When Bob saw those headlights coming right at him, he was really proud of himself.
Sure, he was pretty disappointed that he had swerved into oncoming traffic because he was trying to open a rather difficult ketchup packet while driving, and yeah it was a bummer to be dying, and of course the pain was sure to be immeasurable…
He was proud of how he had left his affairs. A generous life insurance policy and a well kept will would keep his loving wife Susan and his dear children, Loren and Milt, safe and sound for many years to come. After all, you can’t take it with you.
Floating on white air, Bob made his way towards the pearly gates and the polished gold counter that seemed to serve as some kind if check-in.
Patrick, an angel appeared from thin air with a pen and ledger.
"How did you die?"
"I was in a car accident," said Bob.
Patrick chewed his pen. “Mmmm yes I see. And were you good on Earth?”
"I mean, I think so," said Bob. "I tried. I gave to the poor and I loved my wife and kids."
Patrick looked over his notes, only occasionally glancing up at Bob.
"Ok, Bob. Seems like you’re in the right place. I’m just going to need a credit card to secure your resort fee and you should be good to go."
"Upkeep around here is very expensive so on top of homeowner’s association fees, we also charge a resort fee. Helps keep the streets maintained and the parks green. You understand."
"Umm. I see. Well unfortunately I left all my money to my wife and kids."
"What?! You didn’t bring any money? How the hell did you think you were going to live? What are you going to eat?"
"I thought it was free. I thought you couldn’t take it with you," whined Bob.
"Well I’m not sure who told you that but you have been lied to. I haven’t even seen a one-bedroom up here for under $1,700 a month in years. Do you have any idea how nice this place is?"
"But I was a good person!"
"There’s a lot of good people. We ran out of room for those a long time ago. This is for people who were good AND worked hard."
"What am I supposed to do now?" Bob asked, dejected.
Patrick pointed behind Bob and Bob turned around to see a floating sign:
"That’s where people like you go. It’s not too bad. It’s kind of like cloud nine, just less."
Patrick then handed Bob a hat and sent him on his way.
There was no pearly gate around Cloud Eight. He just walked right in.
It was pretty crowded.
Bob turned to the fellow next to him and asked him what to do.
"We mostly just stand here and hold out our hats," said the fellow.
"Why?" asked Bob.
"Sometimes the people on Cloud Nine drop a coin or two and we try to catch them and hope to one day have enough to move up there."
Bob thought about how his daughter was probably buying another pair of expensive jeans right now with money that used to be his.
The fellow poked Bob.
"Also, sometimes they drop cookies and we get to catch them and eat them. That’s my favorite. They don’t don’t cookies here in the cafeteria. Mmm. Cookies!"
Bob didn’t want to hold his hat up, but he did. After all, he was pretty hungry