t actually took me six years to qualify for Paradise. It took four of them to duke it out with Laura, my first wife of seventeen years. To show how really nasty she was, she hired the notorious Boston divorce lawyer, Monroe Inker, who did his level best to torture me as much as he could. I was so humiliated, I was forced to hire F. Lee Bailey in defense. I can’t believe how many lawyers there are in Heaven. They’re still obnoxious and rich. I hate lawyers!
However, Laura and I finally “completed our relationship” and now we can be in the same room at the same time for family events - for a little while at least.
Cindy did move back in with me when I begged her sufficiently, and Barbara moved across the street with her husband. Adrian III, his wife, Holly, and their kids bought a fancy house on Brat-tle Street in Cambridge. “I’ve finally reached heaven.” I thought.
Al did show up for my Final Judgment and Qualification and we went to dinner together after-wards at Not Your Average Joes in Watertown Square.
We discussed the structure of Heaven over miso soaked salmon and Portobello smashed potatoes that Chuck the manager had recommended. A lot of people find it hard to accept that economics still regulates human life in Heaven, and that, not only were there rich and poor, but even war and jails in Heaven.
“Economics ensures that actions have consequences.” said Al. “Unlike my Inferno, only evildo-ers (people who kill or injure others on purpose) find themselves in the Inferno. The rich in Heaven might have been either rich or poor on Earth, but they were all generous with their money and good works. The poor in Heaven also might have been rich or poor on Earth, but, they’ve missed the opportunity for eternal wealth by being totally self-centered on Earth.”
“No matter how poor you are on Earth, you can still gain wealth in Heaven through generosity and good works.” Al said.
“Parents! Watch carefully what you teach your children. By teaching resentment and venality to your children, you are condemning them to an eternity of poverty. These sad family traditions have produced untold generations of poor souls. Your Final Judgment will heavily reflect the quality of your child-rearing.”
“It is not too late to change this sorry outcome if you are still alive. Death’s door confessions and bequests, while significant, are discounted at Judgment. Now is the time to act! Your life on Earth defines your eternity.” Al finished.
Some children are born in Heaven. They are the souls of those unfortunates who were aborted. An effort is made to have them be born to the mothers who aborted them if they are otherwise good women. The rest are born to those worthy women who, for one reason or another, didn’t have children on Earth. Heaven’s mothers are assigned at Judgment.
Purgatory and Paradise are states achievable in both this world and the next. If you are reading this, you are probably in Purgatory or Paradise right now. Thank those who love you for their gift, and if no one loves you, you should fix things up with those who should love you, or find someone else to love you..
One day I ran into Dr. Laura Schlesinger right outside of the Ritz Carlton on Newbury Street in Boston. She was gorgeous, in great shape and glowed with the good parent glow. We chatted in the Ritz Bar over bourbon manhattans (my favorite drink).
“Dr. Laura, I am so happy to finally meet you. Your tremendous courage back in the dark ages of the late 20th and early 21st centuries was absolutely remarkable. How did you manage to do it?” I asked.
“It was awfully difficult at times, especially when the gay activists tried to abort my TV show. But, I just concentrated on my mission to alleviate suffering, particularly of children.” She murmured modestly.
“You know, Dr. Laura, I still can’t believe how blind our IT TAKES A VILLAGE culture was to the terrible harm we were doing to our own children.” I agreed.
“Yes Adrian, but you know we still have some very serious disagreements.” she answered as she fished for the maraschino cherry in her glass.
“I know. Two disagreements, actually.” I continued “Firstly, I never liked your insistence that people share the same religion before they get married, and, I certainly have a different take on sexuality.”
“I know, I know.” she said defensively. “I guess that in the context of your theology, your posi-tions aren’t so bad.”
“Tell me Dr. Laura” I asked “What is your suggested mating phase strategy now?”
‘Well Adrian” she answered seriously “I believe that the ages between fifteen and twenty nine are the optimum mating phase in life. Parents need to start being forceful guides for their chil-dren at the beginning of this important time. You know you’ve done the job right if your child has found a competent spouse by the end of it.”
“Well I guess I did alright by that criterion.” I answered “Both Adrian III and Barbara Jeannette did fine even though I didn’t try very hard with Adrian. With my daughter, however, I started at age five brain-washing her about good and bad boys and how to tell the difference.”
We spent the next hour bragging about our kids and grandchildren and parted good friends.
