Smile of the Day

Life is getting much too serious, yes? Who doesn't need a daily smile?

Thursday, October 9


While walking down the street one day, a high-ranking elected official is tragically hit by a truck and dies. St. Peter is waiting for him at the pearly gates. "Welcome to heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, however, it seems there is a small problem. We so seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we are not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in."

"Well, you know, I would like to, but I have orders from higher up. So what we will do instead is to have you spend one day in hell and one day in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

Really, protests the official, he has made up his mind, he wants to be in heaven, but rules are rules. And so he was escorted to the elevator standing right beside the pearly gates, and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open ... and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance he can see a clubhouse, and there, waiting for him, are all his friends and the other politicians who had worked with him. Everyone is very happy to see him. They run to greet him, shake his hand, reminisce about the good times they'd had. They play a friendly, leisurely game of golf, and then they dine on lobster, caviar, and champagne. Even the devil turns out to be a very friendly guy, who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before the official realises it, it is time to go. They all give him a hearty farewell as the elevator rises, up, up, up ... and then the doors open and he is standing beside the pearly gates once more.

"Now it is time to visit heaven," says St. Peter, and the gates swing open.

The next 24 hours pass with the official joining a group of contented souls, floating from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time, and before he realises it, his time is up and St. Peter has returned.

"You have spent one day in hell and another in heaven. It is time to choose your eternity."

The politician reflects for a minute. Then he answers, "Well, I never would have said it before. I mean, heaven has been delightful and all, but I think I would be happier in hell."

"So be it." And St. Peter escorts him back to the elevator, and again he goes down, down, down to hell.

But this time, the doors open onto a barren land filled with waste and garbage, and all his friends are dressed in rags. They pick up the trash and put it into black bags, and all the while more trash is raining down from above. It is utterly cold, and utterly desolate, and as the devil comes over to him and puts an arm around his shoulder he begins to despair. "I don't understand," he stammers. "Yesterday I was here, and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and now ..."

The devil smiles. "Yesterday we were campaigning. Today you voted."


Blogger gollyboy said...

grin and groan...what a CAUTIONARY tale is this! thanx ~ good to bear this truth in mind 'ere we vote!

10:16 PM  

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