Male 50+. 389 words. PT Barnum: “Enhancing Heaven.” From To the Great Egress.
By Paul Pasulka
See, I’ve always felt there was room for everyone. I’m just not sure everyone wants to be here very much. I mean, you have to wonder: Why is there so much equivocating about doing what’s necessary to get in? I’ll tell you why. It’s because it’s press is seriously lacking. Samuel Clemens, insufferable as he is – was? – had it right. What do people think happens here? (singing)“Swing low, sweet chariot, comin’ for to carry me home...” Don’t get me wrong - It’s a lovely song. Uplifting even. But, do you want to hear – or sing – that for all eternity? Of course not. The problem is that’s what people think heaven is. Endless praising and harp-playing. Things they never do in life. No sport, no war, no connubial pleasure - things people kill, and die, to do in life. It’s about as inviting a Sunday service, but eternally and without the petty jealousies, lecherous thoughts, and gossip that make weekly services at least tolerable for an hour.
And I hope it’s not too presumptuous, but I have some ideas to improve the, well, attractiveness of this place. I can make it a premier destination.
Just think of the possibilities: Come to Heaven! A universe of spiritual edification awaits. Stories of glory eternally enacted. Daniel in the lion’s den. Noah’s flood. The Garden of Eden. A salacious serpent slithering through the fetid foliage, undulating right up to Eve’s naked – Oops. Sorry. Perhaps a titillating promotion, but a thoroughly upright performance. Get thee behind me, Satan!
And what a thrill it would be to climb Jacob’s ladder. Ride Ezekiel’s wheel. Wield Abraham’s sword. The blade of filicide that engendered a promise of eternal protection and plenty. Oh! Oh! How about this? A piece of the Cross. A piece? Why not the whole thing? A reenactment! Oh, yes, I guess that might be presumptuous.
But you get my point. The resources here must be, well, infinite. I know! I’ll get the whole gang back together. We’ll put on shows. And don’t tell me we can’t get the word out. We can send out a newly discovered Gospel. I’ll write the copy myself. To be found in upstate New York. The point is, if I can’t help them with publicity, who can? And without publicity something very bad happens - nothing.