How I Almost Made It into Heaven

Article excerpt

As everybody knows, when you die all of the angels get together and vote whether your soul goes to heaven or hell. Less well known, even to devout Christians, are the voting mechanisms that have been in place for thousands of years. If you think the voting machines in Florida are outdated, wait until you see those employed in the afterlife.

Many primitive machines are coated with layers of rust, and some of the butterfly ballots are written in obscure languages such as Aramaic, Sanskrit, and Southern English. God has promised to update the machinery, but he/she/it has been so busy with wars, sudden outbreaks of religious hatred, political shenanigans, and revisions in the recent jazz liturgy that she/he/it just hasn't gotten around to it. It is too late to change my pitiful status but perhaps conditions will improve for the lucky few who will die under the burdens of the next administration. I fervently hope so.

What happened to me was this. I won the popular vote (1,476,000,897 to 1,476,000,883, with 42,000 abstentions and 302,094,654 ballots not counted because of irregularities), but I lost the electoral vote. Yes, heaven does have the same outmoded system used in the United States (as Greek mythology teaches us: what happens on Earth happens in heaven; what happens in heaven is recapitulated upon Earth), but instead of employing an electoral college based upon obscure states few can locate on a map, the heavenly college casts votes based upon hierarchy.

Seraphim control the greatest number of electoral votes (1,902), followed in order by Cherubim (765 electoral votes), Virtues (453), Powers (325), Principalities (300), Archangels (296), and Angels (3).

I hate to bring the entire afterlife voting system under scrutiny because of what happened to my tattered soul, but perhaps my experience will shed karmic light on certain questionable procedures. I can say categorically that Dante got it completely wrong, and so when I died my soul was taken by surprise. All the heavenly host (no hostesses; sex goes the way of all flesh--alas!) gathered on the beachheads of Florida to determine my eternal destination. I carried the popular vote by fourteen votes and thought I would assuredly be admitted to heaven. Unfortunately, I lost the electoral vote and so was consigned to the other place.

But wait, I thought (having learned from my brief sojourn on Earth), perhaps there was a mistake. …