Observe Avery Mann, a dead Lutheran. Upon his arrival into the afterlife, he was issued a harp, white robe, and halo, and turned loose upon the sun-shining fields of the hereafter. He quickly observed that most of his fellow souls seemed taken with meditation, harp- or lute-playing, and smiling beatifically around upon the glory of the landscape.

Avery tried all of these things, and found they suited him poorly. His fingers played clumsily on his harp, which embarrassed him, and he quickly became bored with the tranquility that so gratified his supposed compatriots. He dearly missed his propane business, sex, light beer, and contract bridge, all of which had brought him great pleasure in life, and he was baffled as to why no one seemed as discontent as he; his first few attempts to bring this up in conversation had led to disaster, and so he now kept silent and moped a great deal. Finally, he could stand it no longer. He went to see The Man.

"Why, O lord, am I so discontent?"

The Lord God bent down upon His throne, for it disturbed him greatly to hear this from one of His children. "Why, indeed? Have I not provided you with your promised reward?"

"That's the thing, Lord! I don't mean to be out of line here, but it seems like it's not much of a reward at all."

The Lord furrowed His magnificent brow quizzically.

"I need action! I need something to keep me busy! This isn't -- I mean, don't take this wrong, sir -- I miss my life. I miss having stuff -- I mean, the harp is great and all, but I miss my car; you know, that white convertible I used to have, with the... with the..." he noticed that the Lord God was grinning broadly at him, and sputtered to a stop, petrified.

"I understand completely," said God. He hooked his thumb at a path leading away behind the throne. Walk several miles in that direction; when you smell brimstone, turn left. Since you were good and pious in life, you will receive a Land Rover, a fifty-caliber machine gun, and a suitcase full of money. You will then be on your own."

"But... you're sending me to Hell?"

"If you wish to go," said God. "You know, you Christians have a lot to learn."

Nodeshell rescue for the masses

This probative question is often seen attributed to The Burger King, whose immobile face issues forth this query into the hearts of his victims. To illustrate:

You may be at home, sitting peacefully on your porch, feeling a bit peckish, enjoying the sunny summer afternoon when out of the corner of your eye a shadow appears across your lawn. A figure stands in the distance, still as a tombstone, staring forward at you from a hundred meters away. This is startling and you rise from your seat, setting aside your cross-stitch. The binoculars, on the table, you grab for them, your eyes shifting to the papers and ficus next to the dual spy-glass. Looking back...the figure is closer, 30 meters closer, how could it move that fast? You can see it now, him, now that he's past the trees and shrubs. He's tall, wearing a red coat with gold trim, white ruffles and fur. He stands stock still, hands unseen, behind his back? You see the glimmer of dull gold on his head, his grossly proportioned head.

You raise the binoculars to look at him, obscuring him for a moment as you bring them before your eyes, you get a glimpse of him them. He's much closer now, only 40 meters away, still as a statue. His face is an inhuman grin, frozen in time. Bright and cheerful, but dead to the world. His mouth and eyes are twisted into a single everlasting laugh, as jovial as it is sinister. You see something on his head, a crown, made of paper, something is written on it. As you adjust the binocs your hand jogs, suddenly... he's in front of the screen, you can see the plastic shine of his face, the black abyss beneath his grotesque overbite. On his false crown it says: Burger King. Burger King? The fast food place? What?? You lower the binoculars, covering your eyes for an instant...and he's gone. He's not in the yard, you cast your eyes about. What in the world is going on?

You have to get inside, talk to someone, the police, your brother, a psychiatrist, someone. You need to see someone human to make sure that you are not out of your mind. You hurry to the door, checking over your shoulder as make your way inside. As your eyes adjust to the light and you walk down the hall you see something out of place, but you aren't sure what. You turn the corner to the kitchen, hell, at this point you'd settle for a sandwich, not just your sanity.

And you almost walk into him, he looms in front of you, frozen in the same pose, malignantly standing within your home. You know you can't escape. You stare into his bright and shiny dead eyes. His glare pierces your heart.


He then hands you a sandwich.

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