There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself,
“This could be Heaven or this could be Hell”
The Eagles

In A Jersey Midsummer Tale a slightly drunk Lloyd ponders the day one arrives at the Pearly Gates. No one quite knows what happens then, what the requirement for entrance is. Does St Peter simply weigh good against bad in his ledger before deciding? And what is the pass mark, 50%? Or might it be a stiffer requirement like 75%?

And do all sins count as a point against and all good deeds a point for, or is there a weighting system? Presumably the Seven Deadly Sins are pretty high on the naughty scale, but those Seven Sins don’t include murder, for example. And does crossing the road without waiting for the green walking man count against you?

On the plus side, walking little old ladies across the road is good, I imagine. But is it as good as becoming a hermit and devoting your life to prayer? How much do you need to give to charity to compensate for unfairly punching someone in the face?Pearly Gates

See, nobody tells you. Presumably we all go through life preferring not to end up with the Devil spiking us in the ass for eternity. But how do we know if we’re doing OK, if we’re ahead of the game?

You’d think the Pope or somebody like that, with a direct line to Heaven, would give us a clue.

The Catholics believe that, unless you go straight to Hell you spend some time in Purgatory before being called on up. You can work off the waiting time by something called ‘indulgences’. But again, what is the entry qualification? And if you scrape into Purgatory by the skin of your teeth, how long is it before you get out of there?Devil

So many questions, so few answers. On the eve of my 60th birthday I wonder if it’s already too late for me to be worrying about it. Tomorrow I’ll try to calculate my lifetime mark and you can tell me if you reckon I’ve passed or not.

Big black shape with eyes of fire
Telling people their desire
Satan’s sitting there, he’s smiling
Watches those flames get higher and higher
 Black Sabbath

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