Well, I’ve made it. It was a narrow thing, though. All that head-shaking and nudge-nudging. And it’s truly beautiful. The Pearly Gates really are Pearly. I felt like a celebrity as they opened silently. Into the very latest state-of-the-art techno up here. And all the angels and saints lined up to welcome me. I gave the royal wave as I passed through. If you’re going to do it, do it in style is what I always say. Said. And why should it be any different up here?
Then all my departed friends and relations. Some looked pleased enough, but not all by any means. My mum for a start, her lips pursed in, “Charity begins at home.” “First cast the beam,” I always say. Said. Still, always good to see your mum again. All the old teachers, though a few missing, I’m glad to note. My headmistress for one, with her mantra “To thine own self be true … Thou canst not then be false to any man.” Men enough who fell for that. But not me. Oh No! Not much left of ‘her own self’ after all the boob, neck, nose, bum jobs. Not enough real bits to bring along, I guess. Not too many colleagues, thank goodness. Fell out with most of those! On the whole I admire His judgement. A few harmless members from the Council. My best friends. Not too many exes.
But Whoa … who have we here? The Pope, none other. Mind you, he wasn’t then. And me just a slip of a thing at the time. Fresh from the convent. It was after mass when this tall, dark and handsome stranger suggested to me a walk in the convent ornamental garden. “No, No,” I cry, “The Bishop wouldn’t like it.” “I am the Bishop,” he rumbled. And in I went. And fell. Surprise, surprise, next thing I know, twins in tow. Then he’s Pope. Well, maybe a Cardinal or two in between, but we lost touch. Pope Pius the Something. And now here he is, lounging on a golden cloud, same holier-than-thou smirk upon his face, surrounded by his hierarchy. I flounce, I flip, “God, you’ve got this one wrong,” I fume. “This man belongs in Hell.” The scene transforms … a large and beautiful garden — bit like Kew — but richly peopled with only the young and beautiful. And Pius on his cloud. God wanders in, as is His wont, in the cool of the day. He winks. “Never you fear, my child. He is in Hell. You see, he can’t get off his cloud.”
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