“What we like to do here,” says Peter “is start with the positives and then move on to the areas where you may need some improvement. We’ll be using specific moments in your life, so try and keep up, mmkay?”. There’s still a lot you don’t understand about this place, but you shrug your shoulders because, you know, what else are you going to do on a Tuesday afternoon? You wait patiently for Peter to find your first good deed, maybe a little TOO long for your liking. “AH!” he finally says “I see here you once taught a group of children about synergy by making them all play on the same basketball team! However, they did lose the value of good competition and you WERE only doing it as community service, so… half a point”. Off to a great start.
“Another point in your favor” starts Peter “is you are very nice to dogs while you’re alive.” You start to stand with confidence and pride, but Peter squints his face a little in protest. “Then again, who isn’t right?” Peter scribbles something down in the big tome, which is always a good sign.
“Yes, very nice to dogs INDEED” says Peter, somewhat surprised. You sense the almost stupefaction in his voice: “what’s wrong with that? I thought being nice to dogs is a good thing”. Peter frowns a tiny bit and says: “yes, but that’s ALL that I can find so far, which isn’t the best sign”. You swallow hard. This is going to be a long trip.
“AH! Here we go!” he says “you’re the only person in EXISTENCE never to write anything mean to Clippy, the Microsoft word mascot”. Peter smiles down at his tome, but you don’t have the heart to tell him you’ve never OWNED Microsoft word.
Peter is searching incredibly intently through his tome, pawing through it several times. “Well,” he says “you managed not to call any overweight people fat…” he pauses “to their face…”
“Mhm… mhm…” starts Peter “very generous on birthdays! Very good!” You suddenly perk up. “Really? “No” says Peter, chuckling to himself. You only got presents for people who would buy YOU presents on YOUR birthday. That’s selfish”.
“Yes, you seem to have a great affinity for animals, especially dogs,” he says, breathing out heavily “you even cheered for the predator AND prey while watching Planet Earth!”. You start to beam with pride, but a thought occurs: “wait, if this is heaven, does that mean…” Peter smiles up at you. “Heaven is a blanket term, just something everyone understands right off the bat, but you can call it whatever you want— paradise, Nirvana, Zion, Mount Olympus, whatever floats your boat, matey. Now, what did I say about questions?”
“Hey, look at this!” Peter says, surprised “apparently, you were very generous to the homeless most Christmases!”. Oh yeah, that’s right! You love Christmas! There’s no way he’ll say— “However” starts Peter “Christmas is a time when you’re EXPECTED to give. It would have been better if you gave people presents all the time.” Oh COME ON, give me a break!
Silence. A LONG silence. You watch Peter as he is almost finished the second tome. You clear your throat, “Anything else?”. Peter breathes out and shakes his head. “You called your grandparents occasionally”.
Peter suddenly stops and checks the book again. “Apparently” he says “you raised a gentle, loving, empathetic girl. You made her childhood memorable in a good way and she has nothing but unconditional love for you. While she may not be around as much as she used too, she thinks of you very fondly and thanks her lucky stars every day to have had a parent like you”. That you don’t remember. “Wait” says Peter “that’s somebody else, sorry. My mistake, apparently you KICKED that girl in middle school.” Ah. THAT you remember.
“AAAAAAAAAnd more dog -related things” Peter says, closing the book. “Care to move on to the bad stuff?” you think for a moment. “Can’t we talk about the dog stuff for a little while longer?”.
“Speaking of teasing” says the librarian “care to explain this?” she shows you this picture, which you MAY have had a part in. “I thought it would be funny” you say “I didn’t think those builders would actually believe I was the foreman. Listen… Um…” “Roz” the librarian snaps back “shut up. I’m trying to determine whether you’ll be darned for all time”. You chuckle at her use of the word “darn” and she glares daggers at you. “Just because YOU’RE a potty-mouth” she starts, looking up from her fiery tablet “doesn’t mean I have to be”.
Images source: providr.com