Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The One, Holy, Catolic Church

Sacred Tradition has preserved the origins of one true church. Its history can be found in The Chronicles of Saint Felid I.

CAT: Oh, forget that. Got you this. The one you asked about. The Holy
LISTER: Oh, great! (Opens the book and begins to run his nose across
it.) Hey! Pictures!
CAT: Yeah! That's a Cat thing. You see, sometimes, in a book, we have a
drawing of something that is happening in the story, and we call them
LISTER: Yeah, yeah, we have pictures too.
CAT: Hey, you monkeys are smarter than I thought.
LISTER: This is me!

The picture depicts a noble-looking individual, vaguely resembling
Lister, wearing biblical-style robes and carrying a black cat (an
ordinary cat, not a humanoid cat) on his shoulder. Above his head is a
doughnut-shaped halo.

CAT: No, that's not you, that's Cloister. He was the father of the Cat
people. He lived years ago, at the Beginning.
LISTER: (Turns the page) Who's that?

The next picture shows the same guy (without the cat) sitting lotus-style
inside what seems to be a giant ice cube.

CAT: That's him frozen in time.
LISTER: No, that's *me*! I was sent into stasis. That's what "frozen in
time" is.
CAT: He did that to save Frankenstein.
LISTER: Look, Frankenstein was my pet cat! (Points back and forth
between himself and the picture) Look, Lister, Cloister. Cloister,
Lister! See?
CAT: Listen, you stupid monkey, Cloister's another name for ... for God!
LISTER: That's what I'm saying! I am your God!

CAT looks LISTER up and down. He's not impressed. (Well, who would be?)

CAT: OK. (Points to his bowl of crispies) Turn this into a woman.
LISTER: I'm serious.
CAT: So am I!
LISTER: Look, Frankenstein was my pet cat, right? And she was pregnant.
Now, I got put into suspended animation. I was supposed to be there
for 18 months, but I didn't get out for three million years.
CAT: You oversleep? So do I.
LISTER: No! What I'm saying is that over those three million years, your
entire race of people evolved from my pet cat.
CAT: Ah, I gotta go now, man. But let's do lunch sometime. I'll put it
in my diary: 12:30, lunch with God. And, ah, formal dress, you know
what I'm saying?
LISTER: Holly?
HOLLY: Yes, Dave?
LISTER: If I give you my Cat dictionary, can you translate this for me?
HOLLY: Oh, I'll give it a go, Dave.


HOLLY: Morning, Dave. I've finished your translation.
LISTER: Who's Cloister? Is it me?
HOLLY: Yes, Dave. The Cats have made you their God.
LISTER: Hey! Working class kid makes good!
HOLLY: Your plan to buy a farm on Fiji and open up a hot dog and doughnut
diner has become their image of heaven.

HOLLY displays a picture from the Holy Book, showing the noble, biblical,
sort-of-Lister standing on a mountaintop, reading a scroll to the black
cat. HOLLY reads from the book in voice-over.

HOLLY: "And Cloister spake, `Lo, I shall lead you to Fyushal, and there
we shall open a temple of food, wherein shall be sausages and doughnuts
and all manner of bountiful things.

The picture changes to one showing the pseudo-Lister standing in front of
a sausage and doughnut cart on a beach, with palm trees.

HOLLY: "`Yea, even individual sachets of mustard. And those who serve
shall have hats of great majesty, yea, though they be made of coloured
cardboard and have humorous arrows through the top.'"
LISTER: Does it say what happened to the rest of the Cats?
HOLLY: Holy wars. There were thousands of years of fighting, Dave,
between the two factions.
LISTER: What two factions?
HOLLY: Well, the ones who believed the hats should be red, and the ones
who believed the hats should be blue.

Another picture, showing the holy wars. It looks like a scene from the
Bayeaux Tapestry. Incidentally, the artist stuffed it up -- both sides
are wearing red hats!

LISTER: Do you mean they had a war over whether the doughnut diner hats
were red or blue?
HOLLY: Yeah. Most of them were killed fighting about that. It's daft
really, innit?
LISTER: You're not kidding. They were supposed to be green.
HOLLY: Well, finally they called a truce, and built two arks and left Red
Dwarf in search of Fyushal.
LISTER: But there's no such place as Fyushal. It's Fiji. I mean, how
are they supposed to find it?
HOLLY: "And Cloister gave to Frankenstein the sacred writing, saying,
`Those who have wisdom will know its meaning.' And it was written thus:
`Seven socks, one shirt--'"
LISTER: That's my laundry list! I lined the cat's basket with me laundry
HOLLY: The Blue Hats thought it was a star chart leading to the promised
LISTER: Well it wasn't, it was my dirty washing.


(Cargo hold.) Everything is covered in dust and cobwebs. There's an improvised altar
(a filing cabinet with some cat figurines and candles on top), a big
statue of Cloister (wearing a doughnut on his head), and a bed, on which
an old, blind Cat priest wearing red robes and hat (complete with arrow)
lies. The other CAT (the one we know) is there too.

PRIEST: Here. (Takes his hat off.) Burn the sacred hat.
CAT: That's a fearsome hat.
PRIEST: Burn it, burn it! It's a symbol of the lies.

The CAT takes the hat and puts it on. Meanwhile, LISTER's face appears
at a window.

CAT: It's burnt.
PRIEST: All my life I've served a lie. Because you're not there,
Cloister, are you? You've never been there! YOU DON'T EXIST!

In the antechamber, LISTER has grabbed one of the golden doughnuts off
the head of a statue of Cloister and put it on his own head. As the
priest shouts his disbelief, LISTER pushes open the doors.

PRIEST: Who's that?
LISTER: It is I, Cloister!
PRIEST: (To CAT) Who is it, boy?
LISTER: I told you, it's me, Cloister. I've returned from the dead.
PRIEST: Is it him? Is it truly him? Does he look like a king?

LISTER quickly grabs one of the giant golden sausages that line the
entrance and holds it threateningly over CAT.

CAT: A king? Yeah, yeah!
PRIEST: Is he wearing the doughnut and the golden sausage?
CAT: Yeah, yeah!
PRIEST: Then it truly is him! Oh, I've failed you, Cloister. All these
years I kept my faith. I wore the Holy Custard Stain and the Sacred
Gravy Marks.

LISTER suddenly realises that the priest's robe bears the same stains as
his own T-shirt.

PRIEST: (Horrified) My hat! I've burned my sacred hat!
LISTER: No you haven't! (Grabs it off of CAT's head and replaces it on
the priest's.)
PRIEST: A miracle! (Tries to stand up.) This is the happiest day of my
-- uh -- aaahhh--

The priest suddenly collapses back on the bed, as dead as some dodo.
LISTER sits down, appalled. CAT puts his arm around Lister's shoulders.


  1. Wait a minute, wait a minute I know this, this was Door into Summer wasn't it? Heinlein? I'm sure it was Heinlein sounds just like him.

  2. http://www.reddwarf.nildram.co.uk/txt/waitingf.txt