Tuesday Titters: Week 25; Caveat Emptor

by Janie Jones

A corrupt politician (is there any other kind?) died.

At the Pearly Gates he is met by St. Peter.

“Welcome.  As you may have guessed, I am St. Peter.  It is my duty to inform you of our new Eternity Processing procedures.”

“Eternity Processing Procedures?”  Repeats the politician.

“Yes.”  Says St. Peter.  “We now have a more democratic approach to processing your placement into the afterlife.  Now new admittees must choose Heaven or Hell.”

“Well,” says the politician, “there’s really not much of a choice now is there?  Naturally, I choose Heaven.”

“I’m afraid it’s not that simple.”  Explains St. Peter.  “Before you make your choice there is a mandatory 48 hour waiting period.  You must spend 24 hours of the waiting period in Hell, then 24 hours in Heaven.”

“But, I know I’ll choose Heaven.”  Argues the politician.

“Sorry.”  Says St. Peter.  “Rules are rules.”  And with that the politician finds himself hustled into an elevator which plunges down into the depths of Hell.  Much to his surprise, when the doors open he steps out into a beautiful country club.  He sees all his friends.  They rush up to greet him then before he has a moment to speak they whisk him off for a day of golf, fine dining, dancing and general revelry.

“Surely there must be some mistake,” the politician thinks.  “There’s no way this could be Hell, this has been the best day ever.”

Just then, however, a man with red skin, horns and smelling faintly of brimstone walks up to him wearing the finest fitting Armani Tux the politician has ever seen.  “Greetings.  I’m the Devil.  Welcome to Hell.  Are you enjoying the champagne and caviar?”  The man says in a deep rumbling baritone.

“You’re the Devil?  This is Hell?”  The politician asks incredulously.

“Yes.  Naturally.”

“But this place is wonderful.”

The Devil smiles and asks, “Have you had one of Sigrid’s Swedish Massages yet?”

“Swedish Massages?  No.  I would love one.  Can I get one right now?”  The politician asks eagerly.

“Sorry, I’m afraid not.”  Says St. Peter.  “Your 24 hours in Hell are up.  Please step this way.”

“Thank you for visiting Hell.  I hope you’ll come again.”  Says the Devil.

“But,”  Stammers the politician, “I don’t want to leave yet.  I haven’t had my massage.”

“Sorry.”  Says St. Peter ushering the politician towards the elevator.  “Rules are rules.”

The politician mutters something under his breath about mindless bureaucrats.

“What’s that?  I didn’t quite hear you.”  St. Peter says politely.

“Nothing.”  Says the politician as the elevator doors close and the elevator begins it’s ascent into Heaven.  At last the doors open to a sky of fluffy pure white clouds.  The politician is collected by a host of seraphim of unspeakable loveliness who usher him about the clouds.  He spends a day of tranquility and contentment playing the harp, singing praises to God, and watching and protecting over mortals.  At length St. Peter returns and collects him.

“Well.”  Says St. Peter.  “Your waiting period is over.  You must now decide where you will spend eternity.”

“I never would have believed I would say this,”  the politician began, “and Heaven is lovely, but.  Well, it is a bit dull.  And after all, I had such a good time in Hell and all my friends were there, and the Devil.  Who’d have thought he’d be such a delightful host?”

“So, you’ve decided then?”  Asked St. Peter.

“Yeah.  I want to go back to Hell.”

“And so it shall be.”  Said St. Peter.  The politician jumped into the elevator and eagerly waited for the doors to re-open thinking of his Swedish Massage and wondering if he could get an Armani Tux as fine as the Devil’s.  At last the elevator stopped.  The doors opened, and to the politician’s horror he was dumped out into a barren wasteland filled with burning trash.  The acrid smell of fetid burning garbage burned his lungs and he fell to his feet.

“Get up you lazy turd!”  Bellowed a deep booming baritone.  The politician smelled brimstone over the burning trash.  The Devil stood looming over him.  He thrust a trash bag at the politician.  “Get to work!  Stop wasting time!”  The politician looked up and noticed all his friends, now naked and burned, walking amongst the flaming piles of trash painstakingly filling garbage bags.  As soon as one pile would be removed a new heap would fall from the sky so that they toiled for all eternity moving endless piles of filth.

“But.  But.  I don’t understand!  The day before I was here, it was beautiful!  I played golf with my friends, I danced with beautiful women, I ate fine cuisine.  I drank champagne.  And what happened to Sigrid and the Swedish Massages!”  The politician stammered.

The Devil shrugged.  “The other day we were campaigning.  Yesterday you voted.”

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