March 22, 2004

Your Vote, Your Choice

While vacationing on a ranch one August day, J*** C******* gets thrown from his horse, lands on a rattlesnake, gets bit and dies because the emergency room at the nearest hospital is too understaffed to treat him in time. So his soul arrives in heaven and he is met by St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.

"Welcome to Heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a Liberal around these parts, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in; I'm a believer." says C*******.

"I'd like to just let you in, but I have orders from the Man Himself. He
says you have to spend one day in Hell and one day in Heaven. Then you must choose where you'll live for eternity."

"But, I've already made up my mind, I want to be in Heaven," replied
C*******.

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules." And with that, St. Peter escorts him to an elevator and he goes down, down, down, all the way to Hell . The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a lush golf course; the sun is shining in a cloudless sky, the temperature a perfect 72 degrees.

In the distance is a beautiful clubhouse. Standing in front of it is his
dad and thousands of other Liberals who had helped him out over the years P***** T******, J*** M*******, P********, St L****** etc . . . The whole of the "Left" was there . . .everyone laughing . . happy and casually but expensively dressed. They run to greet him, hug him, and reminisce about the good times they had getting rich at expense of the "suckers and peasants." They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster and caviar.

The Devil himself comes up to C******* with a frosty drink. "Have a Margarita and relax, J***!"

"Uh, I can't drink no more, I took a pledge," says C*******, dejectedly.

"This is Hell, son you can drink and eat all you want and not worry, and it just gets better from there!"

C******* takes the drink and finds himself liking the Devil, who he thinks is a really very friendly guy who tells funny jokes like himself, and pulls hilarious nasty pranks, kind of like they pulled on the GST and Free Trade promises. They are having such a great time that, before he realizes it,it's time to go. Everyone gives him a big hug and waves as C******* steps on the elevator and heads upward.

When the elevator door reopens, he is in Heaven again and St. Peter is waiting for him. "Now it's time to visit Heaven," the old man says, opening the gate. So for 24 hours C******* is made to hang out with a bunch of honest, good-natured people who enjoy each other's company, talk about things other than money, and treat each other decently. Not a nasty prank or fratboy joke among them; no fancy country clubs and, while the food tastes great, it's not caviar or lobster. And these people are all poor, he doesn't see anybody he knows, and he isn't even treated like someone special!

"Whoa," he says uncomfortably to himself. "P***** T****** never prepared me for this."

The day done, St. Peter returns and says, "Well, you've spent a day in Hell and a day in Heaven. Now choose where you want to live for eternity."

With the 'Jeopardy' theme playing softly in the background, C******* reflects for a minute, then answers, "Well, I would never have thought I'd say this -- I mean, Heaven has been delightful and all -- but I really think I belong in Hell with my friends."

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down, all the way to Hell. The doors of the elevator open and he is in the middle of a barren scorched earth covered with garbage and toxic industrial waste. kind of like SUDBURY. He is horrified to see all of his friends, dressed in rags and chained together, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags. They are groaning and moaning in pain, faces and hands black with grime. The Devil comes over to C******* and puts an arm around his shoulder.

"I don't understand," stammers a shocked C*******, "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and a clubhouse and we ate lobster and caviar and drank booze. We screwed around and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and everybody looks miserable!"

The Devil looks at him, smiles slyly, and purrs, "Yesterday we were campaigning; today you voted for us!"

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