Sign Of The Times, this is Steve.

Hi. I need a sign. A big one.

That’s why we’re here. Is this for a an event, or…

Um…yes…an event. That seems like a good way to put it.

I see. And that would be…

Well there’s been a number of changes around here of late. We came close to scrapping the whole business, and decided instead to consolidate. Restructure. Give it one last go before closing up shop.

So it’s sort of a "Grand Re-opening"?

Exactly. And forgive me if I seem flustered. It was only just now The Big Guy hollered, order a sign, we need a sign…

Not to worry. And the uh…Big Guy, I assume, that's whose name I should put the order in.


And what name would that be?

That would be God.




Oh there you are.

Little early isn't it.

Early? Early for what?

To be drinking. Or whatever it is...

Now see here…there’s no need to be rude…I simply called you looking for a sign. In good faith, I might add.

Oh of course. You phoned at the behest of the Almighty. Happens all the time. Alrighty then. Tell me this—if God needs a sign, why doesn’t he just conjure one up? Are you telling me God can’t “poof” a sign into existence when he wants?

Stephen, Stephen…


Steve. Yes, Steve, I suppose He could “conjure one up”, as you say. Back in the day, when He was still all powerful. When we were all working at full force.

What do you mean, “we” were…

But that power depends on faith, you see, and in these times, faith appears to be lacking. Hence the consolidation. The restructure. All your big names do it. Your Googles, your Nikes…your Microsofts. We figured, why not us. But until we get our numbers back up, The Big Guy can’t afford to waste his powers on parlor tricks and penny ante stuff, like “poofing” signs into being.

So God could make a rock so big He himself couldn’t lift it.

Of course He could. Don’t be simple, Stephen.


Sorry. Now about the sign. We’ll go with “Grand Re-opening.” But we need it big. Really big.

24”x48” is a standard size.

Oh, bigger. Much bigger. Needs to be seen ‘round the world. Not to mention He’s a bit of a show-off. How soon can you have it ready?

Day after tomorrow.

Perfect. I’m sure He’ll be pleased. You’ve been very helpful Stephen. Thank you.


Right. You know Steve, now that I think about it, perhaps you should put the order in my name.

Easy enough. And your name is…

I have several. Old Nick, Old Scratch. Lucifer. Mephistopheles. Let’s go with Lucifer. It means “light-bringer.” I’ve always liked that one best.

Restructure. Consolidation. I’m beginning to see what you mean. I take it you and the uh…The Big Guy, hashed it out over tea and crumpets, or something.

Well it’s all been a bit hastily done, if you ask me. A bit rushed, considering the magnitude. But yes, we talked. We do, from time to time, and with faith at such a low ebb nowadays, joining forces seemed prudent. A meeting of the minds, you could call it.

Some meeting. Like the Cosa Nostra at Apalachin.

You put a fine point on it, Steve.

Thank you. We aim to please here at Sign Of The Times.

Is there anything else? Are we finished?

Almost. I just need a credit card number.

Of course. Visa, MastercardAmerican Express…which one would you like? I have them all. I invented them, you know.

Doesn’t surprise me a bit. Although I am somewhat mystified by how deferential you are. Calling Him “The Big Guy”. I'd have thought the ruler of the netherworld would have a little more pride.

Biding my time, biding my time. All good things to those who wait. And I won’t forget how helpful you’ve been. I’m making a note. Ask for "Stephen" next time.

Steve. Next time?

Yes. For the “Under New Management” sign.

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