Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

St. Peter Takes a Break from His Grueling Schedule to Talk to Us

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Being St. Peter has its perks, certainly: I get to meet almost everyone seeking a place in Heaven, to rub soul shoulders with some of the world’s most interesting personalities. But of course at times the routine becomes impossibly dull.

On balance, I have it better than old Pius XII, who’s been given an observer role at the Righteous Gentile Division. He’s just supposed to look and see how things are done, not to get involved. He’s assigned to the same department as Raoul Wallenberg, Chiune Sugihara and Oskar Schindler – gets to watch them bask in the glory of their sacrifice, but can’t participate. Me, I get to talk to everyone, without exception, and I can take my sweet old time doing so. There’s no rush, is there?

And I know I shouldn’t toot my own horn, but you should have seen the place before I took charge of admissions. So many people seemed to think that if they dropped a name or two, that would cancel out their misdeeds on Earth. Torquemada tried that with me, the little git. What’s it like down in Gehenna, Tomás? If you see Himmler, tell him we just love that death mask. It’s so him.

But I tightened things up nicely; the Lord Himself said as much at a staff meeting a few hundred years ago. Did you know that until I redesigned the whole system, the Pearly Gates waiting area couldn’t accommodate more than a few thousand people at once? The old design plan was more than adequate during ancient times, when your major natural disasters and battles didn’t account for nearly the number of simultaneous victims that today’s catastrophes produce. But when we foresaw the dawn of the industrial age – not to mention the battle of Gettysburg – I spent my spare time expanding the place and streamlining the processing. In the nick of time, too, because the first World War broke out just a couple of weeks after the whole things became operational. That battle of the Somme kept us busy, it did. But thanks to those renovations, we didn’t have more than a few hundred people backed up onto the steps.

I get some funny questions, though. I don’t mean the people who want to know whether they’ll be reunited with their beloved pets; of course they will, unless the pet was some reincarnated Nazi. No, I get these clueless jerks who want to know why we’re letting “Darkies” in, or who can’t wait to get through so they can meet their idol, John Gotti. Then there are the atheists, who are always a riot. That look of dawning comprehension is priceless.

Just a few weeks ago we had the dubious pleasure of welcoming Osama bin Laden to this side of death; he looked a bit the worse for wear. Kept loudly insisting on various luxuries, going on about 72 virgins. Boy, you should have seen his face when reality set in. Aside from the gaping hole, I mean. We never did have time to patch that up before shipping him south. Oh, well.

I have to say, though, the achievement that makes me proudest is the early-warning system we had installed not too long ago. We get advance notice of impending arrivals long before they show up, which gives us time to clear away the clutter and make the place look presentable. Before we had that system, you never knew who might pop in; it was really embarrassing when Emily Post arrived, as you can imagine.

Well, it’s been a pleasure. I’ll see you all eventually, one way or another. Be good, now.


Written by Thag

June 19, 2011 at 3:59 pm

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