“You saw God?” I asked, shocked at the statement.
“Yeah. The doctors said I was actually dead for about an hour and a half. They were pretty shocked when I came to, but honestly, I don’t think I would’ve been able to stand another minute of it.”
“Heaven. It’s unbearable. Mostly due to…you know…him.”
I stared at my friend for a solid minute before he spoke again. He must have been concerned that some animal was going to crawl into my dropped jaw and make a new home.
“Listen, I know. I was pretty religious before I had this near-death experience. I always mentioned how when I died I wanted to ask God all sorts of questions about life. Well, I got to ask some of them, and…God’s kind of a dick.”
I laughed a little, thinking maybe my friend was pulling my leg. Maybe the whole story was a lie, and the near-death experience just a way to make me feel guilty for not keeping in touch as well as I should have. He shut me down right away, though.
“No, seriously, man. He…she…it…God…is just unbearable. I got to heaven; there’s no line at the pearly gates or anything, they just know if you belong there or not; and they let me right in to talk to God and ask questions. I suppose time doesn’t really mean anything there. Anyway, God started off as a ball of light, shifted from form to form until picking the stereotypical old man look which he said I would find most comfortable. He then started telling jokes.”
“Well, that doesn’t sound that bad.”
“You don’t understand. These weren’t normal jokes. These were the most offensive jokes I’ve ever heard.”
“Oh come on, it can’t be that b-”
“He started with dead baby jokes. The first words he says to me were one! He picks a form, and immediately starts with ‘What’s the saddest thing in the world?’ I hesitated a bit, thinking this was going to be some deep conversation. I mean, it was fucking God. As soon as I open my mouth he cuts me off with ‘A pit full of dead babies. Now what’s the funniest thing?’ I was a bit taken aback and didn’t even time to think before he hits me with ‘One live one at the bottom trying to eat its way out.’ It was awful! It didn’t stop there, either. ‘What’s funnier than a dead baby? A dead baby in a clown costume!’ ‘What’s more fun than feeling up a dead baby? Feeling up a dead baby with three nipples!’ ‘How do you make a dead baby float? Take your foot off its head!’ ‘What do you call a baby with no arms or legs in the middle of the ocean? Fucked!’ ‘How do you stop a baby from crawling in circles? Nail its other hand to the floor!’ ‘How many babies does it take to paint a house? Depends on how hard you throw them!’ On and on and on he went! So many of them, all of them awful, and all of them seared into my mind forever. It’s not like I can't just forget the voice of God.”
“So, you’re telling me you died, went to heaven, and God just sat there telling you dead baby jokes?”
“No, I said he started with dead baby jokes. Racist jokes, sexist jokes, jokes I didn’t even understand, but I knew they had humanity as the punch line, all of them came out. Hundreds, maybe thousands of these jokes, rapid fire. Then, while I’m standing there speechless and, honestly, on the verge of tears, then he decides he’s going to ‘tell me some secrets about the world.’ It got even worse from there.”
“Wait, so he finally started answering your questions, then?”
“He answered them all before I could even ask them. I wish he hadn’t, now.”
I gave my friend a face urging him to go on, but he pretended to ignore it. He couldn’t possibly expect me to just leave it at that. I had never really worried about getting answers for life and the universe, but now the box was open. “Well, what did he say? It couldn’t possibly be more scarring than those jokes.”
“Are you kidding? We are the joke. We’re a punch line, purely for the entertainment of Heaven. God told me how everything went down. He set off the creation of the universe because he was bored, stirred things up as time went on, and when he saw that on this planet, conditions were right for life to form, he nurtured it. He watched out for things and did what he could to keep conditions right for life to grow and flourish, but made sure that conditions allowed for life to evolve into the dumbest possible results.”
“So evolution is how life came to be what it is?”
“That’s not the point! It’s like dog breeds. People selected certain traits over others and ended up making all sorts of varied dogs. God made conditions right for certain traits to thrive over others. Poop? Completely unnecessary. He saw traits that would allow for bodies to turn everything put into it into energy; small, compact organs that could digest just about anything. He made sure those died out, just so he could see billions of animals running around making as he put it ‘stinky little piles that they would do anything to get away from.’ He helped guide the giraffe to gain its long neck in an attempt to make it look like a walking dick, he guided the platypus into existence just to fuck with anything smart enough to look at it and get confused, and he meteored the dinosaurs just because he wanted to see if he could pull off a hook shot around the Earth and into the sun.”
“What about human intelligence, though? I mean, you always called sentience a gift.”
“Simple, he wanted to be able to fuck with something that would fully ‘appreciate’ being fucked with and over. He tried it at first with angels and demigods, but since they were also immortal, he couldn’t fuck with them too much or else they’d just avoid him as much as possible. I mean, he even told me that the whole deal with Satan was that he had fallen asleep on God’s couch, and God drew a butt on his face and sent him to hell as a prank! Satan just stayed there because he really didn’t want to deal with God being a dick to him anymore. So, when God had a chance to guide life into sentience, he did it so he could have a whole species to fuck with. Demigods remember your dickery forever, but humans? Humans die, and the next generation isn’t going to remember what you did a thousand years ago.”
“They could always write it down, though. I mean, every religion has some kind of story about interactions with God.”
“Yeah, but over time people still edited things in such a way to excuse God’s childish sense of humor. He let Moses part water because he wanted to see the look on the Egyptians’ faces, he showed up as a burning bush just to be creepy, he had his underlings perform soap operas on Earth to mess with the Greeks, he took the forms of the Hindu gods just to see how many hallucination fever-dreams he’s had could be turned into statues, and the only reason the Buddha became the Buddha is because he was the only person to deal with God and not get fed up with his bullshit!”
“So,” I said, coming to grips with this whole situation, “God’s a dick.”
“Yes. Philosophers can now rest easy, I know why there is evil in the world. It makes God laugh.”
“Wow. So, what are you going to do now?”
“I’m going to live for as long as possible. Avoid him as much as I can. Most importantly, I’m going to enjoy this life to the fullest. I mean, really, as bad and crazy as this world can get, it’s still better than having to listen to another word from that douche.”
Later, as my friend and I walked off in our separate directions, I couldn’t help but wonder. What if everything my friend had heard in his near-death experience, what if all of it was just a lesson to make him appreciate his life and not over-value the afterlife he dreamed of?
Maybe everything was exaggerated.
Maybe it was all a good intentioned lie.
Or maybe God's just a dick.