Title: The First Church of Scottentology
Author: Mike Pulgoni, Prince of Wales
Due to my strong personal convictions,
I wish to stress that this fi(c) in no
way endorses a belief in the occult.
Oscar knew he was only going to make things worse for himself in the end; you couldn't go into Michael Gary Scott's office and ask for his help without unleashing a demon. But workplace harassment wasn't an easy case to build, and his lawyer instructed him that he couldn't make much of a claim without having officially gone to his immediate supervisor first.
Michael stared hard at the pamphlets on his desk, as though trying to well himself into being David Caruso. "So, these are the letters you've been getting?'
Oscar nodded gruffly.
"'Homosexuality cured through prayer,'" Michael read aloud. "You know, if this is anything like that masturbation cure they offered, I wouldn't put much faith in it," he quipped.
Several seconds passed before he realized he had unintentionally a slightly better (to his own mind if no one else's) joke than he intended. "Put much faith in it," he pointed out, trying pass it off as intentional and failing miserably. "Because, you see..."
"This isn't funny, Michael," Oscar growled. "Everyday I find my mailbox stuffed full of these things... they're always covering the hood of my car... this is harassment!"
"And you believe that someone in this office is responsible?" Michael asked with honest disbelief.
Oscar nodded, and even that seemed like a pretty reluctant move on his part. "The only other people you who know I'm out are all close friends... it's not the kind of thing I felt needed to become public information," he said with a meaningful look of burning hatred towards the camera.
Michael gave a slight start. "Oscar, I thought I told you to be proud of being a butt(edit)."
Oscar swallowed his rage (which was a bit like choking down an entire Thanksgiving dinner in one go) and made a mental note to have his lawyer demand copies of the tapes. "You did," he fumed.
Michael nodded. "We'll work on that later. Right now, we'll take care of this harassment problem."
"Thank you," Oscar forced himself to say.
Michael got up from his desk and indicated for Oscar to follow. "Come on, I'm going to get everyone together."
"I actually have a pretty good idea who it was," Oscar protested, but it was too late.
"Now," Michael began, ignoring him, "I think we've had some really good, informative talks about faith and religion here in the past..."
"You mean like the one about lion with the body of a meerkat?" Jim offered.
"Um, right, that," Michael stumbled, only to recover instantly "and I thought in that time that we started to really understand each other."
"Not really, no," Stanley mumbled.
"But now I find out that one of you using your religion to attack your coworkers," Michael continued sadly.
Naturally all eyes drifted to Angela.
"As the only person of faith in this office, I have certain responsibilities!" she defended.
"Hey, my religion is very important to me!" Kelly protested.
"Name the principle deities of Hinduism," Dwight snarked coldly.
This , however, required serious thought on Kelly's part. "Um... Krishna... Shiva... Voodoo?"
"I think we can all see that I've got my work cut out for me," Angela broke with icy heartlessness.
"Wait, I think I've got it," Kelly assured them. "There's a god with an elephant head and a god with a the head of a... hawk." She looked around the room for help. "Right?"
Dwight shook his head. "Your thinking of Horus, from ancient Egypt."
Kelly visibly deflated. "Oh."
After a moment, Dwight added. "Or possibly Hawkman from the Justice Society."
"Was he the one doing the 'oh' face on YouTube?" Andy interjected.
"The point is," Michael broke in, "that religious differences are tearing this office apart." He cast a shameful gaze across the office.
"This really isn't necessary, Michael," Oscar valiantly attempted.
"I think it is," Michael replied softly, placing a friendly hand on Oscar's shoulder.
Oscar offered his silent apologies to every one of his coworkers.
"The rest of the world somehow manages to get along without it being an issue, but I guess we don't have that kind of maturity here," Michael shook his head sadly and gave the room a moment to let the shame sink in, with Kevin clearly feeling even more guilty than usual. "And so," Michael pressed on, "active immediately, God no longer exists in this office."
The office exploded into the usual round of disbelief. Pam silently asked Jim whether this was going to be one of those "sit back and enjoy the show" times or one those "dive underneath the desk and pray you survive the day" times.
Jim wordlessly replied that they'd have to let history judge this one.
Pam smiled, thankful once again that they had learned to communicate telepathically.
"I'm going to put a garbage can over here," Michael announced, seizing the tiny wastebasket from the side of Pam's desk and setting safely in maximum tripping range. "I expect all of you to deposit every religious object you have in it within the next hour," he demanded.
"Michael, this really isn't what I wanted to happen," Oscar interjected.
"This is bigger than you now," Michael shrugged him off. "Now, I need every religious artifact. That includes Angela's 'inspirational' calendar," which was met with the expected vitriol, "the picture of Stanley's daughter in her Catholic school girl outfit," which Stanley responded to a hateful and dubious grunt, "and Phyllis's Bible."
"B-but, where will I look for guidance?" Phyllis asked meekly.
"I am your boss," Michael reminded himself and the room, "and I think that I should be the one you turn to for spiritual advice."
Andy and Dwight had a vigorous nodding contest while the rest of the room had a silent eye-debate as to who was going to take Toby's place as the resident voice of sanity.
"Think of me as..." Michael paused for a moment to think "...your own personal Jesus."
Oscar slumped his head down and resolved to speak less and hate himself more in the future.
"Great idea, Big Guy," Andy testified, ignorant as always to Angela's look of withering contempt.
"Thank you," Michael said, feeling exalted already.
"You know, I actually have a moral problem right now," Andy offered.
Michael gestured for him to begin.
Andy jumped right into it. "Say there's a lady that's totally giving you the green light," he took a moment to snicker, "but you kinda think you're better off being your own date for the evening," clearly afraid that the subtlety of his message might be lost, Andy held up his hand to spell out what he was getting at.
Michael nodded in a way he thought signaled "holy man."
"...Is it wrong to, you know," Andy continued, "tell her?"
Michael considered this to be a theological stumper. "What does she look like?" Michael finally asked.
"Well..." Andy stammered.
"Is it Meredith?" Michael asked.
"This is absolutely ridiculous!" Angela proclaimed, storming towards the exit.
Dwight's eyes went wide. "Where are you going?"
"To get someone with the moral strength to do something about this," Angela declared with unparalleled fury.
Dwight's shoot back and forth between the woman he loved and the man he could now officially worship, Andy shouted to Angela to ask if she could pick him up duct tape while she was out, Meredith silently sank out into the ladies room with a large thermos.
When the door slam shut behind her, Dwight was still frozen in the headlights on the highway of faith and love.
And then there was silence, which seemed to go on forever until it was finally broken by the word.
"Okay, second question," Andy began, "who do think is hotter: Kristen Bell or that cheerleader from 'Heroes'?"