Saturday, December 11, 2010



I'd love to know what the great writers and artists are doing in the Afterlife, are they still producing great art?

Yes, people don't change at all after they die, they just take off from wherever they left off from when they were alive.  For example, the very first thing Van Gogh did when he got to Heaven was cut off one of his wings, while Schubert completed his unfinished symphony. There was also Nietzsche, who spent hours trying to convert God to atheism, leaving the almighty "bummed out" afterward and even reluctantly admitting to others that the philosopher "made a lot of good points."  Those close with the Lord say that he was so down in the dumps, he didn't  even feel like striking anyone down for weeks... 

What's the musical scene like in the Afterlife?

There are many more legendary musicians who are dead right now than alive, which has led to some cool "supergroups" that have been forming all over the place.  The latest and hottest supergroup consists of: John Lennon, Frank Sinatra, and Mozart, and their current radio hit has been widely described as a cross between "Let It Be,"  "I've Got You Under My Skin" and "Violin Concerto number 3 in G major." The song is currently number two on the charts, right behind a neat cover version of "Help Me, Rhonda" by Heaven's Beach Boys cover band Good Vibrations.
Where is the best place in Heaven to take in the arts?

Calcutta, Heaven, located on the Western side, is a huge epicenter for the arts.  One great attraction there is a yearly summer event called the "Shakespeare on a Cloud Festival," where new plays are performed that have been written and directed by the master himself.  Next summer promises the debut of George II (based on the reign of George W. Bush) and the highly anticipated Othello Again.  Also, every October, the town has a huge Israeli folk music festival where they serve hummus. 

Do people go to a lot of movies in Heaven?

Movies are huge in Heaven,  but unfortunately, much like back on Earth, the industry is starved for original ideas, so most of the flicks that come out are pretty much recycled franchises transposed into the setting of the hereafter. Right now, the movie the dead are most eagerly awaiting is "Marmaduke," which is due out next summer, and promises to provide a posthumous twist on the beloved canine.  Also, this past year, everyone expected big things from"Shrek RIP," and it made a fortune, though the film's rating had to be changed when tons of kids were hurried from the theater because they were crying hysterically.

Those films sound horrible... Don't the dead like anything else? 

In terms of family films, "Shrek RIP 3-D" is now in the works, as is a euthanasia themed version of "E.T" which takes a thought provoking angle on the concept of "home."   Horror films like the Poltergeist remake "The Family," and "Night of the Living Living"  revolve mostly around those who are alive and breathing terrorizing their poor deceased victims.  

The biggest movie buzz of all right now, surrounds a George Burns biopic where the role of Burns is played by God himself, who makes his long awaited screen debut.  People who have seen the previews claim that the scenes that depict the filming of the "Oh God!" pictures, where you watch God playing George Burns playing God,  are some of the trippiest experiences that they've ever had -- dead or alive. 

I hear a lot of great poetry is being written in Hell, why is that?

There are many tortured souls in hell, and that sort of intense suffering produces some high quality art. "Sonnets from the Flames," for example, is a well attended yearly gathering where murderers and thugs gather to recite flowery verse into an open-microphone.  The annual event culminates with a full text reading of "The Inferno,"  which is presented by Dante himself.

Unfortunately, there is also some truly awful poetry being penned in Hades as well, the prime example being Hitler's "Mein Poempfs," a collection of anti-semitic haikus.  There is also Napolean's  "Rimes Gros a Partir D'un Petit Homme" ("Big Rhymes from a Little Man") and Russian psychopath Ivan IV's "Whoosh Whoosh, Buzz Buzz," a cringe worthy attempt at using onomatopoeia that has earned him the nickname "Ivan the Terrible" once again, though this time for completely different reasons.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I hear that things can get pretty wild in the Afterlife... is this true? 

Yes, the dead are quite the frisky bunch, and right now up in Heaven, reincarnation sex is all the rage.  There are few things more exciting to women than meeting a man who has enlisted himself for reincarnation, which of course means that lots of dead guys will try and use the angle to pick up hot babes under false pretenses.  Amazingly, the practice has grown so rampant, that a recent survey of the Afterlife's top fifteen pick-up lines listed almost a third of them as referencing reincarnation, including the number one pick-up line in all of Heaven:  "Hiya honey, I'm reincarnating any minute, hows about a quickie?"

