Suburban Neighbor Guy pulled the ginormous box of artillery from the flatbed of his truck.
The night air hung thick between the houses with the weight of hot-ass weather and patriotism. The scent of 10,000 charbroiled burgers and hot dogs bathed the night-time insects and filthy children flitting about over overgrown lawns. The gallery of adults lined in lawn chairs guzzled their economically-priced intoxicants while the vocal stylings of Toby Keith and Neil Diamond roused a sense of All-American feel good-ism.
Suburban Neighborhood Guy’s doughy arms flexed as he set up his array of explosives in the driveway. All the kids surrounded him, spazzed out by Mountain Dew and the desire to run with fire sticks in their hands.
When the prep was complete, Suburban hoisted a gigantic lighter and signaled the beginning of the pyrotechnical interpretative sky dance celebrating the nation’s struggle for freedom.
Then he lit loud firecracker after firecracker after firecracker after firecracker. For like, hours.
When he arrived at the end of his show, he lit the tail of the biggest one of all. Much to the horror of the residents of Zippo Lane, the big ole Shock-N-Awe explosive detonated prematurely, causing the fire to ignite in Suburban’s face, blowing his body clear across the cul-de-sac.
He arrived at the Pearly Gates an hour later.
Feeling overwhelming sadness knowing he was dead, a huge sense of relief still washed over him because he had made it to Heaven. He exited the bus, checked in at the gate, and walked through the sparkling arches admiring the golden streets and puffy clouds that surrounded him.
Then he started noticing some weird stuff…like all the fire hydrants and bowls of water that dotted the way. There were also bowls and bowls of Milk Bones and Beggin’ Strips. And what the heck was it with all the fur-covered couches and tennis balls everywhere?
Suburban Neighborhood Guy forgot about the weird surroundings and felt a shiver run down his spine as he walked into a big wooden house with a nameplate across the entry that simply said
“This is it,” he said to himself. He shook like a leaf. “I’m about to come face to face with the Big Kahuna himself.”
He walked the golden path with tons of angel-people watching him make the journey. Suburban was nervous enough already, but these people were making it worse. The pitiful looks they gave him, the way they stared at his ripped clothing and the soot all over his body and face. What was their deal anyway? You’d think they’d all be smiling like crazy, being residents of Heaven. And what the? There were tons of winged cats and dogs in the place. He had no idea pets went to Heaven, too. Sure, he had always kinda hoped that they did. But he had heard that they didn’t from some pastor that one time Suburban went through a religious phase back when his small business was going under and he was desperate…
Suddenly, God’s giant gold and red velvet throne came into view. Suburban Neighbor Guy looked up and nearly crapped his cargo shorts.
He wanted to turn and run, but kept moving forward until he stood at the base of the great chair upon which a giant German Shepherd sat.
“Welcome, Suburban Neighbor Guy,” the Dog boomed into a PA system as he sifted through paperwork on a clipboard. “In a moment, we will review your trespasses. But before we do that, your arrival here today was caused by?”
The German Shepherd and everyone else leaned in to hear Suburban Neighbor Guy’s reply.
“Unlicensed loud and obnoxious neighborhood 4th of July fireworks display accident,” he mumbled.
The crowd, including all the dogs and cats, gasped.
“Oh…so you’re one of THOSE guys,” God said, smiling sinisterly with his black lips and big snout.
Suburban Neighbor Guy went ahead and crapped his cargo shorts.
With that, the giant dog picked up a rubber stamp that read “Redirect to Hell”.
“It’s a good thing you like fire, dude,” God snarled.
And the congregation cheered as he lowered the black ink to the paper like a fresh smear of stinky ashes from dead fireworks on the ground below.