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Telephoning God



An angel came to me in a dream after a party that included far too many tequila shooters. Rather than a smiling, golden-haired beauty in a flowing white robe, this apparition looked like Woody Allen in leotards.

"You deserve a reward," he said, in an accent as distinctly New York as thin-crust pizza. "You don't cheat on your wife, you treat others with respect, and you got your cholesterol down to 179."

So he gave me God's personal telephone number.

I turned to my wife to see if she saw what was happening. A soft snore escaped her lips. I tried waking her, but she pulled the covers up to her neck and rolled over. She hadn't done as many shooters as I had, but she did all right for herself.

"Write it down," the apparition demanded. "I'm not coming back. These tights chafe." He pulled at himself like a twelve-year-old boy watching a cheerleader practice.

I scribbled the number on the back of my hand.

The angel did a pirouette, tripped, apologized for his fallen arches, and disappeared.

I squinted to see what I had written. It looked long distance, so I used my cell since I have unlimited minutes on weekends.

My hands shook as I punched the numbers. Was this fear and trembling or delirium tremens?

To my surprise, there was a pick up on the third ring.

"Thank you for calling God," a reassuring female voice said. "The King of the Universe is busy, but your call is important to Him."

"Damn it," I said aloud, regretting my words immediately.

"Please listen carefully to the following message as our options have changed."

I wondered what changing options might mean in the cosmic sense.

"If this is a personal emergency, press one."

I let that one go. The mother of all hangovers didn't qualify as an emergency.

"If you'd like God to save the life of a child or other family member, press two."

I continued listening.

"If you're worried about a hurricane, earthquake, tornado, tsunami or other natural disaster, press three."

I assumed Trump didn't qualify as a natural disaster.

“To pray for peace in our time, press four.”

"If you're calling about a crisis of faith, press five."

My hangover still didn't qualify and neither did my anxiety over whether or not to go with a Roth IRA, so I listened to more options. However, none included, "If you just want to chat with the Big Guy about what He's been up to, maybe get His take on the upcoming baseball season, hold on and He'll get with you."

Except for my throbbing head, my life was going well. I had a good job, a wife who loved me, despite last night's debauchery, and my cholesterol really was down to 179.

I hung up and stared at a smudge on the back of my hand.

My wife stirred. I kissed her and fell back to sleep.

This story was written by Wayne Scheer, who has locked himself in a room with his computer and turtle since his retirement. (Wayne's, not the turtle's.) To keep from going back to work, he's published hundreds of short stories, essays and poems, including Revealing Moments. https://issuu.com/pearnoir/docs/revealing_moments. He's been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes and a Best of the Net. Wayne lives in Atlanta with his wife and can be contacted at wvscheer@aol.com.
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