What is a typical party like in the Afterlife?  

Parties in the Afterlife usually involve alcohol and togas, and they can get pretty crazy.  A popular game the dead like to play at parties is called "Truth or Dare" which is where you have the choice between answering a difficult question like: "how many girls have you kissed in all of your previous incarnations combined?" or following through on an awkward dare like, "go across the room and lick Phil's halo."  Typically, once the"Truth or Dare" game has come to an end, the choice activity is to gather together in the living room and shoot one other up with Botox.

I hear that Heaven is also a very style conscious place... what are some of the current trends?

The best way to track trends in Heaven is by referencing fashion reaper Armand Marinetti's "Dead/Buried/Cremated" style column in the Afterlife Gazette.  According to Marinetti,  current "dead" trends include: Gondola rides on the river Styx,  dancing topless on rain clouds, and fruit sorbet;  the list of "buried" things is topped by refurbished harps and long vacation weekends in the South of Heaven; while express reincarnations and cargo pants both made this year's list under the"cremated category," with neither of expected to be back in favor until next Fall (at the earliest).

A friend of mine died recently, and she is having a tough time making friends and adjusting to Heaven.  She says that it's very cliquey...  What does she mean? 

Heaven can be extremely cliquey.  If you take a walk through Heaven's cafeteria, you'll see how souls who died of natural causes sit together at one table, while those who died via negligent accidents in the home obnoxiously keep to their own little circle.  Dead people identify with one another if they died under similar circumstances, and the more similar the better.  Quite recently, a soul in Heaven made headlines when he sued because he was prevented from trying out for the Souls-Who-Died of-Untreated-Infections Lacrosse Team, bringing all types of discrimination issues and the whole "separate but fatal" debate into the forefront.

I'm amazed that the dead can be so discriminating and petty... 

It's true the whole "what did you die from?  Me too!  Let's have lunch!" phenomenon is an admittedly superficial way of forging relationships, but the dead do take it very seriously.  For example,  I know a a couple whose daughter died from the first type of lupus, and she met a man who died from the second type of lupus, and now the family is having a real serious issue accepting him.

O.K. My friend died in a hot air balloon accident,  and this snotty group of women who died from salmonella poisoning are snubbing her... What advice can I give her?

Most of the "popular kids" (so to speak) in Heaven are those who died from food poisoning.  As for your friend, remind her that it's never easy being the one who is different.  Tell her that I think the way she died is wonderful; she should be very proud of it and not worry so much about fitting in with the crowd.

As for the rest of us, we should all continue to dream of a Heaven where souls are not judged by the way that they died, but rather by what they have chosen to do with their time afterward. 

Monday, November 29, 2010


I have a friend who just died, and apparently he is now stuck in limbo.  Can you explain how this process works?  

When souls die most of the time, they are either granted immediate entrance into Heaven, or they are thrown straight into Hell.  There are a small percentage of souls who are the exception and are "wait listed" for Heaven, usually because the Universe can't decide whether they've lived a moral enough life or not.  Those people are gathered into a bar in the middle of nowhere called "Limbo"where they sit and eat fried food, guzzle beer and play Ms. Pacman until the Universe decides where to place them.

So, souls who are stuck in limbo... drink beer and play Ms. Pacman??

Yes.  There's also an arcade game called "Galaga," but it's very hard to control.  On top of the other stuff, the bar has wet tee-shirt contests, a monster high-definition television that shows football games, a knock hockey table, and a jukebox filled with nothing but "limbo" music. 

Does anyone ever choose to stay in Limbo?  

Yes, mostly men for some reason.   Some get quite used to the international beer selection and all you can eat wings, and when they're finally offered a spot in Heaven, all they want to know is if they'll still have a decent screen to watch "the game."

