False Advertising

A well-paid, recently-promoted young executive dreamed he died and stood at the Pearly Gates. Peter asks: "Do you want to go to heaven or to hell?"

"Let me know my options," he says. "Show me hell." Up pops a giant screen with a video playing. Girls in bikinis and well-built guys are playing volleyball on the beach. Coolers are iced down with beer. Everybody is wearing brand-name clothes and driving a BMW.

Then he asks for a glimpse of heaven, only to notice that the video is still running. It pans upward and shows a park filled with old people sitting on benches feeding the birds and playing checkers with angels singing in the background.

"Uh, very nice," the guy mutters, "but I think I prefer hell."

Immediately he is plunged into molten lava! In agonizing pain, he hollers at Peter. "Hey, where's the beach and the babes? What about the beer and cars?"

"Sorry," he says. "What you saw was the demo tape sent up by Satan."

Talk about false advertising! But that seems to be the devil's speciality. He would like you to believe that cutting corners is just good business. That fudging on quality is "standard operating procedure" for everyone. That promises with no intention of keeping them are all right if they help make a sale.

On Satan's demo, "studs" and "bimbos" are the people who know how to turn boredom into fun. Booze is a "social lubricant," and pot and pills are "recreational." Both holiness and heaven are spelled b-o-r-i-n-g.

Come to think of it, the story of the young man at heaven's gates only compresses the time factor from 70 years to a few minutes. Everything else about it is real. The conspiracy of our time has been to convince young and old alike that "the good life" is defined by things shallow or evil and that anything connected to God is dull and tiresome. What a bunch of suckers we've been! People who fall for the demo tape from hell begin to pay dearly even in this life.

Be smarter this week than to fall for a lie with a ribbon tied around it.

Rubel Shelly The FAX of Life

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