My Son Went to Heaven, and All I Got Was a No. 1 Best Seller. And now a movie too…Jesus is cleaning up and it’s about time.
Tri-Star pictures will release the movie version, on April 16, of Heaven Is For Real, the book written by a pastor who saw profit in his son’s serious illness if he could only put Jesus in a starring role. Apparently without industry experience, and no Equity card, he learned fast that the key to movie making is get the stars signed early. First, Jesus came through, and signed a letter of intent. So, upon hearing of Jesus’ participation, did a group of angels. Somehow the father instinctively knew that angels are always a good draw. One can imagine the negotiating difficulties signing the devil, but when told that both God and the angels had signed, the devil caved and turned out to be the only big name who already had an Equity card. The deal was sealed.
Among the most remarkable parts of this story, surely more remarkable than Jesus’ appearance in the movie (it’s not his first as everyone knows), is the fact that this Third Testament is listed in the Times best seller charts as non-fiction! First the kid dies. Non fiction for sure and, sadly, happens far too often. Then he comes back to life! Fiction, one would suppose, and hardly ever happens. In fact, except for Jesus, it never ever happens. One suspects that this little boy is being groomed for Jesus’ place some day.
Marquel pondered all this and found it all impossible. He likes popcorn and Icees® as much as the next New Yorker, but Marquel needs a reason to suspend disbelief and this one was far too challenging. If the kid didn’t really come back to life, maybe he didn’t really die. But the book says he did…and in the non-fiction list.
One thing Marquel has never done is argue with the best seller list. Marquel is a believer. The only thing to do was to interview the editor of the New York Times best seller list, Prof. Martin G. Canon.
Marquel was direct. “This kid who dies, meets God, Jesus, the angels, his dead grandfather, and two fetuses who never even reached the age of abortion, plus a lot of other truly dead people–who talk, mind you–ends up in the NON FICTION list! Tell me, how does that work?
“I understand your discomfort. Many people rely on our list.”
“Frankly, I live by your list. I think of it as truth incarnate and this has shaken my faith.” Cried Marquel.
“We certainly didn’t mean for that to happen. But think how many faiths would have been shaken had we categorized it as fiction. Do you see the problem?” Asked Canon.
“No. I see you as a fount of faith. It’s not your job to manage other faiths.”said Marquel.
“I think you’re approaching this in the wrong way. When I first read this book I thought the title should be Heaven is For Shit.”
“Why?” Asked Marquel.
“This isn’t the first book we’ve received like this. But this boy’s observation is completely at odds with all the other books without exception.,” said Canon.
“How many books do you receive like this?”Asked Marquel.
“Honestly, at least one a month. That’s hundreds over the years. They all die, go to heaven, and report back. But they tell a very different story.” Said Canon.
“Who writes these books?” Asked Marquel
“Usually drunks. Almost always drunks. Quite often we get books from state institutions, people in strait jackets who dictate their stories to a gullible nurse. And also quite a few Alzheimer’s, usually very advanced, who can’t remember their own names but remember Jesus very well. ” said Canon
“You say their stories are different. Uniformly so. How’s that?,” asked Marquel.
“It’s kind of sad. We don’t get reports of grand castles and beautiful tapestries. Nor of angels with gossamer wings. Every person who gets to see heaven, according to their stories, finds heaven really quite decrepit. Nothing been painted, the streets are potholed, beggars everywhere, smells like urine all over, and Jesus and God are pictured quite differently.”
“What about the angels’ wings?” Asked Marquel.
“Yes, well, these visitors say the angels are rather pitiful. They don’t wear white, or should I say their white is faded and dirty, sometimes beer stained, and even vomit, and the wings are sticky and droopy and barely work. Some drop from the sky from fantastic heights and I’m left to wonder where you go after death if you’re already in heaven. How do you think that might work?” Asked Canon.
“Don’t know,” said a shocked Marquel.
“So you see, in a way, this is the most fictional book I can imagine. Not because he claims to have been to heaven but the fantastic lies he tells about it. Most of the angels, if I’m to believe these books, have turned to prostitution. Now that’s just not all that angelic is it? And that’s not to mention the shenanigans that Jesus and his father have been up to.”
Marquel’s interest was piqued. “What exactly do you mean?” He asked.
“According to the others, it’s just orgies unlimited. And Jesus and God together. We’re talking gay sessions and anal, if you know what I mean.”
“Well, I do know what you mean, not necessarily from personal knowledge of course,” protested Marquel. “But this is impossible to believe.”
“My sentiments exactly.” Said Canon, “But I’ve got four hundred books here received over several decades that tell the exact same story. An unkempt heaven, slums, prostitution, crumbling infrastructure, a decadent God whose idleness has led to fornication and worse, and a spoiled gay child who sleeps with his own father…And every new addition to heaven he can get his hands on.”
“So why did you categorize this one book so clearly at odds with the facts, if we can call them that, as non fiction?” Asked Marquel.
“Let’s think this through,” said Canon. “The evidence is too uniform to doubt that heaven is, well, shit. The reasons are quite clear.”
“They are?” Asked Marquel.
“Surely. The past few decades heaven has touted the idealistic nature of heaven. Everlasting life, no taxes…that’s the problem.” Marquel’s ears were burning but he kept his silence. “Yes, when you promise no taxes in heaven, that’s one place you keep your promises. They have no money. They can’t keep the place up. It’s literally falling down. No jobs. No unemployment. Zero health care. People urinating in the streets. So they get bums, prostitutes, slums, a God who can’t keep his pants up and a Son who never puts them on.”
“And this book…It’s a pack of lies? Why non fiction then?” Asked Marquel.
“That’s the very thing of it. I think the kid isn’t lying. He’s repressing. His dad’s a pastor, with or without a criminal record, let’s not get into that. And the kid can’t tell him heaven is worse than Detroit and God is worse than Al Goldstein, bless his memory. And Jesus is like this Chelsea queen who undoubtedly hit on this kid and maybe even succeeded, right?” Asked Canon.
“Yeah,” said Marquel. “But I still don’t understand the non fiction.”
“It’s like this. You came here originally because the idea of going to heaven and coming back seemed fictional. But it’s not that! The really fictional parts are that heaven, if you’ll permit me to say so, is heavenly. It’s not, as you and I know, it’s shit! And God and Jesus are, at the very best, decadent perverts. So the basis of the book isn’t the fictional part, it’s the phony details. We don’t categorize books that way. So it ends up being non fiction. Imagine it were by Sarah Palin. Incidentally, both Palin’s and this book had the same ghost writer. She says she can see Russia from her house. So she lies. It’s not fiction, no! She really can see, maybe not Russia, so it’s non fiction. Just like this book. Understand?”
“I, I, I guess so,” said Marquel. I just can’t get used to the idea of a ghost writer. That’s kind of ironic isn’t it” asked Marquel as he left.
Canon didn’t answer.
This interview never made it into the paper print version http://nyti.ms/IvAp75.
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