Sunday, June 11, 2006

262. Afterlife

Welcome to the Afterlife --
so sorry you are dead, folks,
but if you would just step this way
we have some exciting
offers and options
and several "eternal" packages
which I am sure
you will find interesting
(my assistants very shortly
will hand out brochures).

Could the Jews
please leave your suitcases, undress
and go to the showers?
Just follow the guide.
You were right all along.
Thank you, thank you,
just follow the guide
and ignore the dogs,
they rarely bite.

Now, Mormons,
over to my left, please,
so we can fit you up
for your robes and wings;
there's a bit of a cliff,
a precipice, actually,
but I can assure you
that the wings
generally work quite well.

Ahh, Muslims!
Will the men please move over
to the small stinking rooms
where you will remain
for the next seven centuries?
Ladies, into the garden
with these young lusty handsome chaps,
seven each, I believe,
who will fulfill
your every desire.
Yes, yes, of course
you can throw away the veils!

Namaste, Hindu friends!
Over there with the cows
and the monkeys, the elephants
and the kangaroos:
they all speak Railway English.
The Untouchables
(such a quaint endearing term)
will prepare your food
and look after you.

Protestants, oh dear!
We're not quite ready
so, if you wouldn't mind
please gallop along
to this cold drafty chapel
and sing tedious hymns
for the next 300 years
while we do our best
to get back to you.

Catholics, oh so many!
Right, Italians into the restaurant,
Irish and Poles into the pub,
Spaniards and Portuguese
onto the terrace, if you wouldn't mind,
and South Americans
into the carnival tents.
Chileans, if you please,
into the soccer stadium!

Right, who's left?
Pagans, atheists, New Age
California bunnies?
Pick up the brooms
and grab the mops
and clean up the area.
Enya is on Channel Four
on your headsets, the same song
for the next 400 years,
plus forest winds
and ocean waves
and birdsong.

God is on a business trip
negotiating exchange rights
with Mr Lucifer
but should be back
by tea-time.
He will welcome you all
with a 3-year-long speech
upon his return.

We are negotiating with Hell
to get Fidel
when he drops off from the pod:
he can do the speeches instead of God.

Now we are all settled
and nothing remains to be said.
Aren't you all thrilled and excited
to know you are finally dead?