John Litweiler

Goodbait Books Publishing Empire

Nicole Mitchell (JL photo)

Roscoe Mitchell (JL photo)

Fred Anderson and Jimmie Jones (JL photo)


by John Litweiler

It was party time in heaven. Most of the gods and goddesses seemed to be having a good time. James Brown and his band were playing, Venus and Adonis were boogying, so were the many-breasted Inca goddess Mama Alipa and Buddha, so were Dionysius and an Orisha from Africa. Vishnu was dancing with a Muse, Marilyn Monroe danced with Zeus, and Quetzalcoatl and Lao Tze and Pallas Athena were having a lively discussion over a dinner of nectar and ambrosia, while Astarte and Wotan and Charlie Parker and Krishna were telling each other jokes. But sitting all alone at the bar was Jehovah, drinking wine and looking unhappy.

I sat at the bar stool next to him and said, "Hello, Jehovah. I'm a mere mortal and I wound up here in heaven tonight by mistake. Using your omnipotent powers, would you please send me back to earth in 21st-century America?"

He looked at me bleary-eyed like I was sewage and growled, "Don't call me Jehovah, for I am an angry god."

I said, "Would you prefer I call you Yahweh?"

"No! I am What-I-Am! Since thou art not praying to me, I shall smite thee!" He raised his hand and shot a bolt of lightning at me.

Since I was in heaven, the bolt of lightning did not hurt me. "I'm sorry I hurt your feelings," I said. "I just "

He was starting to cry. "I can't even cover thee sore with boils. Me, who used to be the most powerful god of all." His wine glass was almost full. He drank , and drank until it was empty.

I was surprised to see Jehovah cry. "If you're not the most powerful, who is? I really need to get back to earth. I have a dentist appoint "

"I started out from nothing. The Orishas, the Inca gods, the Aztec gods, Jupiter and Juno, all of them, they were worshipped by civilized, cultured people in temperate climates. What was there left for me? Just a bunch of slaves in the desert in Egypt. I chose them because everybody else had gods to worship. Dost thou know what a struggle it was to work miracles and get them to the promised land? Forty years it took."

"Gee," I said. "Why did it take so long? You were omnipotent."

"I had to punish them. They kept sneaking off and worshipping other gods and making graven images."

"What's wrong with graven images? Social media and art galleries depend on them. And surely there are enough people on earth for every god to have at least a few million worshippers."

"Bow down before me!" snapped Jehovah as he shot another lightning bolt at me. "For I am a jealous god." He looked glumly in his empty wine glass. "I created heaven and earth. Everybody should be worshipping me." He snapped his fingers and his wine glass was full again. "Me, who used to be worshipped everywhere, and then they insulted me and called it the dark ages. And now billions of people in Africa and Asia worship Allah instead." He sighed.

"Some of these other gods and goddesses say they created heaven and earth, too," I pointed out to Jehovah.

"Whats'a matter with thee? Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Don't thou know my commandments?"

"I think I know most of them," I said. "Fortunately you didn't say 'Thou shalt not lie,' cause I'm thinking of going into politics."

"I purposely left out 'Thou shalt not lie' cause I didn't want that pain in the ass Moses to call me a hypocrite and hassle me about all the lies I told the Hebrew people. And if thou don't worship me, I'll make thee one of my chosen people. It'll teach thee a lesson."

"I apologize again," I said. "I just want to get back to earth "

"If thou wantest something from me, thou must make a sacrifice to me. I'm getting hungry, so sacrifice a lamb to me. Better yet, sacrifice thy first-born son to me. I wanteth some junk food."

I ignored the insult and said, "Sorry, Jehovah "

"No! I am What-I-Am how soon thou forgettest. If thou aren't going to worship me, go away and mind thine own business. If thou don't, I'll sic a plague of frogs upon thee." He then ignored me and returned to scowling at his wine glass.

Fortunately Elvis and Devi were approaching the bar about then. I told them about my dilemma and that I had to get back to earth to see my dentist. "Why, sure, no prob," Devi said. She snapped her fingers.

That's how I got back on earth in my own dimension in 2016. I didn't really have a dentist appointment but heaven was making me uncomfortable. Too bad the only alternative is worse, so to avoid the worse I'm trying to be as good as I can.

TRUE FACT: In the 13th century Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II said that if Jehovah had ever seen the beauty of the Bay Of Naples, he never would have sent his chosen people to live in a dump like the Holy Land.

Selected Works

Nora Heatley's invention will save the human race -- why, then, was she murdered? Why is her husband Joe pursued by police, FBI, CIA, thugs, and crazies? A noir novel in broad daylight about an ancient conspiracy to manipulate mankind's destiny.
Black people rule America. Whites are the underprivileged minority, and--bad news!--Chicago is in an uproar over a stolen mojo.
When your darker side is the one thing you can't escape - where do you run? The brilliant novel by Michael O'Flaherty.

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