Here’s what I imagine happened: My father, deceased about two months ago, arrives at the Pearly Gates. Sure enough, according to all the travelogues, there’s St. Peter.
“Uh,” says Dad, “I don’t think I’m in the right place.”
“Ho ho ho,” thunders St. Peter jovially, “You most assuredly are.”
“Umm, okay, do you have crossword puzzles?”
“Of COURSE we have all manner of crossword puzzles, young man!”
“New York TIMES crossword puzzles? Edited by Will Shortz?”
“Oh . . . I don’t recollect the name but I know we have crossword puzzles! Many, many of them! Here’s seven-down, three letters: ‘And it came to pass that --— ate multitudes of locusts!’”
“Umm, okay, sounds good, that would be Job. Umm, do you have magazines? Books? Cable TV? I really like Crime Scene: Miami.”
(Slight rumble) “While these things can be arranged, my son, we prefer to steer our newest arrivals to our newly renovated harp school. After all, you know that for all eternity, you will be entertaining Jehovah at various official functions in various capacities, but the most important is to be able to play the harp and perform all manners of worship."
“Uh, how about my nightly scotch at six? I have like, two in a row and then Marjorie makes me a martini and then — ”
“SILENCE! SILENCE! There is NO, repeat, NO alcohol in Heaven! This is Heaven! You have chosen the wrong elevator.”
(Dad goes meekly to Elevator Number 2, descends for what seems like eternity).
Emerges on a windswept white beach with a coral sea lapping up it, and settles down under a palm tree. Immediately a platform arises from the sand with a scotch cooling nicely (his budget Safeway brand), folds out and a 3D LCD screen starts blasting Jeopardy, a packet of Native cigarettes spontaneously appears with a lighter and an ashtray, hovering impossibly just to his left, a copy of the financial section of the New York Times from tomorrow floats onto his lap and a small demon buzzes by and says “How would you like your steak tonight, sir? In fact, how would you like your steak for the rest of eternity? Shall I go turn down your pillow for you now or are you ready to carouse well into the night?”
I'd add that some of the virgins who went AWOL from good ol' Allah's Paradise B** and Grill after 9/11 would cluster around Dad but he'd push them all away -- he's just waiting for his wife.
Oh yes, I know very well where my dad is. Don't worry, Father, the ice cream doesn't last long in that heat but there's eternally more where it came from.