Rabbi Moshe Rabinowitz looked over the sea of heads and sighed. “Oy vey,” he thought to himself, “another hard days night at heaven’s gate.” Looking up he saw a large overweight man still holding the chicken sandwich that he had apparently choked to death on. “Name?” said the Rabbi. “Samuel,” said the bald fat man. “Oh here you are,” replied Moshe as he looked through a tome of considerable size. “So tell me what happened?” Bald fat Samuel seemed offended. “Where is Saint Peter?” he demanded. Moshe rolled his eyes and thought to himself another meshugana schlepp. Moshe sighed. “Peter hasn’t worked here since the eighties. He was a union employee and was fired when Reagan deregulated everything.” Samuel looked confused. He took another bite of his chicken sandwich and started choking again. Moshe suddenly knew what happened. “Oh I’m sorry, you’ve choked to death on your sandwich I see. A Chick Fil A sandwich no less. Okay right this way please.” Moshe pointed to a queue of people that led around a white pillar. Samuel begrudgingly went where he was told.
“Next” cried Moshe. An elderly man with a stately air walked slowly towards the podium. Moshe recognized him right away. “Why you’re that shmuck Gore Vidal,” Moshe cried. “Indeed I am,” said Mr. Vidal. “I have no idea what I am doing here, I thought I was going to be on Real Time with Bill Maher but I started coughing and ended up here.” Moshe stroked his beard. “I am sorry Mr. Vidal but this is the end of this act for you. If you please step straight ahead.” Moshe pointed behind him to a path by a stream that seemed to disappear into a cloud. “Where the hell does that go?” demanded Gore Vidal. “Why it’s heaven the land of peace and quiet!” exclaimed the Rabbi. “Horseshit,” repiled Gore. “Peace and quiet is not my style. Where is that bastard Buckley?” Moshe turned a bit pale. “Not here he didn’t quite make the cut. But since he was Catholic we were able to arrange a vacation in Purgatory for him for an indefinite amount of time.” “Well don’t waste my time send me there I am not done with that pusillanimous bastard yet!” growled Gore Vidal. Now Moshe was quite good at arranging things. He pointed to the left where an escalator was going down, down, down. “I’m on my way, thank you Rabbi.” Mr. Vidal embarked downward.
Now Samuel had waited quite some time and as he got closer he could see clearly why there was such a delay. It seemed at the end of the line, the entrance-way as it was, was a single white door and when it opened would admit only one person at a time. Finally it was Samuel’s turn to enter. The door opened wide and he walked into a white room. The door closed behind him. When the door had closed it disappeared. The room was seamless and starkly featureless. He was now in a bland white room forever. No colors, no sounds, no wind. Just whiteness which he seemed to fade into. An eternal prison of nothing.
The escalator went on and on. Pretty soon Gore could smell bus exhaust. Through the clouds the tops of buildings began to appear. The next thing you know there he was on Fifth Avenue in midtown looking at the Museum of Modern Art. Fancy this he thought to himself as he began to walk about headed towards Broadway. The city seemed its normal self with horns beeping and people bustling. He got to Broadway and rubbed his eyes. The marquis above the theater read: Tonight and Forever: Buckley Debates Vidal. Can you believe it he thought. The bastard has been waiting for me!
The writer would like to express his sincere condolences to the family of Gore Vidal. The world has lost a great literary lion whom can never be replaced. His writings and wisdom will live on as a testimony to his sharp wit and his keen sense of humanity. — Jake Shween
Get off the cell phone and drive! — Jake Shween
Well said. Humorous as well. I especially liked the Chick Fil A reference. That company has bothered me especially by bringing religion and sexuality into the business forefront.
Agreed. Humorous and well said. This blog is really coming along – Dave.
On August 28, (remember this date?) 1968, a clash of titans rumbled both inside and outside of the DNC convention hall in ‘ol Chi-Town. Protests, civil discord, boys of azure (Vidal quote) gasing the citizens of the Windy City all while the elected officials, our public servants, watched from the Hilton Hotel.
Meanwhile, inside, the debate of a lifetime between Vidal and Buckley nearly came to blows while the name calling ensued. After the commercial break, they returned to being cordial gentleman and continued on point.
It is now44 years later, and as we approach the next DNC convention, has anything changed?
A few things perhaps. There is still civil discord, but it is twittered instead of shouted, protesting is now camping, cops are still pepper spraying the sit ins, our elected public servants are now slaves to the private sector, and our great debators are now crazy “FOX”es and the “corporations are people too” ads.
Dear Writer, where are all the truth Sayers and seekers? Where have all the good men gone? Please do not tell me Vidal was the last of his kind. Dear Writer, on August 28, 1968, the chanting from the streets was “THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING”. We are watching…