Early Sunday morning, well before dawn, I was out on the back roads, driving along and delivering newspapers. I was listening to a BBC news program on the truck’s radio. I wish I could talk like that!
It’s a vulnerable position to be in. What if I had a flat tire, or engine failure? It was cold out, so I just hustled along, hoping to end the route by getting home so I could sleep.
As has happened before, a figure slowly materialized above the stack of bulky Sunday papers over on the passenger side of the bench seat.
“Hi, Larry! I’m Charon. Do you mind if I put this barge pole behind the seat?”
A gnarly wizened man wearing a Tyrian Purple watch-cap. He peered at me. I’m getting used to such visits!
“Yeah, go ahead. You have a dog with you, it seems! Three heads?”
“Cerberus is my buddy these days. He won’t bite! He is many thousand of years old and his teeth aren’t much of a threat now.”
One head of the dog looked at me. That head seemed alert and ready to bark, another yawned as if bored, and the third one seemed to be asleep.
“I’ve heard of you — so how’s business over at the Styx?”
“Truth to tell, Larry, it’s getting kinda old. So many people dying! I’m tempted to send some of these folks to meet Saint Peter! Let him decide where dead souls should go!”
“Yeah, I can understand. So what are your criteria for judging souls?”
“Well, their record comes along with them, and I peruse it. I have to say that most humans are scum! How to fairly judge such irrational creatures?”
“Well, don’t ask me! I’m just glad that I don’t have to judge them! What is your opinion of the current candidates for the coming American presidential election?
“Oh, don’t get me started! Why is it that such fools try to run for office? Great material for comedy and parody, but give me a break! You benighted humans need a new FDR!”
“Well, maybe so!”
The mythical figure faded away and I listened to some virtuosic guitar improvisations by Django Reinhardt.