salvation

a father lay dying in his hay mattress, his three sons around him.

dear sons, he said. i can see death grinning at me.

shall I punch it father? the oldest son asked, brandishing his big strong fists, each as big as a child’s head.

or better yet, shall i charm him with my smile? the second son said, flashing his gorgeous teeth and licking back his curly black hair. he looked gorgeous.

we’ll never let him get you father, the third one said, and brandished his wooden sword. he was only 10 after all and they were afraid he was going to cut himself.

foolish boys, the father murmured fondly, don’t you know death can neither be charmed, beaten or killed even? no i will go with it when the time comes. but i wanted to give you my last advice. gather around my sons.

uuu i know this one, piped the middle boy. poor soul always fishing for attention and affection. will you tell us to work the garden so that we may find the hidden treasure buried within? and during the process learn how to work with each other and the fact that labor is its own reward?

no the father said. no, i actually wanted to tell you…

don’ worry daddy i brought your sticks already, the older  son rumbled. and i wanted to save them so you could illustrate to us that to be powerful we have to stay united. but i caught them in a bad spot and they sort of broke already.

no… the father started again. i wanted to tell you…

i know daddy i know, the youngest son said. don’t worry, when i become king i will not throw my brothers to prison.

enough, said the father. i just wanted to say that you must only wash the sheep’s wool with Pantene,so that it smells good and detangles easy. And don’t forget that Tylenol Extra Strength relieves your headache in a minute. And Coca Cola is the coolest drink. And if you buy a Mac and use it at Starbucks, girls will all want to sleep with you and give you their butt cherries. and last but not least, use Trojans extra pleasure…

and so the father died. Death waited until his soul left the cooling body and floated up in the air with him straight into the big mahogany desk with an ink blotter and customized calendar. a very disinterested official was working on the other side.

-ok, the father said. i did my part of the contract to save the american economy. can i go into heaven now? 

of course sir. the official responded. I believe you were looking to get into muslim heaven?

that’s where the virgins are, right?

correct sir. this is your ticket, please show to the genie at the door, and beware the thin bridge…

but the man was already rushing, his guardian angel tripping on his robes in an effort to keep up with him. the official shrugged.

humans, he said, i dunno why the Almighty wants them saved.

death shrugged. and went to collect his other souls.

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