One day, Al was in town to speak at MIT and wanted to buy me a drink. We agreed to meet at The Sullivans’ Tap just outside the Boston Garden. The Fleet Center never worked well so the garden replaced it in Heaven. He drove up on his Sedgeway and we entered the bar where I no-ticed a great fifty inch long model of the destroyer USS The Sullivans which was named after the five Sullivan brothers who died in the torpedoing of the USS Juneau at the Battle of the Solomon Islands back in World War 2. Al and I sat at the bar and we each ordered a Knickerbocker from Pat the bartender.
“That’s a great model of The Sullivans.” I said to Pat, “You know I built the Revel model of that ship when I was a kid. I actually built it twice, with battle damage and everything.”
“Then you know the story of my brothers and me.” He answered proudly.
“Don’t tell me you’re Pat Sullivan of “The Sullivans?” I asked in awe.
“That’s affirmative, sir” he responded.
“Warriors who die honorably in war go directly to Paradise.” Al explained.
“They deserve it.” I responded.
The long-haired skinny guy nursing his cold Knickerbocker at the other end of the bar chimed in in agreement. Turns out he was Saint Howie Carr the iconoclastic talk-show host I used to listen to in my office back in Watertown.
“Saint Howie!” I exclaimed, “I’m Adrian from Watertown, do you remember me?”
“Do you have any idea how many people called me? I wish I could say I remember you but, Nah, I don’t.”
After several more beers we all parted cheerfully and I found my way home to my patient wife and family. The experience of Paradise is difficult to describe. It’s funny how since Cindy moved back and I qualified for Paradise, it’s like I continually felt nostalgia all the time, at each given moment of my life.
One day Cindy and I even decided to doppel back to a Middle Paleolithic Place-Time Sector. We took a cab to Logan Scape Port and bought tickets to the Quercy, France of 23,000 B.C. We downloaded the necessary linguistic and skill-knowledge files, changed clothes, grabbed our tools and weapons kits and walked through the Place-Time Portal.
We easily found our way to the Spotted Horse Cave to find about two dozen Cro-Magnons bus-ily cooking dinner in the cave mouth. A bunch of little kids were horsing around as the men re-lived the day’s hunt. Their language had only twenty three hundred words total, so they gestured frequently and vigorously. The men often scratched pictures in the dirt with sticks to illustrate situations.
Since I was in the translation business during much of my life, I was naturally interested in linguistic archaeology. It seems that we can logically figure out the chronology of word development. For example, the very first word ever was help/hungry/Mom. Later that was expanded to help, hungry and Mom. Thus help is word 1, hungry is word 2 and mom is word 3. I’m coming is word 4 etc. You can say quite a bit with 2300 words.
Since we spoke their language perfectly they kindly invited us to join them for a dinner of roasted rabbit and roots and berries. It was delicious, but Cindy was distracted by the matri-arch’s cave-bear coat and kept fingering it, admiring the bear tooth and bear claw accessories, and looking at me wistfully.
Finally she pleaded “Honey, could you get me a Cave-Bear coat, please?”
“Geez, honey” I answered “Do you have any idea how big and mean those bears are?”
“Adrian!” She answered sharply “If you love me you’ll get me my own Cave-Bear coat.”
The cave family watched us with rapt attention. The matriarch told Cindy “Me find this bear when already dead. Much strong medicine needed to kill bear.”
“Is there one around here?” I asked uneasily.
It turns out there was one about a kilometer from the cave in another cave and the patriarch of-fered two strapping youths to help me.
I grabbed an atlatl (spear thrower) and the three of us wordlessly headed off towards the nearby cave. Fortunately I had downloaded spear thrower algorithms so I was pretty confident of success. Suddenly, after turning a corner on the cliff-side path I saw the Bear about two hundred yards directly ahead of us.
I placed a sharp flint tipped spear in the thrower and we ran silently towards the bear. The bear saw us coming and he decided to attack us and immediately ran towards us, stopping to rear up and roar a few times.
My two helpers backed off as I positioned my spear for action. 100 yards, 75 yards, 50 yards, 25 yards, and then I whipped the spear thrower forward with all my might and the spear buried itself deeply in the bear’s skull and he dropped like a stone at about 8 yards.
My new best friends shrieked at the top of their voices and we all danced maniacally around the carcass. A half dozen other young men who were following us at a distance joined in the wild hullabaloo of celebration. They fought with each other over choice parts as they skinned and butchered the bear.
Back at the cave there was a great celebration and I was a hero.
Cindy then asked whiningly “I suppose I have to sew my own coat Huh? I have to do all the work.”
Thus began the existence of our favorite doppels.
You should live your life so that Heaven will just be gravy. But none-the-less, Paradise is won-derful. Don’t forget, the road to Paradise is paved with grace and generosity. The road to the Inferno is paved with envy and hatred. Where do you want to go?