Who has been in Limbo the longest?  
A guy named Gus Lapson, who refuses to budge from his bar stool until Heaven gets hi-definition television.  On a side note, if you happen to cross paths with Gus, make sure that you congratulate him on recently making it up to the "Act II" intermission on Ms. Pac-man  (titled "The Chase").  The sentiment will really mean a lot to him.  

So, how does Heaven choose who gets the few remaining spots? 

Souls in limbo who are serious about getting into Heaven are asked to fill out a formal application, complete with recommendations and an essay entitled "Why Heaven?"  Ellis Armstrong, Heaven's Dean of Admissions, first and foremost wants to offer spots to souls who will actually take them, so enthusiasm is a must.  I personally would recommend showing up in Heaven, introducing myself to Ellis, and then requesting a tour.  I'd also wear a "Heaven" sweatshirt just to drive the point home that you're serious about pursuing an Afterlife that consists of more than just sitting on a bar stool.  

What is the C.H.A.T exam, and how does one study for it?  

 The C.H.A.T or "Competitive Heaven Admissions Test" is another tool used in making a decision on who from Limbo will get to enter the pearly gates.  The questions on the test consist mostly of seventh grade geometry.   If you have a child who questions if the math they are learning in school will ever come in handy,  let them know that being able to apply the Pythagorean Theorem can actually save them from flesh eating demons gnawing away at them and slowly digesting their internal organs over the course of eternity.   Usually, if one frames things this way, the youngster will quiet down and be motivated to study more.

I have a friend who "borrowed" internet reception from his/her neighbor and they were denied entrance into Heaven.  My other friend stole automobiles and robbed gas stations for fun, and he was let into Heaven.  What gives??

Heaven's Dean of Admissions has it in his head that Heaven should be made up of well rounded souls, so he sometimes takes people who participated in a lot of extra curricular activities back in High School. I once knew a guy who kidnapped, murdered and robbed elderly homeless women to support a crack cocaine habit, and he still got into Heaven because he played the trombone in ninth grade band. If your friend is an athlete, that would also make him a commodity, since Heaven has lost to Hell in their annual football game for eleven consecutive years now.

That doesn't seem fair.  I've worked hard for years to live a good and moral life, why should some guy get my spot in Heaven just because he can throw a football?

There's a big push now to make sure that if an athlete is accepted into Heaven, they still need to meet minimum standards for morality.  The truth though is that Death, like life, is inherently unfair.  Souls regularly get "grandfathered" into Heaven on the basis of the fact that their ancestors went there.  This means you actually have an increased chance of ending up in Hell if your father was in Hell, which is how the whole "sins of the father" expression first originated.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Dear Death --

I'm very close with my daughter who lives here in Heaven.   Just recently, she has gotten involved in a long distance relationship with a guy from Hell, and it's creating a lot of friction between the two of us.  I don't know what the guy did on Earth, but there are rumors that, among other things, he may have tried to make a puppy smoke a cigarette.  My daughter insists that he's changed and "paid his dues," but I am just not convinced.

Anyway, last week I went with her to visit him at his apartment in Hades, and lying next to his bed, I noticed a flesh eating demon's bra and panties.  How do I begin to break this to my daughter?  Please help, thanks.

"Own Private Hell"
West Heaven

Dear "Own Private Hell"  --

This is a wonderful question to ask the wise angel Issaac Van Norton, who solves people's problems in his acclaimed weekly Afterlife Gazette advice column: "Dear Wise Angel Issaac Van Norton."  I personally would be careful about telling her something she does not want to hear, as I have repeatedly seen a phenomenon called "killing the messenger." If your daughter is searching for true love, I know a lot of souls who had luck with "Cloud Nine Cyber Dating" -- though I've heard a few negative stories about people on the site lying about how many years they've been dead for, and also posting old pictures of themselves from previous incarnations. 

Dear Death,

My friend and her cousin were recently involved in a fatal car crash.  When their reaper showed up to take them to the Afterlife, he broke out an electric keyboard, started playing,  and insisted that they both do the "Chicken Dance" before he'd take them anywhere.  Is it me, or do they have a legitimate lawsuit against the universe?  Please advise.

