Thursday, 1 April 2010

Heaven or Hell?

When walking down a street one day a Member of Parliament is hit by a truck and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and at the entrance he is met by a beaming St Peter, dressed in a smart suit, blond hair shining.
"Welcome to heaven" says St Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see high officials here, and we weren't sure what to do with you."
"That's no problem" says the MP, pride reinforcing his sense of authority, "just let me in."
"Well I'd like to, but I have orders from above: what we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one day in heaven, then you can decide where you want to spend eternity."
"No, really, thanks for the offer, I'd usually jump at the chance to spend some time with the less fortunate, you understand, but I've made up my mind and I'd like to spend eternity in heaven" says the MP, smoothly.
"I'm sorry, but orders are orders."
And with that the MP feels himself falling down a tunnel towards a red, shimmering, light. He's immersed in the light, then, suddenly, as if he's come to his senses, he finds himself standing in the middle of a beautiful golf course. Nearby he sees a white painted club house. Standing in front of it are past friends and colleagues, beaming and beckoning, holding flutes of champagne. They greet and shake hands, with much back slapping and laughter, and spend the evening reminiscing about the good times they had while getting rich on tax payers' money and sponsorships.
The next morning, after a restful sleep, they play a friendly game of golf before lunching on lobster, caviar and champagne. Also present is the Devil himself, who entertains them with a jovial speech. He really is a nice guy. They are having such a good time that before he realises it, it is time to go. All these friendly people give him a hearty farewell as he feels himself accelerating upwards towards a bright white light and the gates of Heaven.
"Now it's time to sample the delights of Heaven" welcomes St Peter as the gates magically swing open. The MP fleetingly wonders if the Christian Heaven is the same as the Muslim one, as he strides inside.
24hrs drift by with the MP moving from cloud to cloud amongst a group of angels, singing along to the harp and feeling a warm glow of security and contentment.
St Peter returns. "Now that you've experienced them both, where would do you want to spend eternity?"
The MP puts on his 'reasonable' face, though he's already decided. "On balance... and I would never have believed I would have said this... I mean Heaven has been idyllic... but I think it would be prudent if I spent eternity in Hell."
"Final answer?"
"Final answer."
And immediately he feels himself plummeting back to the red shimmering light. Passing through it he lands with a thud in a bunker. Peering over the rim he's bewildered to see that it's a crater in a desolate world of volcanoes, ruins, waste and rubbish. He sees his friends gathering up the effluent, stooped under great black bin bags of the stuff, all split and dribbling, as more trash falls from the sky.
The Devil comes and puts an arm around him.
"But I don't understand" stammers the MP, wondering what emotion to play. "Yesterday I was here and everything was beautiful. What's going on?"
"Yesterday we were campaigning... But now that you've voted......"

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