THE HOLIDAY season is an appropriate time for Your Favorite Columnist to pay one of his occasional calls on God.

YFC: Good morning, God.

God: Good morning, lad. Merry Christmas.

YFC: Ah, my tribe doesn't celebrate Christmas, except for the all-American gift-giving part.

God: You sound like most Christians. They spend, put a tree up, drink egg nog, sing "Rudolph" and they're done. They forget it's my son's birthday.

YFC: Um, God? Jesus wasn't actually born on Dec. 25. The Julian calendar . . .

God: Sssh. We're trying to keep that from the goyim.

YFC: It's not, you know, like a secret.

God: Leave it alone. What's on your mind?

YFC: Some atheists put up a billboard saying, "Don't believe in God? You are not alone." Your reaction?

God: George Carlin didn't believe either. Where's he today? (Snicker)

YFC: He died. Do you know where he is?

God: Do you think I'm called the All-Knowing just because of my fluffy white beard, flowing robe and Birkenstocks?

YFC: I get it. So where's Carlin?

God: Not saying. That's for the Eternal to know and for you to figure out.

YFC: (Sigh) OK, different subject. Are you into the NFL this season?

God: Even though I have the best seat in the house, and I'm naturally partial to my Saints, no.

YFC: Why not?

God: I know the score of every game before it's played. It's like watching "The Crying Game" a second time. No surprises.

YFC: Oh, sure, it's that all-knowing thing. Hmmm. If you'd share some of this Sunday's scores with me I could make some money.

God: That's cheating, Stu.

YFC: C'mon. My bookie is an atheist. I could kill him.

God: So could I, any time I want. Drop it, I'm telling you.

YFC: You don't want to talk sports.

God: I'll talk Tiger Woods, that pisher.

YFC: I'll pass. Assess the national situation today.

God: Dire, I'm sorry to say. War, ignorance, crime, poverty, terrorism, AIDS, unemployment, restless-legs syndrome. It's disheartening. When I gave humans free will, I expected better.

YFC: How can we improve?

God: Stop killing each other. That would be a good start.

YFC: Many of us feel the same way. How do you feel about Barack Obama's victory?

God: Awesome. I'm proud of him, proud of America. Barack's a chip off the old block.

YFC: Wait! Are you saying he is the Messiah, like Rush Limbaugh calls him?

God: Just pulling your chain, Roscoe. Take a chill pill.

YFC: Let's go global. What's the problem with radical Islam?

God: They call me Allah and they murder in my name. I won't tell you what I call them. Hezbollah. Hamas. Taliban. Al Qaeda, you name it. After they blow people up, they think they're in for 72 dark-eyed virgins? They're in for a very nasty surprise.

YFC: Tell me.

God: Can't. It's a surprise!

YFC: Please.

God: Not allowed.

YFC: Not allowed? You're God! Who can tell you what to do?

God: There's the wife, the board of directors.

YFC: The wife?

God: Sssh. She'll hear. She's got ears like a Schnauzer.

YFC: You can trust me.

God: I thought you were a still a columnist.

YFC: That hurts, God. A scoop like that could make my career.

God: An interview with God isn't enough? How lame are you?

YFC: I give up.

God: Good. By the way, there's no wife and no board of directors. This isn't Costco. I punk'd you.

YFC: That's quite a sense of humor you've got.

God: I'm getting pointers from George Carlin.

YFC: Carlin! He's in heaven? He hated religion.

God: He made fun of religion, but I looked into his heart, I saw he cared about people so I took him home with me.

YFC: How's he doing up there?

God: Cracks me up. He learned to be funny without dirty words, but was all the time kvetching about no pot. I gave him Termini chocolate-covered bananas and that shut him up.

YFC: There's my scoop! Anything you want to add?

God: I'd like to go on "Oprah." Do you know her? Maybe you could put in a word.

YFC: 'Fraid not.

God: "The View"?

YFC: I'm not hooked up. Anything else?

God: Tell the people to stop killing each other. Work on it. Please.

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