Pam O'Grady
Manhattan Beach, California

Dear Pam,

No, they do not.  Your friend and his cousin were killed by Reaper Brendan Mcquade, who is a frustrated wedding and Bar Mitzvah singer.  Among Brendan's more famous stunts, he once showed up at the site of a plane crash and forced dozens of traumatized dead passengers to play "Coke and Pepsi" for a controversially long amount of time. Despite what you might think, Brendan is actually somewhat popular, due to his endearing practice of insisting soon to be deceased fathers a last dance with their daughters while he croons "Wind Beneath My Wings."  Brendan also makes himself available to kill at sweet sixteens, carries a "sign-in" board with him with the signatures of everyone he kills, and if you happen to pass away on a Saturday night, Brendan has actually been known to show up with a band in tow. 

Dear Death --

Is there such thing as Thanksgiving in Heaven?

Marjorie Lynn Smith
Madison, Wisconsin

Dear Marjorie --

Thanksgiving in Heaven is an exciting day consisting of feast and family, topped off every year by a wild rock concert courtesy of the "Grateful Dead."  The day commemorates a bunch of dead pilgrims who forcibly drove Indian angels off of the trans-aerial Eastern cloud bank of Heaven, and souls now celebrate the violent event by feasting on delicious pumpkin pie.  The Thanksgiving celebrated in America back on Earth is a huge work day for people in Heaven, as there is an insane amount of traffic arriving at Heaven's gates because of all of the disoriented dead turkeys.

Dear Death,

Last April, my sister clinically died for several  minutes on the operating table, passed through that tunnel you've mentioned in the past, and then she claims she spent a few moments in Heaven before returning to her body. When I ask her what Heaven was like, all she keeps saying is that she felt like she was in Hawaii.  Can you shed any light on this?

Gladys Feingold
Bronx, New York

Dear Gladys --

My strong hunch is that your sister's near-death experience occurred on April 8th, which happens to be "Hawaiin Shirt Day" in Heaven.   Hawaiin shirt day is an exciting and innovative development in the Afterlife, as it consists of an entire day where souls can wear Hawaiin shirts of their very own choosing.  The holiday is so popular, that reincarnations are known to spike the day after, presumably because no one wants to miss the festivities. Your sister's story reminds me of a similarly funny anecdote from a man named William Katz who had a near death experience several years ago on August 18th (pajama day), and when asked his impression of the dead he replied, "all of them seemed rather tired."

Monday, November 1, 2010


How exactly does the Universe determine whose turn it is to die? 

The system has changed a number of times over the years.  The current method of choosing who lives and who dies was developed by Kerson Ellias Jr., and it's been closely modeled after the New Jersey Megamillions State Lottery. Several billion numbered balls are put into a modest sized globe, at which point numbers are drawn on a twice weekly basis to determine who dies.  Each person on Earth has been assigned a number which corresponds to a ball. 

Is that how the phrase "your number is up" originated?

Yes, exactly.  It's also the reason why in the Afterlife, if someone says, "my niece just won the lottery" it translates to: "she croaked and you'll be meeting her soon." 

After the numbers are drawn, what happens next?  

The numbers are then sent to the Bureau of the Planning and Management of the Soon-to-be-Deceased where it is executive director Laurel Wooley's job to match each number to the correct soul on Earth.

Has a mistake ever been made?
Laurel is dyslexic, but amazingly enough, a mistake has rarely been made.  Many attribute the excellent track record to the fact that Amelia Heller, who chooses the numbers, is also dyslexic.  Typically, if Amelia reverses the number she picks, say from a six to a nine, Laurel unknowingly will just reverse it back. 

What is the purpose of the "supplementary" number that is chosen?
No one is really sure.  The consensus is that the supplementary number was included for much the same reason that people from Alaska and Hawaii were originally excluded from dying.  In other words, the creators of the system took the mandate to model it after the New Jersey lottery a bit too literally. 

