Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Crashing The (Businessman) Pearly Gates
St. Peter wasn't having much fun. Dealing with beings for whom the truth does not suffice provided for an endless exercise in frustration. "The truth is not their enemy!" he cried out. "They insist that their lies make them safe. They create these fictional worlds where their means and ends are justified but that only serves that falseness, not reality. What else can I offer but reality?"
"Hello, sir, let's make a deal!"
"Aw, fuck," muttered Peter. "It's either a game show host or a businessman..."
"Let me show you the art of the deal and we'll both end up happy. You give me the keys to the gates and I'll give you what you want in return."
"There are no keys to the gate. It's wide open for everyone."
"Taking a hard stance, are we? That's no problem. I'm sure we can negotiate a suitable arrangement. But first you must admit you have those keys!"
"All I have is your truth of the many deals where you screwed your partners."
"You are a hard negotiator! But I can tell you I never did anything illegal. All's fair in love and business. And besides, I can give you alternative facts for those cases!"
"You see, whatever rules you created for yourself have no meaning here. There is only fairness and honesty or not. Any excuse you give for deception or cheating has no bearing on reality whatsoever."
"Boy, you really aren't going to give up those keys! Can you just tell me what it is you want?"
"Very simply, I wish for you to pass through these gates into Heaven."
The businessman was wary from a lifetime of wariness. "You're good. Maybe the best ever I've seen. But you see, I'm no fool. Nobody gives something for nothing, that's rule number one! And since you're in the soul business, I can divine your game. That's what makes me the best at deal-making! Get inside your opponent's head and you'll come out on top."
"I am most certainly not your opponent."
"A cagey response! I can respect that, sir. But you're looking to serve justice."
"That's the fact, Jack."
"But if I accept your offer to pass through the gates, where I'll really be sent is hell. This will teach me a lesson in deception. Whereas if I ask for justice and to be sent to hell, you'll send me to Heaven instead because it shows I have learned my lesson. How's that for ya!"
"You really are outsmarting yourself. Next you'll be telling me never to get involved in a land war in Asia."
"I can only do as you bid. Do you wish to pass through the gates or not?"
"I insist on hell. I admit my sins. In this you will see I am not a man to be fooled!"
As the trap door sprang back into place, Peter was more disgusted than ever. "All you showed me was that you were a moron!"