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Topic: Laughter (10/18/04)
TITLE: He Who Laughs Last
By LINDA GERMAIN
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This unexpected trip was a bother. After all, he had work to finish. There were big accounts waiting for his fine-tuning. No, this was just very bad timing on his brother’s part, this getting sick.
Now what? An ambulance came screaming around on his left as a line of speeding vehicles vied for lead position. Nervously glancing at his watch, and then at the clock on the high-tech dashboard, he figured he would make his flight, but just barely.
“Man, I’m burning up,” he protested to no one. His throat felt a little sore. Taking a deep breath, he began practicing the calming exercises from his latest self-awareness guru. Chanting the mantra followed.
Pulling into the airport parking area, he smiled at finding such a convenient spot. Those visualization techniques really paid off. The distance from Jim’s luxury car to the check-in counter was an easy lope for his fit body. He proudly held his physique to the same high maintenance standard as his expensive automobile.
Although he was used to first class seating, he was prepared to put up with whatever his fate dictated.
“The gods must be watching,” he grinned, mumbling to himself as he lowered his tall, lanky frame into a bulkhead seat with plenty of room for his long legs. Across the aisle sat a striking woman. Maybe this trip would not be so bad after all.
Once in the air, he noticed she was reading. Oh no! It looked like a Bible. Those people made him so mad he couldn’t see straight. He and his group of friends really enjoyed laughing at that contemptible, stupid- thinking bunch.
“ Another victim of mind-numbing, uneducated control,” he fumed to himself. Pulling out his own book on new-age enlightenment, he felt sorry for that gorgeous package across the way. What a waste.
Laura Kay was so absorbed in her study of the Holy Scriptures she was completely unaware of the handsome man who had dismissed her so airily with his preconceived notions about Christians. She would have smiled at his incredible ignorance. Scoffers had laughed at her before. She knew they would not find it too funny when physical life ended and they were called to stand before the God who made them. She shuddered.
Reading Revelations was almost like reading the daily newspaper. No thinking Christian could dismiss the signs. These were definitely the end times. She had addressed that subject in her latest book. Most people assumed she was a businesswoman, or even a model. There were always looks of surprise that she had a PhD in theology.
Jim fell asleep. When he awoke, he noticed the beautiful lady was not in her seat. Standing up to stretch, he looked around. That was strange. He did not remember the plane being this empty. He clicked on the call button. A cup of hot tea might help his sore throat. No one responded. He decided to find an attendant. Seeing the cockpit door ajar, he felt a sudden dread. Something wasn’t right.
Jim was a man who was used to being in charge . That prompted him to creep toward the huge metal door and peek through the small opening. He gasped! There was no pilot in sight. Wheeling around, he noted the few who were on the plane were sound asleep.
What was happening? He shivered when his eyes fell on the Bible and another book left in the seat across from him. Sitting where she had been, he snatched up the one with the picture on the back cover. He could hardly believe his eyes. It was the same woman who had been here before his nap.
He read, “Confirming Your Ticket to the Rapture, by Laura Kay Peterson.” In her picture, she seemed to be laughing. Why was she so happy?
Being a sensible man, and one who had taken two speed-reading courses, he grabbed both books. Turning pages with nearly super human haste, he greedily devoured every word. Learning that useful skill turned out to be the second smartest thing he ever did. Later, when he saw Laura Kay he would thank her for the first.
He hoped people laughed in Heaven.