Written by Shaun Ferguson
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Tuesday, 19 June 2007

As the mist cleared, Bernard Manning found himself standing in front of tall, golden gates with a bright light shining through them from beyond. So bright he had to squint and shield his eyes.

He looked around and found he was dressed in white. It took him some minutes to comprehend where he was.

He had felt a lot of discomfort, the pills the doctor gave him were barely having any effect, then he started drifting, the pain subsided, sleep came over him.

And now his eyes were open and the realisation set in. He had died and these were the gates to heaven.

Presently a figure appeared inside the gates. Dressed resplendently in white ermine with magnificent wings. "I'm Gabriel", said the man. "Welcome to the gates of heaven."

"Nice to meet you", Manning replied. "Alright if I come in?"

"Not so fast", retorted Gabriel, "Why do think you belong here?"

Manning thought for a moment and began to turn away. "I suppose I don't."

Gabriel reached out his hand in a gesture of grace. "You have been very naughty Mr Manning, you have spread falsehoods in the name of entertainment and insulted minority groups and women".

"I admit to that", said Manning, "But it was very popular to do it in the 1970's. Why, even Tony Blair's father-in-law was appearing on TV, in a show with a bigoted, racist old fart called Alf Garnett."

Gabriel took a deep breath and paused for a few moments. To Manning it felt like hours. "I'll tell you what I am going to do Mr Manning", he said at last, "you can come in, but you will have to live in posterity with Mary Whitehouse".

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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