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Dignity for the Deity

Some questions require a Higher Order of assistance

If heaven is a place on Earth , it might be a little something like Center City's Reading Terminal Market.
If heaven is a place on Earth , it might be a little something like Center City's Reading Terminal Market.Read more(David M Warren / Staff Photographer)

CONTINUING a tradition, the annual dialogue between God and Your Favorite Columnist.

God: I'm a little ticked.

YFC: What's got your robe in a bunch?

God: That new "Exodus" movie. They got a 10-year-old Brit playing me. I mean, Me.

YFC: Others have complained about the casting. All white characters in the Middle East?

God: Meh. How're you doing, sonny?

YFC: You know by now I don't like being called sonny. Your handle, "I am who I am," that's kind of smug. I'm fine, but I've got one for you, God.

God: Locked and loaded. Shoot.

YFC: Why is there so much misery in the world?

God: Be specific.

YFC: The global economy, the gap between the rich and poor, racism, sexism, the temporary shutdown of "The Interview," Taliban child-killers.

God: The Talibum, I call them. I am no more responsible for them than you are for the comments that follow your column.

YFC: If not you - who?

God: The devil.

YFC: The devil?

God: The devil.

YFC: It must be great to escape responsibility by pointing at someone else.

God: That's what you do with your editor.

YFC: I'm beginning to understand why belief in you seems to be declining.

God: Why's that, sonny?

YFC: It's been a really long time since you performed a miracle. Maybe you need to do something to get people's attention away from BuzzFeed and the Kardashians.

God: You want me to make the Statue of Liberty vanish? David Copperfield did that.

YFC: No, no. Something ginormous. Make the Earth spin the other way on its axis, turn the oceans to minestrone, give the Sixers a win. You know, something really unbelievable.

God: How about if I send Jesus back in a moto jacket and neck tattoos? Would that do it?

YFC: I'm trying to help here.

God: That's so like you. Can you tell I'm being sarcastic?

YFC: Yes. Here's another one. A couple of weeks ago Pope Francis said dogs can go to heaven.

God: He didn't say that.

YFC: It was reported in the New York Times.

God: Why did you genuflect when you said that? The Times is run by heathens. It was following up on a faulty report.

YFC: So dogs don't get to go to heaven?

God: I didn't say that.

YFC: What are you saying?

God: Here's what Will Rogers said: "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."

YFC: That's an answer?

God: It's a metaphor, sonny. If you were truly good - and in your case that's doubtful - the heaven you go to is the paradise designed for you. If you love dogs, and I know you do, your heaven would have dogs. If you were afraid of dogs, there would be no dogs in your heaven.

YFC: So in my heaven, there would be hoagies, but in my girlfriend's heaven there would be hairstylists.

God: You grasp the concept, sonny. Have a cannoli.

YFC: That means we wouldn't be in the same heaven.

God: Sheesh. You're so literal sometimes you get on my last nerve. Think of it as the Reading Terminal Market - everything's under one roof, but in different areas. Dog lovers at the Dutch Eating Place, nail salon near Iovine Brothers, classical music at Kamal's Middle Eastern Specialties.

YFC: Reading Terminal Market is heaven?

God: Heavenly, at least.

YFC: OK. See you next year.

God: Only I know that, sonny. Heh, heh. Happy New Year, anyway, and remember to treat others as you want to be treated.

Phone: 215-854-5977

On Twitter: @StuBykofsky