Wednesday, April 27, 2016

a cautionary tale

by chuck leary

illuatrtions by eddie el greco

raymond was not a person who inspired much interest in other people.

he was not much to look at, or to talk to or listen to.

he was the kind of human male your grandparents would call a wimp, and your niece or nephew a douche.

he was inclined to let his fellow humans get the best of him, and take advantage of his wishy-washy nature.

he had an old phone in his apartment. although he was paying the phone company a few cents a month for caller i d just like the rest of the human race, the phone was so old it did not have a screen for that purpose.

he would often answer the telemarketing or unsolicited calls he got , and find himself giving ten or twenty dollars here or there - “just to get rid of them” - for veterans or breast cancer or children’s this or that, or refugees from isis or whatever.

finally the old phone died and he had to buy a new one.

he belatedly realized the wonders of caller i d. now he could see the names of his solicitors - and he quickly realized that “person unknown” or “unknown number” were always solicitors too.

he was no longer “obliged” to donate the small sums as before. he started having a little more money in his pocket.

what raymond did not realize was this:

the small amounts of generosity he had been displaying had been just enough to put him in the top fifty percent of the human race who qualified as good people and would go to heaven, and ceasing them dropped him down into the bottom fifty percent who were bad people and would go to hell.

less than a year after getting caller i d, raymond had a heart attack and dropped dead.

a couple of demons came and took his soul and put it on the download train to hell.

as the train pulled out, raymond looked out the window and wondered where he had gone wrong.

but no one ever explained it to him, and he never figured it out himself.

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