It had been a slow day at the pearly gates, and St. Peter was on the verge of nodding off, when suddenly a man appeared. He was rumpled and bedraggled and not very steady on his feet. St. Peter looked him over skeptically.
“Have you ever done anything of particular merit?” he asked.
The man thought it over.
“Well, I can think of one thing,” he said. “I saw a bunch of punks who were harassing a young woman. I told them to leave her alone, but they wouldn’t listen to me. So I went up to the biggest one of them and busted him in the chops and yelled, ‘Now, back off!’”
“Impressive,” said St. Peter. “When did this happen?”
The man looked at his watch and said, “About five minutes ago.”
A multimillionaire nearing the end of his life was distraught because he had worked so hard for his wealth, and he wanted to be able to take it with him when he died. He prayed and asked God if he could do so.
“Sorry,” said God. “Rules are rules.”
But the man begged and pleaded, and eventually God relented.
“Oh, all right, you win,” said God. “I’ll make an exception just this once. You can bring one suitcase.”
Overjoyed, the man took his largest suitcase, filled it with gold bars, and set it beside his bed.
Soon afterward, the man died and arrived at the gates of heaven. St. Peter welcomed him, but then he saw the suitcase and said, “You can’t bring that in here.”
The man explained that he had special permission from God. St. Peter was skeptical, but went to check the story out. After a while he returned.
“You’re right,” he said. “God says you’re allowed one suitcase. But I’ll have to check its contents before letting it through.”
St. Peter opened the suitcase to inspect the worldly goods that the man had considered too precious to leave behind, and he said in astonishment, “You brought pavement?”
Henry and Alice had been married for 65 years. Although well into their eighties, they were both in excellent health, due primarily to Alice’s insistence on a healthful diet and regular exercise.
But one day while walking home from Whole Foods, they were hit by a truck, and the next thing they knew, they were standing together just outside the pearly gates.
St. Peter welcomed them and escorted them inside. He took them to a beautiful mansion and said, “This will be your new home.”
Stunned by the beauty of the place, Henry asked St. Peter how much it was going to cost.
“Nothing at all,” St. Peter replied. “This is heaven.”
Henry looked out the window, and saw that right outside the mansion was a championship golf course, more beautiful than any that existed on earth.
“What are the greens fees?” he asked.
“This is heaven,” said St. Peter. “You can play anytime you want, and it won’t cost a cent.”
Then St. Peter took Henry and Alice to the dining room, where they saw a lavish buffet set out with all kinds of delectable foods – juicy steaks, exotic seafood, gourmet cheeses, fine wines, freshly-baked breads and rolls, and rich desserts.
“Don’t even ask,” said St. Peter. “This is heaven. It’s all free for you to enjoy.”
“Where are the low fat and low cholesterol foods?” Henry asked.
“There aren’t any,” said St. Peter. “In heaven, you can eat and drink whatever you like, whenever you like, as much as you like. You’ll never get fat and you’ll never get sick.”
“No gym to work out at?” Henry asked.
“Not unless you want to,” St. Peter replied.
“No testing my blood pressure?”
“Never again. All you do here is enjoy yourself.”
Henry glared at Alice and said, “You and your bran muffins! We could have been here ten years ago!”
Two baseball lovers, George and Fred, had been friends all their lives. As children they’d played in Little League together, as teenagers they’d been on their high school team, as grown men they’d played in their church league, and as retirees they spent their summers watching baseball games together on TV or at the park.
When both men were very old, Fred began to feel his life slipping away from him. One day George asked Fred a favor.
“Sure, old pal,” said Fred.
“Fred,” said George, “when you get to heaven, you have to let me know if they have baseball there.”
“George, I promise you, if there’s any way I can do what you’re asking, I will.”
Fred died soon afterward. After the funeral, George went home and sat down in an armchair, and soon he fell asleep. He was awakened by a blinding light, and heard a voice calling his name.
“Who is it?” George asked, frightened.
“George, it’s okay. It’s me, Fred.”
“Fred! Is it really you? Where are you?”
“I’m in heaven. I have some good news for you, and some bad news. Which do you want first?”
“Give me the good news first.”
“Well, the good news is that there’s baseball in heaven! And all of our old buddies who died before us are here! And we’re all young again! And every day is warm and sunny! And we can play baseball all day long without ever getting tired!”
Naturally, George was overjoyed.
“That’s wonderful!” he said. “So what’s the bad news?”
“The bad news is you’re pitching Tuesday.”
Mildred had attended mass faithfully all her life, but shortly after her 105th birthday, she stopped going. The priest was concerned at her absence and went to call on her.
To his relief, he found Mildred in excellent health. He asked her why she had stopped coming to mass.
“Well, Father,” she said, “when I got to be 90, I really expected God to take me any day. But then I got to be 95, then 100, and then 105. So I figured God’s been really busy and must have forgotten about me, and I don’t want to remind Him.”