A SECOND CLASS STAMP

22 Jan

 A SECOND CLASS STAMP

second class stamp photo: Stamp 9 stamp-9-600px.jpg  “It is,” thought Arthur Tooty, “a long time since the world ended. I wonder if something went wrong?”

God looked him up and down and noted the shabby strands of green post office forms hanging untidily from the man’s penis. “I never made a creature like this,” his voice boomed inside his mighty omniscient head. “What has the world come to?”

Then, “What do you mean, Mr Tooty?” he asked aloud.

“It’s just a question I ask myself every day,” muttered Arthur. “I didn’t say it out loud, you know: I merely asked myself why, since it’s been such a long time since the world ended, has something gone wrong? I mean, it must have, surely?”

“What makes you think the world’s ended?” asked God, stretching himself in order to look mightier than he already was. “I mean, I never told you that anything of the sort has happened to it and as far as I can tell you’ve been dead too long to have noticed. World’s endings make quite a splash, you know, with debris flying here, there and everywhere across the Heavens. Even the most experiences angels have to duck!You’d think I’d have known about it.”

“It ended a week last Tuesday,” said Arthur defensively. “I know that it did because I was standing in a post office queue wanting to buy a second class stamp – I never buy first class ones because they’re more expensive and things get where you want them to just as quickly with second class – when there was this almighty explosion all around me, and the world ended.”

“Oh, that,” sniggered God. “That wasn’t the world ending, silly. It was the man behind you in the queue.”

“What did he do? Sneeze or something?” sneered Arthur. “I tell you, it was an almighty explosion, a dirty great big one, a bang so loud it deafened me… don’t you think I know what a sneeze sounds like?”

“I didn’t say he sneezed,” sighed God. “It was you who said he might have sneezed! It was nothing like a sneeze! He was one of them others, you know, the seventy-two virgins for killing Christians brigade, and he blew himself up. You’re right, though, it was quite a bang. Impressive, I thought.”

“Seventy-two virgins? You mean he blew himself up just behind me in the post office queue, and earned himself seventy-two virgins as a prize? That doesn’t sound particularly fair to me, especially if I don’t get any virgins and he who blew me up gets seventy-two!”

God tapped his own nose knowingly and grinned back at Arthur. “Ah, but you do,” he said, cryptically. “You get a virgin. A lovely piece of meat if I say so myself, and because I know you’re gay you get a lovely young man. Innocent as the day he was born, he is, and untouched by mortal woman – or man.”

“How do you know I’m gay…” asked Arthur. “I never told you! I never told anyone! I go about my business without having anything to do with man or woman. I live my own life. Lonely it is, true, but that’s what I choose to do.”

God sighed. “I know everything,” he murmured. “There’s not a thing about anyone on Earth that I don’t know, and you’re gay all right. Now then, would you like to meet your prize? Your virgin? The core of your innermost desires? The one sentient being anywhere who can satisfy your every yearning?”

“And the bloke who killed me? He gets seventy-two?” asked Authur Tooty.

God nodded, a sardonic smile creeping across his wise old face. “He does,” he confirmed.

“That doesn’t strike me as being one hundred percent fair…” began Arthur. “After all, if I’m to believe what you say, I’m dead!”

“You are,” confirmed God. “Blown to pieces, you were…”

“And the bloke who did it gets the biggest reward?”

“It might seem that way, but it isn’t really. You see, he was gay too…”

“Oh! And that makes it all okay? So he gets seventy-two innocent young women to spend Eternity with for killing me?” asked Arthur.

“No, silly. I wouldn’t be that unkind – not to the virgins, anyway. You see, you were blown to pieces by his bomb … seventy-two pieces, to be exact…”

© Peter Rogerson 22.01.15

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