Heavensgate - Every morning just after sunrise, says Christopher Hitchins, he and the entire heavenly host gather with their harps and neatly folded wings at the edge of a convenient cloud. Then as they drink their coffee and enjoy the air, they laugh loud and long at the tormented in Hell below.
"God has a cosmic sense of humor, what else?" reports the former militant atheist, interviewed posthumously via GoogleSeance(TM)satellite.
"He set up the entire world to be full of ethical dilemmas so that all the so-called good guys and gals--the fire-breathing pastors, sub-prime bankers, self-righteous moralists, glib politicians and Sunday School teachers--would finish up getting cooked to a crisp in Satan's kitchen."
Added Hitchins, whose hair has grown back and looks great: "That's right. All the tight-assed mullahs and mormons and moralists, all the Bible-thumping, Koran-quoting, Torah-toting prudes, hypocrites, inquisitors, child-abusing priests, lynchers, wife-beaters and Donald Trump, get to be eternally roasted, basted and toasted on the griddle fires of Hell."
He made a sound a lot like "bwahaha," but quickly covered it up with a cough.
"So in the end the joke's on them," he went on. "Because it's really us infidels, sexual addicts, single mothers and fathers, beloved pets, welfare moochers, drunks, pot-smoking appreciators of art, literature and music, eccentric teachers and crackheads, liberals, lazy buggers, loafers and layabouts, third-rate cartoonists and scientists and every other disreputable but harmless person you've ever heard of, who get to enjoy Heaven for all eternity."
Hitchins gladly confessed that Paradise had not turned out to be what he, as an atheist, had expected.
"Yes, I was pleasantly surprised to wake up here," he admitted, "and even more by God being so much nicer than His reputation. I think we humans have framed the old guy for a lot of shit we actually did."
Asked how he and his fellow angels structure their time--"which of course does not really exist up here"--Hitchins said that they go to the beach, have cook-outs under the stars, make love often, indulge their favorite foods, vices and interests, "or do whatever the mood suggests."
In his own case, he said, he drinks champagne for breakfast, smokes crack at lunch and has lots of pot and cookies for dinner. He plans to spend the rest of eternity exploring the Library of Alexandria and chatting with Aristotle, Voltaire, Mark Twain "and the rest of the guys who are all here, thank God!"
Hitchins added that he'd like to do some Magic Mushroom with Plato, but says the old Greek "is really confused about reality right now. All he does is sit in a cave and mumble."
As the satellite's signal faded, Hitchins said: "This is what I call Paradise, my friend, and so will you when you get here."
But then he added: "If you do. Your spoof stories are borderline offensive, even if they sometimes make me crack a smile. Did I say crack? Gotta go."