciting technology we believe contains the secrets to eternal life. We've gathered this information in our new program, the "I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M NOT DEAD YET" system, available on video, DVD and CD-ROM.
MARK: Where did you find this technology?
DR. MITCH: Are you ready for a shock? The Bible.
MARK: The Bible? Isn't that just for angry loners and pasty Southern chicks?
DR. MITCH: Until recently, yes. The Bible is an ancient text that chronicles man's evolving relationship with God through tales of fratricide, genocide, natural catastrophe, virgin births and grisly executions.
MARK: Sounds complicated.
DR. MITCH: It is. For centuries, people have devoted their lives to its study and interpretation, attempting to wrest from it the secrets of the afterlife.
MARK: Oh, you mean like the Leeza show?
DR. MITCH: In a way. You see, most "experts" assume the Bible's function is to tell us how to assure ourselves of a pleasant life after death. We at BibCom began to look at the Bible in a different way. What could the Bible tell us about living a great, long life right now right here on Earth? It turned out it told us plenty.
What would you say, Mark, if I told you that backstage, I have three men who lived a combined total of 2,849 years?
MARK: I'd say you were the vilest person on Earth and would spend the rest of my days in the single-minded pursuit of your death.
[Crowd applauds as three attractive, buff older men in robes emerge from behind curtain and sit on a couch. Prerecorded "Only Happy When It Rains" plays]
MARK: Wow! Dr. Mitch, aren't these three of the holiest men in the Bible?
DR. MITCH: That's right, Mark. In fact, Noah here was recently ranked in a national poll as one of the holiest men to ever live, just behind Mr. Tom Hanks.
[Crowd oohs, aahs and nods]
DR. MITCH: Gentlemen, welcome. I've been telling Mark and the studio audience that the Bible contains all the secrets anyone would ever need for a long, fruitful life.
METHUSELAH: I think we're the proof of that. Look at me. I not only lived to be 969, but I had my son Lamech when I was 187.
ADAM: How is Lamech?
METHUSELAH: What, you think I know? Would it kill a son to pick up a pigeon and drop an old man a line once in a while?
ADAM: That's this new generation for you. Ah, don't get me started on kids.
DR. MITCH [chuckling]: Fair enough. You see, Mark, during the time of our guests, it was quite normal, according to the Bible, for people to live well into their 900s.
METHUSELAH: A young man in his 600s was considered on the way up. My friend Noah here didn't have his first kids until he was 500!