One day I died. And I found myself in front of the pearly gates with nothing more than a rosary and a whole lot of “I’m dead now, I’m so cool” attitude. I marched right over to St. Peter who looked like a frazzled flight attendant and less like the HR head of Heaven that he was. I had every reason to expect a grand reception in heaven. In my opinion I was nothing less than a perfect angel, an example-to-be-emulated daughter, a wonderful friend and so on and so forth. That other people begged to differ was and is of no relevance to me. I didn’t pore over those self help books and morale-boosting literature for nothing, hell-oo! (I should find a new way to spell that. Won’t do to mention hell in heaven and all. Not very politically correct.) So when St. Peter gave me a surly look and asked me if I had my papers in place, it came as a rude shock to me? “It’s very well that you’re dead and all, but there are processes to this place.” he said with a smug government-official face. PROCESSES-o? Shock was to my inherent malluness, what super-effective laxative was to unrelenting bowels – a sudden appearance situation and a lot of embarrassment. How did processes find me in eternal life? I have evaded processes and successfully so, most of my life. That would make me something of a helter-skelter with less organizational skills than a spilt bag of marbles. But still! It has no business following me to paradise. I heard somewhere that hell is living through your one mistake or failing or whatever, day in and day out for the next one million years or so also known as perpetuity (apparently, I should have listened more to this know-it-all) So if someone with ice-creamophobia is judged to eternal damnation, his hell would be filled with giant ice cream scoops of pink and white and brown and honey nut crunch and all the 31 Baskin Robbins flavours. That sort of a thing. But I’m in heaven. What’s processes doing following me to heaven? I must meet the redressal forum.
That’s when I noticed a longer line than I had seen at any passport office or embassy or ration shop or BEVCO outlet extending all the way from the Pearly Gate No. 2 to kingdom come. What’s more..this line had a strange homogeneity to itself. There were only women in white bridal gowns and men in monkey suits. It would have looked like a mass wedding if it weren’t for their noses stuffed with cotton. So then I stopped and asked an attendant angel who looked as bored as a government office peon, “It’s true then? God is a Catholic God after all?” To which he gave me a “Where the hell are you from anyway?” look, followed by a “What else can I expect from a stupid mortal, anyway!” look. With exaggerated patience that DID NOT become a seraph, he tells me, “This is the Catholic gate, you fool.” He then took a look at my white gown “Oh Catholic, eh? Did they like give you last rites? Personally, to me these duds who have their last rites in place are worse than prima donnas. They think they can just wave their certificates in our face and we’ll be impressed. As if! It’s not like they donated an organ or something. Now that would speak for something! They just don’t get it that we have processes (there’s that horrid word again) in this place.”
Considering that there wasn’t much love to be lost between us, I ventured, “So why do you have processes in here?” He glared at me and I honestly thought I had received a look that COULD kill and would be burnt to a crisp. But I remembered that I was dead and I couldn’t be crisped and so I glared back at him. “Because of the way He is. Don’t you know God’s schizo, man? The old fellow’s been around for a really long time. And you dimwits on earth don’t make things easier for him. You silly mortals think ‘aah my God is THE GOD. My religion rocks. blah blah blah’. Conveniently forget that you’re supposed to know that there’s only one of Him around for several billion intergalatical eras, which, by the way, is all of space and time. So you go about inventing new religions every week. One day if He’s wearing his strange Yahweh nightgown, the next day He’s got his Buddha cornrows, then the next He’s all thou-shalt-this-and-that and then He’s all Holy Spiritey and then yet another day He’s the great Jihad propagandist, then sometimes He’s an absolute nuisance dancing all over the place and spouting rivers from the top of his head. Sometimes He just gets silly and wears His Elvis suit. The devil, lucky devil, he’s just the devil. Always was, is and always will be the Devil. Our Dude has so many names. It’s confusing” The angel’s sounding really resentful here and I’m thinking “I’m screwed. No way he’s going to let me jump the processes. A resentful angel will not give me a processes break. And as if he’s read my mind, he says in a voice that reminds me of being deep fried in coconut oil, he continues, “So why don’t you get in line? Please remember that we process only one entry at any given time. We have over 15,000 gates, one for each religious sect. Ha ha… our revenge for your schisms. One entry would require a complete assessment of the life they’ve lived. Then our computer of computers will tally their numbers and we’ll slot them on the basis of credits and discredits. Then St. Peter will review their papers. And we decide if they go to heaven or hell or get recycled and sent back to earth. Recycling is tricky, cos sometimes memory isn’t erased properly and they remember things from their past life and end up institutionalized for being delusional or a schizo. But then again, you mortals deserve it all that’s coming to you. For making us up here look like complete jackasses who can’t implement the greater good. The Devil can’t get his smirk off and that’s just embarrassing. That Perry pastor incident was such a dreadful fiasco. It was an evangelical pie in our faces. And you know what He had to say about it? “THIS I’ve got to see”, that’s what He said. We even had some minor disagreements in here. Muslim souls vs. Christian souls.” I think my eyes must have glazed over cos his voice gets all clipped and he says, “So why don’t you get in line, hmmmm?” “But this could take forever” I wailed! To which he said “like you’re going somewhere huh? FYI (for the record, I don’t like angels who FYI me) this IS forever. Oh imagine an Afghani with a skull cap and a beard and speaks no English trying to clear immigration at Newark? Multiply the time he’d take to do so into 10. That’s about the time you’d take to enter the pearly gates. My dear child this is the heaven of heavens and belongs to the God of gods, what else can you expect here but the process of processes?”
*the word processes gets my goat, cow and my entire barnyard. I CAN’T STAND THE WORD. It drives me insane when someone brandishes the word in my face. I’d rather have someone call me a ditzy mindfuck than have them tell me mind my processes. Therefore this post.
** God here, is all those versions of God people seem to have. My God on the other hand wears no nightgown, yawns while He listens (attentively, nevertheless) to mass, inspires people to do cool things like invent Bose speakers, write songs like Stairway to heaven, make awesome movies and fudge and cheesecakes and stuff like that.