Hello, there, and welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Anne is off judging goats in some pleasant rural locale. In the meantime, she's opened her space to any celestial entity who wants some air time.
That would be me.
I've got so many names that, around the office, they just shout: "Hey, You!" It's an inside joke. And you would be willing to be called that, too, if you had to sign "Mephistopheles" on every document you generated. But I guess that's a minor improvement over "Beelzebub."
Call me "Mr. Applegate." I like that one fine.
Okay, on to business.
My boss is a jerk. Don't you hate that, when you work for someone you just can't respect? He's arrogant, he's right about everything, you can't change his mind even on the smallest things. What makes it so hard for me, as a contract employee, is that he's supposed to be so loving, and so forgiving, and so kind, and there when you need him. But lo and behold, if you die, and you're not either Russian Orthodox or a Black Bumper Mennonite, you're coming to see me.
Yes. Sad but true, there are only two Christian sects recognized as True Believers by my boss. Listed above. And this does create a good deal of confusion in the Great Hereafter. And no little amount of resentment among the ranks of Presbyterians and Roman Catholics and Mormons and Seventh Day Adventists, and especially those Assemblies of God folks. They cross over, confident that all their "i"s are dotted, and all their "t"s crossed, and they get routed to me. And then guess who has to listen to them complain?
I don't make the rules. Well, let's amend that. Except on the rare occasions when the boss drops by to do a performance evaluation, I'm pretty much left alone to run my satellite office. Thank goodness. Because I can't find it in my heart to torture people indefinitely in bodily ways.
The only time we stoke up the lake of fire and brimstone is when the boss is due for a visit. We get it up and running, send out a call for volunteers, and shut it down when he goes. It's pretty unseemly to see someone who's purported to be so loving, taking glee in the bodily torture of kindly Presbyterians. (And did I mention Methodists?)
My preferred means of eternal torture is just to make people see themselves the way everybody else saw them when they lived. This puts a great many Seventh Day Adventists at complete ease, and they walk around here quite contented. It gets trickier if you're a Hitler or a pope who died in the arms of his sixteenth mistress.
I've got one client here who sexually molested his daughters. He's had to watch 17 subsequent generations of his family live totally screwed up lives, all thanks to him. And I think he deserves it.
I believe Anne will be away for several days, so I'll use the time to go into detail about why my boss is a jerk. Suffice it to say today that I signed a 10,000 year contract, I'm into Year 6005, and I'm not going to take renewal on the thing. I was a freelancer before joining on with my current boss, and a contract with benefits looked nice after so much employment insecurity. But I was -- I kid you not -- exactly one week into the contract when I realized I'd made a mistake. Still, a contract's a contract, and I will honor mine.
If you're a Christian and not Russian Orthodox or a Black Bumper Mennonite, I'll see you sooner or later. I just have one last thing today:
You nutsy punks who worship me by killing kittens and other evil deeds? You're way over the top. That kind of foolishness doesn't get you preferential treatment here. I'm more likely to wait until the boss is napping and send you back for another term on Terra Firma - as a nematode.
See, if you've been reading the Bible, you're only getting the evidence for the prosecution. I have my way of looking at things, and if I was in a union, I could definitely file a grievance.