Is there any way of overturning a number once it's drawn? 
God is required to sign each "kill" before it can be carried out.  God can also choose to "veto" the kill, in which case it will not happen unless two thirds of the Reapers vote to still execute it.  If you'd like an easy way of remembering all of this, there is an adorable "Graveyard Rock" song entitled "I'm Just a Kill" and you can also try googling the phrase "how a kill becomes a death."

What does the term killibustering mean?   

It means someone lobbies the Reapublic to leave someone on Earth for longer.  If it looks like the reapers are going to go ahead with the deed anyway, many will try time wasting measures as a strategy to stop the kill.  A recent example was Horace Blume, who embarked on a killibuster upon learning that his least favorite cousin was scheduled to join him in the Afterlife.  Horace stood before the Reapublic for eight grueling days, retelling the story over and over again of how the said cousin had tricked him into getting a buffalo tattoo while drunk, while also re-enacting the scene of how his least favorite relative once threw a can of paint at his cat (Horace single-handedly dramatized the roles of both himself and his cousin, as well as the feline).  After being at a stalemate with the Reapublic for over a week, a broken Horace found himself out of ideas, and infamously resorted to singing the entire Rhino Records "One Hit Wonders of the Eighties" box set, note for note, as a last desperate measure. 

Do killibusters ever work? 

Usually they don't.  But in the case of Horace, the fact that he was tone deaf eventually proved too much for people to handle.

I think it's crazy that the "numbered ball" system is the best idea the Universe can come up with...

There were other short lived ideas.  Prior to the Megamillions Lottery model, councilman Juan Riis invented a version of "eenie meenie minie moe"  where he had extended the number of syllables in the game from twenty five to roughly 6.7 billion (one syllable per person on Earth).  The 6.7 billion syllable long sentence, ending with the word "moe," was for awhile, a reasonably fair method of choosing who dies next.  The system was eventually abandoned because the living tend to move around quite a bit, and many were claiming that someone had lost count, skipped them, or counted them twice.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


The following is a compilation of "Frequently Asked Questions" I've received since making mention of a new program entitled: "Send A Salami to Someone in the Afterlife"

What exactly is the deal with this "Send A Salami" thing?

"Send A Salami to Someone in the Afterlife" (aka "S.A.S.T.S.I.T.A) is a fairly new program which allows anyone on Earth to send a salami to a dead friend, loved one, or even a stranger.

 I have a friend who is dead... why exactly would I want to send him such a random and ridiculous thing?

It's a long held tradition in the Afterlife to give a recently deceased person a salami as a token of luck. The (at first) covert practice began in the late eighteen hundreds during the prohibition era when the dead were forbidden to eat or distribute salami , as well as many types of sausage. The law was repealed after the "Great Salami Bruhaha of 1877" when thousands of dead souls famously got plastered and rioted to the battle cry of "no taxation without cured meats."

I have a cousin who is dead, but he/she is strictly kosher. Do you have kosher salamis?

At this time, we do not offer kosher salamis. If you have a friend or relative who keeps kosher, you can still send them one of our salamis, but it is our recommendation that they do not eat it.

 I heard a rumor that there is some sort of new pilot program where you can get like Marilyn Monroe or James Dean to deliver the salami...

What you're referring to is our "Celebrity Salami" pilot program. And yes, for a nominal fee you can choose from a select group of celebrities to personally deliver your salami. Thus far, only a small number of dead stars have been recruited into the program, and they include Joe Flynn ( a wonderful character actor from the series "Mchale's Navy"), Alejandro Rey ( recurring role on "The Flying Nun"), Richard Hunt (famously the voice of "Beaker" from "The Muppet Show"), and famed Afterlife author Issac Eisenhauser ("Chicken Soup For the Dead Soul," "Chicken Soup for the Dead Golfer's Soul") 

What are "Salami Psychics"?

Salami Psychics have recently popped up all over Earth, and they are people who claim to be able to communicate with your loved one and determine exactly what kind of salami they would like. Take caution that many of these self-proclaimed "salami psychics" are phonies and simply preying on the vulnerability of others. There is also another type of "Salami Psychic" who identifies himself as one who has the ability to hold a salami in their hand and telepathically determine the origin of the meat, how the animal felt when it died, etc.  For whatever reason, these psychic powers are very discriminating and do not seem to transfer over to other things.  

