This is the story of one trip I made.
After going toward the light, or the fog, or tunnel, you end up in a place like a golfer’s locker room lacing up your shoes for the journey. The shoes just don’t fit right.
Your guide suddenly appears with a ridiculous smile on their face, laughing at everything you do. Usually this guide is someone who has passed before, a member of your earthly family, and usually named Uncle Jim.
Someone who could build things while they were on this earth, and always called upon to fix a running toilet, a broken washing machine, or a car engine. The family member you always called when you were broke, didn’t want to get ripped off by professionals, or spend more money. The “I need a favor guy.”
He has a hammer in his hand and you start thinking heaven must be falling apart, on hard times or God is a cheapskate to call on Uncle Jim like his family did on earth. Does God need his basement remodeled? Did all the professional plumbers, and contractors get sent to hell? Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised.
Still fiddling with my shoes I say; “When is Tee-time Uncle Jim?”
After laughing at me, Uncle Jim replies; “No golf in heaven.”
Uncle Jim explained; “Everyone’s score was always eighteen, so all the golfers left and went to hell. The Devil has some bad-ass sand traps. Same thing happened to God’s Bowling Lanes back in 2005 when Chris Schenkel and most of the dead from Akron, Ohio decided hell was a better place and left because everyone bowled three hundred”
“So Unk, there’s no golfers or bowlers in heaven?”
“Baseball players, football players, basketball players?”
“Not anymore. Even every Jeopardy contestants left for hell because they kept ending up with $35,600 after each game.”
At this point you look down and realize what was odd about your feet. They just hang there above the ground, as your mind tries to remember what purpose they served. You float out of the locker room with Uncle Jim leading you to a beautiful pasture and lake at a rest-stop picnic area.
I expected to see more family members. No one is around. Then Uncle Jim points over to a 1971 Pontiac Catalina near a picnic table in front of a gorgeous lake and says; “Go toward the Pontiac, I got to go fix something, and the driver will guide you on the rest of your journey.”
Sitting behind the wheel is my Uncle Carmen eating a hard-boiled egg from a picnic plate filled with potato salad, and fried chicken. I float into the car without having to open the door; “Great to see you Unk. Where is the rest of the family?”
“Some family members from before the time you lived on earth have been sitting at the same picnic table in a daze for the last couple hundred years, but none you or I would want to be around;” he said.
The Pontiac starts racing out of the park to an empty street and pulls up in front of a liquor store that looks like it is out of business. We float inside, and behind the counter is my Uncle Charlie, Carmen’s younger brother.
“Take the kid Charlie and show him around.”
“Can’t you see I’m working Carmen?”
“You don’t have customers, or checks to cash, so go fuck yourself Charlie,” Carmen says laughingly while floating out the door.
“Go fuck yourself Carmen.” Charlie chuckles back.
Can you really say “fuck” in heaven?
“Where is everybody Uncle Charlie?”
“Kid, people used to be around all the time, gambling on the numbers, sporting events, drinking, and laughing. They came in here to get their checks cashed, buy a few pints. Just like on earth. God wouldn’t have any of it. People just got tired of no competition, and his holier than thou attitude. His “religiously correctness”
He continued; “Now the lottery machines are rusted, and even the booze has started evaporating. Even the dogs left. No fun if you couldn’t occasionally bite the hands that feed you.”
“I can’t believe there isn’t Washington Redskin football in heaven,” I said shaking my head.
“God changed the name of all sport teams to either “Angels” or “Saints.”
Your uncles were only here as guides till you figured all this out and this is no place for you;” he replied.
“That heaven is a ghost town,” I acknowledged humorously.
We were laughing, and at that moment, my bare feet touched the glory of earth, and I was back.