“Welcome to heaven,” says St. Peter. “Before you settle in, it seems there’s a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we’re not sure what to do with you.”
“No problem, just let me in,” says the man.
“Well, I’d like to,” says St. Peter, “but I have orders from higher up. What we’ll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you’ll be allowed to choose where to spend eternity.”
“Seriously? Then, I’ve made up my mind,” says the senator. “I want to be in heaven.”
“I’m sorry, but I have my orders.”
And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him in days gone by.
Everyone is very happy. They’re dressed nicely and having a great time. They run to greet him, shake his hand and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the taxpayers. They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne. Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it’s time to go visit heaven.
Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises. The elevator goes up, and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.
“Now it’s time to visit heaven.”
So, 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp, singing and worshipping the Almighty God. They have a good time and — before he realizes it — the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.
“Well now, you’ve spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity.”
The senator reflects for a minute, and then he answers: “Well, I would never have said this before … I mean heaven has been delightful … but I think I would be better off in hell.”
So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. Now the doors of the elevator open and he’s in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it into black bags as more trash falls from above. The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder.
“I don’t understand,” stammers the senator. “Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne and danced and had a great time. Now there’s just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?”
The devil looks at him, smiles and says, “Yesterday, I was campaigning. Today you’ve already voted.”