by Andy Hares

ST Imulus: Jobs Galore

I ran into Saint Job recently – a guy from the earlier times, and carrying a rather unusual name in these parts.

With a moniker like his, as you can imagine he has spent most of his eternity arranging appropriate employment for new arrivals at the Pearly Gates. Anyhow, having not seen him lately, I asked where he’d been. “Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it,” he told me, in fairly olde English (Job being fairly olde himself, in Earthly terms). I was caught by surprise. Firstly because he was quoting Satan (which is generally considered a no-no here) and secondly because not many of us get assigned downunder.

“What didst thou get up to?” enquireth me, as I sticketh to his style of language. Job saw that I was slightly taking the, um, well never mind, of his way of speaking, and reverted to the more contemporary speech.

“Saint Peter asked me to check out just what is going on down there, especially in relation to this new phenomenon they call COVID. So I made my bookings, thankful for our Eternal Assurance policy covering every eventuality that has never been thought of. Off we go.”

“We?” I asked (whoops, nearly said “asketh”).

“Royal ‘we’,” Job replied. “Just me. A few ethereal angels were hovering around, but largely doing their own thing, not really part of my bubble.”

“Bubble? Just what is that supposed to mean?” I queried.

“Something quite interesting, new, notional, invisible,” explained Saint Job. “You know all those people who have been turning up lately on account of this COVID thing they’re doing down there? Well to slow down the Earth Exit Strategy, governments and the like are asking people to keep in bubbles – numerically small residential groupings. Bubbles, they call them.”

“Saint Bacchus of Champagne would approve I reckon!” said I.

Saint Job ignored my remark, in a slightly contemptuous way (if that’s possible here) and continued. “Anyhow as I was going to and fro, walking up and down, I espied this creature someone described as a shambling orange potus. The orange potus, with his unbelievable hairstyle, was fixated on the word ‘great’, constantly repeating it and wishing the term to be bestowed on everything he said and did, including his remarkable understanding of the COVID thing, which he knew to be a ‘Chaina virus’.

One of his ideas – that the virus could be dealt to by the consumption or injection of disinfectant – gained considerable traction for quite some time (about ten minutes). Half of his people thought the idea great (the other half grated). One unbelievably trusting soul tested his theory; within an hour he had checked in at the Pearly Gates. He was allocated to our enhanced extended elementary education section. Meantime the orange one, on being asked if he himself was ready for an eternity up here indicated that he might, provided he’d be able to build a (great – of course) Mar-a-Lago (North) estate for his exclusive use. ‘To hell with that!’ I inwardly – and inappropriately – thought to myself.

“Anyhow the potus apparently shared an unusual friendship with a Mr Kim (whose father was Mr Kim, a dear leader by all accounts, and whose grandfather was – you’ve guessed it – Mr Kim, a great leader). The current Mr Kim (for sure potus’ equal as a snollygoster) modelled a remarkably amazing pudding bowl haircut – and that in a country not known for its puddings. The potus strongly endorsed Mr Kims’ (plural) use of the word ‘great’, plus the latter Mr Kim’s pioneering of an imaginative, distinct, deja-vue hairstyle.

“But back to COVID. According to reliable sources Mr Kim last Monday at 9:00am announced his country’s first case of COVID. Nine minutes later at 9:09am Mr Kim announced his country had no cases of COVID.”

“How fascinating,” I interposed. “At that very moment we had a guy check-in from a country he only described as D**K. We don't get a lot of them, so there was a lot of interest. Two small holes on his head, formerly known as bullet wounds, were identified at the Pearly Gates. They were apparently acquired from something known as an elite ten-man firing squad, resulting in his early attainment of his expiration date. Anyhow Saint Job, what else did you see?”

“Remarkable, amazing and uncluttered views while in transit to and from Earth,” Job replied. “I noted a 95% reduction in the passage of those large metallic tubes which disproportionately occupy air space on the planet’s surface. They have been a pain to both the planet and those who from time to time have been obliterated while intubated therein. Back in my day on Earth, the best mode of transport was the creature known as a horse. Sadly they’ve all but gone, and even the places now described as one-horse towns are mostly short by one horse. It is so quiet down there. Well, apart from the odd wailing and gnashing of teeth – though even that is apparently only allowed in minimally-sized groups.”

“Well, you’re back here now,” I told Saint Job. “It’s time to take a reasonably down-to-heaven approach to your work. Finding employment for the newbies continues as a priority, and for Saint Steve, jobs has been his focus. He, along with Saint Eve, has harnessed a large number of them into seasonal harvesting. For the next mini-eternity they’ll be picking Apples.”