Today I had another in a long line of instances wherein I succubmed the dastardly effects of the common cold on my inner ear. I awoke this morning to a spinning room and loud ringing in my ears. It was a nasty case of bad dizziness.
This used to happen rather frequently. In fact, I remember one time where the diziness got so bad that I passed out and throw up on the floor. The life of The Sasquatch is not a pretty thing.
Shortly thereafter, I wrote a series of short stories which I called "Reports from the Afterlife." In these fantasies, my diziness had taken me to the brink of death. I made it down the long tunnel and into the garden that leads to the entrance of Heaven, where St. Peter stands guard over the Pearly Gates like a bouncer, scolwing at everbody and constantly checking the ulitmate list of good versus bad. Rather than get in line, I chose instead to interview those who had gone the distance and died. Afterwards, I would return to my body and share their stories with the world.
This is one of those stories. Read More
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Today I met a man named Herbert Stevens in the garden just past the long tunnel of light before the entrance to Heaven. Herbert was the owner of a small, family deli in New York City until just recently when he died of a heart attack while making his signature Reuben sandwich for a young couple out on a date. The couple stood in shock next to the counter for several minutes before calling the police and this is why Mr. Stevens is no longer among the living.
Herbert was an avid baseball fan for most of his life, and he was particularly upset to pass away in the middle of what seemed like yet another Yankees championship season.
“I grew up watching the Yanks in the 50’s and 60’s when they had Yogi Berra, Roger Maris and the mighty Mick,” he said. “I was with them through the 80’s when Steinbrenner took over and ruined ‘em, and just when they’re getting good again, building up another dynasty and whatnot, I go and kick the bucket.” He spat on the ground, drawing a long and rather unsettling look from St. Peter and the crowd next to the gate at the entrance to Heaven.
“It just isn’t fair!” he said. “I had tickets to the 4th of July game against Boston!”
“You didn’t miss much,” I told him. “Wells gave up six homers and the BoSox won by almost ten.”
“Hey, you think I could maybe, you know, follow you back down that tunnel when you leave?” he asked. “I gots me some season tickets. I’d give you one every now and then. You know, like it was both of ours or somethin’.”
“I don’t know. I’m not much of a Yankees fan.”
“Not a Yankees, fan! What the hell’s the matter with you?” He was starting to yell, drawing attention from several new souls waiting in line to enter Heaven and a few angels in the front who stood processing the new entrants.
I slid to the end of the bench, and tried to look at something else. “Quiet down, man. You don’t wanna get St. Peter mad at you.”
“I’ll be as loud as I want, you good for nothing piece of elephant shit. If you ain’t a Yankees fan, you ain’t nothin’.” He spoke even louder, like a Southern Baptist minister leading the congregation through the heights of a glorious hymn on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
“The Yankees aren’t just the best team in baseball, they ARE baseball. The history of our country is defined by the happenings in Yankee Stadium. Great men have made and lost their fortunes on the backs of Gehrig, Ruth, and DiMaggio. The Yankees are all that was great with America, and all that is great with the world. And if you can’t see that, you ain’t worth a piece of gutter trash blowin’ through the streets of Brooklyn.”
Just then two large and mean-looking angels grabbed the man under his arms and quickly dragged him through a door that read “Reprocessing Center.” The door was brown around the edges, and it had a glowing red handle.
A third angel came over and spoke in a business-like tone. "What was all that about, sir?”
“We were just talking about baseball, and that man got a little excited when I told him I wasn’t a Yankees fan.”
“He was a Yankees fan?” the angel asked, a bit surprised.
“Apparently,” I said. “Does that mean something?
“Well, we usually send Yankees fans to the other place as a general rule, but sometimes they slip through. They’re a tricky lot, you know.”
“You mean ALL Yankees fans go to hell?” I asked.
“Baseball is serious business up here,” he said, “and they don’t call them the Damned Yankees for nothing.”
We looked back to the door as the two burly angels came back to the garden. There was a hint of smoke rising from the tips of their wings. Herbert Stevens, formerly of New York, was no longer with them.
“So, friend,” the business-like angel said as he turned to me with wide smile full of the brightest teeth you had ever seen. “What's your favorite team?”
“That’s easy,” I said without missing a beat. “The Anaheim Angels.”"