|How To Get To Heaven
||[Oct. 17th, 2007|10:15 pm]
After a hard day's work, I feel drained both physically and emotionally. Little is left of my personage but a battered shell of a man - a wreck. I walk to my car, my tie loosened and my dress shirt untucked. Only the promise of a decent meal and readily available pornography keeps me from jumping from a tall building to a screaming early death. This is the case almost every day I go to work, or at least it was. Things have changed now that I've found this under my windshield wiper:|
How To Get To Heaven is just what it looks like - a step-by-step guide to getting the afterlife you've always wanted since your parents explained to you how dying works. But it's also much more than that. It has pictures, too. Kid friendly and adorable, these pictures could easily belong to an uproarious newspaper comic strip like Fred Basset or Blondie, but it's clear that they have a much higher purpose like Doonesbury.
Much like myself, God writes under a pen name - King James whereas I use Millionaire Mike. Another similarity between his writing style and mine is that he scrawls single sentences across multiple pages in enormous Comic Sans lettering. It's these first two panels that we learn that The Bible is God's law, and that it's perfectly flawless in every which way. How To Get To Heaven assumes the reader is familiar with the concept of an all-knowing God, but for some reason believes we don't know he has a book out.
To recap so far: God's great, has a book, it's a book of rules, follow the rules or it's a sin. But how bad could it be if one commits a sin?
Ohhh, shit. It looks like sinners will be "turned into hell" as though they've been redirected by the friendly neighborhood traffic cop of the afterlife. That's bad news, as "hell is a place where fire is." We learn this while trying to ignore that our guide to a proper existence ends sentences with prepositions. I think that's a punch I can roll with, though, as I end sentences with prepositions all the time for.
Panel Four up there offers a glimmer of hope but them immediately slaps it back down, right in the face. Every person in this realm is a big fat disappointment to their creator, no matter what. If this pamphlet were a television show, that bit of information would be an act break.
Panel Five reveals that Jesus and God have a sort of good cop bad cop thing happening. God is royally pissed that you're not doing things The God Way, but Jesus loves you anyway. He's your buddy - the cool teacher with sneakers who lets you do wacky science experiments in class instead of pushing bookwork. But you still can't slack off too much or you'll get that D- and you're going straight to hell.
So without going into too much (any) detail, Panel Six begins to describe how Jesus went out of his way to do this pain in the ass favor for you not to get pounded by his dad. Looks like you're going to owe Jesus big.
Post-Mystery Death Jesus is buried, but just a few days later he gets up and announces "I am alive for evermore," all with a magician's confidence. To me this is kind of cheap because he seems to have all of this planned out in advance, aware of his own gifts. If I lend you a few hundred dollars, that's a pretty great favor, but if I have an infinite money generator, it becomes something less than that. But still, I guess he could have just coasted by and let his dad flood the daylights out of us or whatever. For that reason I "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ." All over him.
It took me a while to figure out what Panel Nine was trying to tell me. It makes double use of the word "ye," and it seemed to be finishing an idea that wasn't started elsewhere. But in spite of these flaws, it is by far my favorite part of the pamphlet thanks to the illustration. Our everyman and everywoman appear to be confronted by a fellow ten-year-old trying his damnedest to get them to smoke a cigarette with him. He does so with such vigor, and such malice as to suggest a pretty serious mental problem. This young man is a deranged young party animal, and it's sad to think he might know the searing kiss of Satan's hellfire before he gets chest hair. Even so, all he has to do is keep The Lord on speed dial, and he shall be saved. It's that easy.
To wrap things up nicely, the illustrator drew a bow. But we're still left to make a decision - and put our money where our mouth is by filling out a form and sending away to prove that we've taken Jesus into our hearts and so forth. If not, you'll never go to heaven and marvel at their decidedly box-like structures.