On the way to work Wednesday, I was treated to the spectacle of lightning in the dark October sky. I've heard the loud pops nailing trees nearby and thought that if the 'almighty' wanted to rub my ass out with this preferred method of disposal that sh*t would really hurt. I also began pondering my mortality (ugh...) and subsequent afterlife (or possibility thereof).
It was similar moments that actually brought religion into existence.
Caveman #1: Ngug dergag umpfor! (Dude, I'm scared of dying.)
Caveman #2: Sdgarg rergge. (Amen, nigga.)
Caveman #1: Gdsgerrer dergad gyujk areth? (What do you think happens after we die?)
Caveman #2: Oisdg fdoeg rgrhoofd morge reoyege ogoeoo ooyyopoo gosogs arog asdoyyos. (Your guess is as good as mine, but I hope it includes an endless supply of prehistoric cave 'tang.)
Caveman #1: Sdgarg rergge!
We've gotten pretty damn creative... The Vikings had Valhalla, the Hindus have saṃsāra and those Jehovah's witnesses have those happily deceased Land's End shoppers gaily cavorting lions and tigers in a lush post-mortem petting zoo. The atheists have (.) and we agnostics are left to our on devices and a coffin-load of "what ifs." We are the free-agents of theological theory. It's not like we're going to be able to pick and choose our afterlife but we're more likely to be surprised than anybody (except the atheists).
Christians might be surprised - "Faaaahk. The atheists were right! What a drag." (.)
The Muslims? "Hey! These 70 virgins are fat and hirsute!" A Hindu might come back as a Southern Baptist in his next life and have to spend a lifetime wearing a fake moustache at Hooters... And the Jehovah's witness might try to pet a leopard that decides "Man, this afterlife's for p*ssies. (CHOMP)."
Though I have no idea what to expect, here's one way it might go down for me:
(Lightning bolt)BOOOOOOOOOM! Srrrrrrrrzzzzzzzzzzztttttttttt!
Prego: Ow. What the heck (eck eck eck eck....)? (timidly) Hello-lo-lo- lo?
God: Krmmmff - hee hee hee...
Prego: Wha- wha... ? Who's that? What's goin' on?
God: (chuckling) I'm sorry. I'm sorry. (chuckle...)
Prego emerges out of a 'dark tunnel' into a large pantheon.
Prego: What's so funny? Who are you?
God: I'll give you a wild guess.
Allah: Hey, can we get on with this? I've got 743 martyrs waiting.
Prego: What the f*ck's going on? If this is a jesus thing, don't waste your breath.
Jesus: Actually it is kind of a jesus thing, now that you mention it.
Vishnu: Um... according to the rule book, this guy's unaffiliated, so it is most certainly not a jesus thing.
Jesus: Yeah, but it was my dad that snuffed him out!
Prego: Snuffed who out? Me? I've been snuffed? For what?
God: Nyeh. No real reason. I was bored.
Prego: Bored? So you snuff me?
God: Every once in a while I like to go old school on someone.
Fulgora: Who are you calling old?
God: Sorry. Anyway Prego, you and I are due for a reckoning.
Prego: Oh yeah. I've been wondering about this. I guess you do exist, and so do all the other deities, apparently...
God: Yes, (ahem) well...
Ometeotl: What do you mean 'ahem'... You're not top dog around here.
Zeus: That's right!
Anubis: Shut up, Zeus...
God: Guys! GUYS! I'm in the middle of something here. Listen, Prego. You've been talking a lot of sh*t that borders on the blaspheme...
Prego: Oh, that "Why doesn't Jesus play hockey" joke? I haven't told that since 1992.
Jesus: 1998, actually. During the Olympics. During the Russia/Czech Republic game.
Prego: Oh yeah. Remember that hit that Zhitnik laid on Jagr?
Jesus: Yeah. That sh*t was sweet. We felt that up here.
Prego: Nice playoff beard, by the way. A little early, though.
Jesus: Thanks. Long time Devils fan...
Prego: No sh*t? I'd have figured you more for a Kings fan.
Jesus: What, are you f*cking kidding me?
God: PREGO! Damn it!
Prego: What? What?
God: Back to blasphemy... about that tendency to use my name in vain and all that...
Prego: You're not seriously offended by that, are you?
God: That's the third commandment.
Zeus: Come on, you know we don't all agree on that one.
Allah: Or the first one for that matter.
Elvis: I thought we only agreed to keep VI and VIII?
God: Sorry sir.
Prego: Is that who I think it is?
Jesus: Who do you think calls the shots around here?
Prego: Presley? Sh*t. This should bode well for me...
Elvis: You think so, wise guy? What about all those jokes about my weight and dying on the shitter?
Prego: You heard those, huh?
Anubis: We hear everything.
Prego: So, you guys just keep track of all we say and do...
Allah: And eat...
God: And think...
Prego: And then hold some kind of tribunal to determine my fate?
Atropos: Not quite. This is kind of out of our jurisdiction.
Allah: We determine what to do with you, yes...
Prego: Do I have a say so?
Prego: Well, that's pretty lame. How long does that take?
Vishnu: It depends. Sometimes it takes about an hour, sometimes it can take forever. You're a tough case, since you're basically a decent person, but lack a little... shall we say... reverence...
Prego: Aw man. You know what? You guys seem like a decent lot, but I don't have time to sit around, listening to you nitpick. I'm out of here.
Elvis: Where are you going?
Prego: To get something to eat and go find me some prehistoric cave 'tang.
Elvis: Sh*t. Sounds good. I'll go with you.
Jesus: Sdgarg rergge.
God and Allah look at each other for a moment... the five of them fade off into the distance.