Hell’s A Picnic Compared To Purgatory.

Posted by admin on October 6, 2011 in Religion |

I have been in purgatory lately. If you’re not familiar with purgatory, you’re obviously not Catholic, Roman Catholic to be exact as there seems to be splinter Catholics out there these days that don’t believe in Paypal Infallibility. Sorry, that would be papal infallibility, though a recent problem with the Paypal folks makes me think that the Vatican actually owns them, too.

I like to think of purgatory as God’s little Green Room. In show business, the Green Room is where all the guests wait until they are cued to go on stage and greet the talk show host. I like to think of God as David Letterman, but without the gap in his tooth since he’s God, and can fix things I that. At least you’d hope he would.

I certainly don’t want to go to Heaven (yeah, like that’s going to happen) and find that God’s let himself go a bit. I don’t want him to have a beer belly, a receding hairline or even a five o’ clock shadow. I know I was created in his image, but I sure hope he hasn’t gone to pot like I have.

When Catholics die, they don’t get to go to heaven like other religions seem to do. No, they get the Green Room. It is here that you have to atone for your imperfections here on Earth, until the point that God thinks you’re ready to be called on stage. The length you spend in the Green Room varies, according to the guilt you have, how impure you’ve been and how much sorrow you’ve carried along with you into the next existence.

Now, one would think you should escape all your Earthly suffering when you die. But no, not in the Catholic life, or at least the one I was taught many years ago, back when the church was even less progressive and you couldn’t buy or eat meat on Fridays. I still remember the meat case being covered up at the local supermarket my family shopped at in the Renton Highlands, the T&R. Protestants could buy meat, but if Catholics couldn’t set their eyes on the meat case on Friday, neither could the soul-less Protestants. It was covered with butcher paper all day long.

Based on my own life, I will spend an eternity in purgatory. Well, I would if I was still a Catholic, but a divorce or two kind solved that problem as I was given the iron boot for that little transgression. Something in the fine print that says if your wife is a complete loser (or you are), you can’t be a real Catholic anymore if decide to be no longer married.

But if I had faced purgatory, I think it would have been quite boring. I imagine that the customer service there sucks. You have your little number and no one is advancing the Now Serving machine. It’s still at one and Adam is not sitting too far away from you, still doing time for that apple incident in the Garden of Eden.

Thankfully, I have prepared for this eventuality. All of us have, really. Anyone who has been to the DMV to get their license already knows a bit what purgatory is like. No matter how early you get there, your number is nowhere near the first one called. It’s as if they are still calling the numbers from yesterday. I have been the only guy in the DMV and have had to wait 30 minutes to be called to the window, only to find that I took a number from the wrong Now Serving machine and had to go to another window.

Purgatory is probably a lot like that. Even when your number is called, you have to go back and wait some more.

They do have an express lane in purgatory, but you can’t put yourself in it. Instead, your relatives and friends have to put you there. Ever resourceful, the church has thought up a way to get you through purgatory faster.

While you’re here on Earth, you can prepay your way into the express lane by going to mass, donating money and having priests pray for you. What happen if you didn’t think of this when you were alive? No problem. Your friends and relatives can get you into the express lane by donating money, praying for you at mass and having the priest intercede through his prayers.

I don’t hold out much hope for my friends and family to help me out on this account, so I know I will be in purgatory a long time, well, at least if I was still a Catholic. Since I’m pretty sure my iPad won’t work in the afterlife as Wifi is even spotty here in Fort Pierce, I will end up having to make small talk with those who are waiting with me.

Now, I can be a pretty sociable guy. If I was sitting next to Einstein, Galileo, Da Vinci or some other cool guy in history, I think even an eternity of time would pass pretty quickly. But with my luck, I will end up with some hillbillies from the backwoods of Virginia who smell of moonshine and are missing most of their teeth. I will be stuck their for eons, and by the time my number is called, my mind will be reduced to such mush that all I will be able to share with God on the heavenly talk show is a hundred ways you can cook a squirrel.

And that’s the part that sucks. If I was called in earlier, I think God and I could have a really good chat and there’s a really good chance that I could make him laugh so hard that he would fart thunder all over Florida.

So, if you ever get a really good thunderstorm here and I have passed on, know that I stole Adam’s number when he was dozing off. I have no pride. I’ll snatch it right out of his fig leaf. I can up my number, even when my number is up.

Out on the Treasure Coast wondering if Eve is #2 in line. Some book I read said she’s easy,

– Robb

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