Arp Meets God

"I think we're gonna have to zap him," said the young ambulance driver, dropping Arp's limp hand to the floor of the restaurant. The driver's name - BOB - was stitched above the pocket of his white shirt. "Got no pulse," he said.

The other attendant - BILL - placed into a plastic bag the mangled piece of sausage that Arp had managed to get lodged in his throat, cutting off the oxygen to his brain and extinguishing his spirit.

"He looks dead," said Oz, watching from a safe distance.

"Looks deader'n hell," said Gunner.

It was true. Arp was dead.

*

"Whoa!" exclaimed Arp, awestricken from the sudden appearance of the shining spectacle before him. "So this is heaven>' A great gate of pearls set in gold parted in the middle and slowly swung outward.

From the midst of a billowing cloud stepped a man with glasses on the end of his nose. A white robe covered most of his three-piece suit. He thumbed through a yellow pad on his clipboard.

He walked up to Arp. "Name?"

"Umm, Arp," Arp said.

""Arp?" asked the man. "Arp what?"

"Arp," said Arp. "Just Arp."

"Arp, then," said the man. "This way, Mr. Arp."

The man led Arp through the Celestial City, past the bejeweled candy shops where everything was free, past the theater advertising the Doris Day Festival that never required an admission fee. On every emerald corner sany choruses of sweet-voiced cherubims.

"Wow," said Arp. "Halos, wings - the whole bit."

Suddenly an elderly man with long gray hair and a gray beard emerged from a cloud at the end of the block. A grand smile came to his face and he thrust his hand toward Arp.

"Arp!" he shouted, energetically. "I'm God. Hey, been expectin' ya, man. How's it goin'?"

"So you're God," Arp said, shaking the old guy's hand. "Jeez."

God personally gave Arp the grand tour of Heaven. At the end of their walk, God stopped and held out his arms, proclaiming all that he had made.

"Well," said God. "Waddaya think?"

"Ah, to tell you the truth," said Arp. "Ya know, the harps, sitting on clouds - it all seems kinds corny to me.

"Whaa-?"

*

"All clear?" asked BOB, smearing the greased electrodes to Arp's bare chest.

"All clear," said BILL, stepping back.

Then...

Bzzzzzzzapt!

Arp's prostate from jerked violently and a frog-like croak came from his mouth.

"Hey big Bill-ee," said BOB. "A little heavy of the voltage, don't ya think?"

"Whoa!" exclaimed Oz. "You see his eyes bug out?"

"Damn," said Gunner. "Can we borrow that?"

Arp groaned.

*

Arp's feet dangled in the air as the two muscular bouncer-angels carried him through the Sacrosanct Domain, through the shining gates, then booted him over the edge of the cloud.

"So wha'd I do?" shouted Arp, falling through space.

*

Arp groaned again, then barely opened his eyes.

"He's alive," said Oz

"Damn," said Gunner.