If my dead loved one does not like or want the salami I send to them, can I get a refund?

We used to offer full refunds which were available when and only when the sender of the salami himself was deceased. We recently discontinued this practice, based on the knowledge that people were committing suicide "on principle" because they felt entitled to their money back.

What is "Stutterin' Chuck's Annual Salami Cookout and Hoedown at Hades Lake" and how can I volunteer to work the event?

Stutterin Chuck is a demon who holds an annual barbecue in Hell. The title of the event is a bit of a misnomer, as there were actually far more illicit drugs than salamis consumed at last year's event; and also, due to his affinity for "Mel's Heavenly Brew," Chuck is more noted for slurring his words than actually stuttering. In any case, the event is not something we are affiliated with, and we suggest contacting Chuck himself for more information.

What are subsidized salamis, and why are they such a hot button topic right now in the Afterlife?

Salamis have proven expensive in the past, making them more of a traditional gift amongst the wealthy.  Recently, many politicians in Heaven have adopted the platform that salamis are a right and not a privilege.  Obviously, the more conservative population in Heaven disagrees vehemently, which explains the bumper stickers you'll often spot with sayings such as: "Get off your lazy ass and buy your own damned salami," "Hands off my salami" and (most divisively) "Stop having kids, bitch."

I have a friend who was a petty thief on Earth, but the guy loves salami.  Can I send a salami to someone who currently resides in Hell?

Souls in Hell are not allowed outside gifts, so the answer is "no."  If it's any consolation, Hell's kitchen does serve salami once a year as a reward to those who have exhibited "exemplary behavior" during their stay in Hades.  

What is the "Frequent Salami Club" and how can I become a member? 

Simple, just send a salami at least a half a dozen times a year and you're automatically be enrolled and become eligible for complimentary gifts.  In all likelihood, you will have to be lucky enough to know a lot of people who have recently croaked.

Ok... I'm sold... How much does it cost?

It all depends what part of Heaven the salami is being delivered to, the weight of the salami, etc.  Once you've placed your order, you will be given a subtotal prior to finalizing it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Dear Death --

I was having a theological debate with a friend the other day, and we were arguing whether God could create a stone that he cannot lift.  Can you please give us a definitive answer?

Wally Carroll
Livingston, Virginia

Dear Wally --

God tried for many years unsuccessfully to create a stone he couldn't lift.   Finally, just last April, he created this one stone where it looked like he wasn't going to be able to lift the thing.  Word spread through Heaven quickly, and for weeks, people were excitedly popping in to congratulate the Almighty.  They'd say stuff like: "Hey! I heard about the stone!"  and "Kudos on that stone you created..." and "rumor has it a certain someone who will remain nameless created a certain little something the other day that he's not able to lift..."  God is very modest, so if you do bring it up to him, he tends to downplay the accomplishment by insisting he's still able to roll the stone, inch it forward, etc. and so the big rock, in his opinion, still leaves something to be desired. 

Strangely enough, as a small addendum to the story, God's strong-as-an-ox cleaning lady, Olga Vinocrad, was tidying up his office a few weeks ago when she nonchalantly marched across the room with the stone and shoved it into a drawer.  Since God still cannot lift the stone, nor anyone else for that matter, theologians in Heaven have had their heads spinning ever since.    

Dear Death --

I have always feared the end of life, and your blog has definitely made me feel a whole lot better about the prospect of passing on.  Thank you.   What other things can you tell me about Heaven that would  comfort me?

Anna Richmond
Portland, Maine

Dear Anna --

Heaven is truly a blast, and it's been purposely populated with all the best stuff that Earth has to offer, like water rides, kettle corn, and even occasional toga parties.  If you don't like it in Heaven, you can always reincarnate, but most people are not in any rush. 

If you die and are looking for fun activities when you arrive in Heaven, I highly recommend any of the many books by Horace Bachman, who has authored over a dozen site seeing and restaurant guides.   Some of his biggest bestsellers include:"Things to do in Heaven When You're Dead," "More Things to do in Heaven When You're Dead," "100 Places to See Before You Reincarnate," and "Dead? Let's Eat!" (a "Zagats" of sorts for Heaven). 

Dear Death --

You talk a lot about the cuisine in the Afterlife, and it strikes me funny that dead souls are still chowing down.  Do we do other mundane things in the Afterlife, like for example, use the bathroom?

Jared Knox
Juno, Alaska

Dear Jared --

The answer to your question is yes, dead people still need to use the bathroom.  Unfortunately, there is currently only one bathroom in Heaven, so the line tends to get quite long.  If you do die and  decide to use the bathroom, please take the time to make some chit-chat with Amsden the hard working washroom attendant, who was recently voted in Heaven's gallup poll as having the worst job in the Afterlife by a wide margin (placing second was the Devil's podiatrist).  Amsden was recently diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitively handing out towels, so consider it a good deed to acknowledge his hard work and keep him company for a few minutes.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Dear Death --

You came by the other day to escort my brother to the Afterlife. After you left, I noticed my Zune mp3 player was missing. What's up with that? I'm thinking now that I know why you wear that long robe....

-- Kevin Sherman
New York, New York

Dear Kevin --

I can assure you that I did not steal your "Zune mp3" player... for several reasons. First and foremost, what you're suggesting is simply not the "way that I roll." I have killed billions of people over the years, and virtually no one has ever reported anything missing upon my departure. I have not acquired my fine reputation by housing other people's stuff.

I also pride myself on having ethics, as well as a strong sense of morality. If I arrive at your home, you can rest easy knowing that I'm there to kill you and nothing else.... I am not a thief or some wandering "low life. "

To be perfectly honest, I cannot speak for every other Reaper in this regard. For example, Reaper Ishmael Lodwick was recently busted for selling somebody's vintage magazine collection on a street corner in Downtown Heaven. As you might guess, Ishmael is no longer permitted to kill people, and the magazines have since been returned to the victims.

If you have a friend who had a Reaper show up to kill someone in their home, and something is now missing, please encourage them to fill out a "UCF 340 Missing Item" form and submit it to the Universe. The form is usually most effective if you have the item's serial number and original receipt handy, so it's always good policy to keep that stuff around. There is also a "lost and found" cardboard box in Heaven, but unfortunately, it seems to consist mostly of wool ski hats and old umbrellas.

Dear Death --

Does God hold bad will towards "atheists?"

-Submitted via Twitter

Answer: No. God loves each and every one of his children, with the exception of Corbin Reinhardt from Mccook, South Dakota, who he still likes a whole lot.

God does not judge anyone for their religious beliefs or lack of them. If you meet God in Heaven and feel a slight sense of awkwardness stemming from the fact that you never believed in him, it is something that is coming solely from you and that you're projecting outward.

If you'd like a simple and surefire way of "breaking the ice" with the almighty, bring up the topic of "viruses" or "hail" and how much you appreciate them. God is a wee bit insecure about both of those things, and tends to light up when somebody throws out a compliment about either one.

Dear Death --

I am fairly certain that I'm going to Heaven, and pretty positive that my husband is going to Hell. Are people in Hell allowed conjugal visits?

-Renee Hairston
Montauk, New York

Dear Renee --

The bad news is that there are no conjugal visits. The good news is that the Universe has gotten more liberal in recent years, and Hell has recently instituted a "Triple R" program, which stands for: "Repent, Rehabilitate, and Reincarnate." If your husband is an upstanding citizen of Hell, and guilty of only moderately evil crimes on Earth, he can earn the chance to sit before a parole board after a period of time. The new liberal policies have become a bit controversial, as many now scoff that the phrase "eternal damnation" has become misleading, and that "eternity" really translates to 8-10 years with "good behavior."

If you truly love your husband, you may want to consider waiting for him. Encourage your spouse to use his time in Hell to engage in bible study and better himself. Also, tell him to avoid the temptation of joining up with Demon gangs, as this is almost always a recipe for trouble.