A crusty and profane old Norwegian named Lars finally died, much to the vast relief of his family and all who knew him. Lars was stubborn, nasty, mean and contentious, and loved nothing whatever better than a good ruckus. He was forever starting up something with anyone he could seduce into a good fight. He fought with his wife, his children, his friends, his neighbors, the town council and the Internal Revenue Service and holy men of any stripe. Sometimes he fought with the postman or the paperboy. If no one was around to fight with, he often fought with himself.
The old bastard lived on far longer than expected but one day ultimately he succumbed in his final and terminal argument with a train. He was therefore in a foul mood when he arrived at the Pearly Gates.
“Uff da! Open the goddamned door!” he shouted. “I’m hurting all over! What do I have to do to get some goddamned decent service around here?”
Old Saint Peter, who was accustomed to a far more subservient attitude from those arriving at the gate was a little non-plussed.
“Just hold your horses a minute! All in good time. We have to check your records. We can’t let just anyone waltz right in here you know. This is Heaven.”
“Well, get on it then goddammit! I don’t have all goddamned day! I told you I’m hurting. Where’s your frigging manager?”
“I am the manger.” said Saint Peter gamely, though sorely tried. “I run everything you know. My other name is God.”
“Yeah well, that don’t cut it with me, shithead. I’ve heard all the damned preacher crap I wanted to hear before and I ain’t interested. What’d you say your goddamned name was again?”
“God. Saint Peter. The Holy Ghost.”
“Yeah, right, and I'm the frigging Pope too. I heard the same kind of crap from Jerry Falwell, and Jim Bakker and Ted Haggard and a whole bunch of other of those god-hollers before. Don’t mean nothing to me. Bunch of damned lying-assed cheating frauds if you ask me.”
“Well, many holy men are enjoying living in Heaven with me right now, and I’ll soon be calling others home.” said God evenly, trying hard to remain calm. “Jerry Falwell is here right now for example.”
“That sanctimonious bastard?” spewed the old Norwegian. “I ain’t living anywhere that fraud is. Kick that son of a bitch out if you expect me to do business with you.”
God, now having checked the record book and had all he could take, made his decision, saying very sternly. “Can’t do that, and you don’t have a choice anyway. Jerry has earned his wings and you very obviously haven’t. So, I’m sending you to the other place. Straight to Hell in other words. I've decided you won’t even need to stop by Limbo on the way.”
“Suits the Hell out of me!” the Norwegian sneered.
“Welcome, Lars.” said the evilly grinning specter.
“Now, just who in Hell do you think YOU are?” demanded Lars.
“I’m Lucifer, The Devil, that would be *Gammel Erik to you Norwegians.”
“RIIIGGHHT.” said Lars. “And, I'm the frigging Pope like I told that other shithead. Anyway, where’s my goddamned room?”
“You don’t get a room in Hell. You get a cast iron cot with spikes, and it has wheels so we can roll you back and forth between the furnace and the freezer.”
“Let’s start with freezer then.” said the Norwegian. “I’m already sweating just standing here talking to your dumb ass.”
“You don’t get a choice here either.” said Lucifer with a snarl. “Just for that I’m starting you off on the furnace grates.”
“Says you! I’ll sue yer goddamned ass off!”
Lucifer said, “Yeah, right. I’m the judge, jury and executioner here sucker!” and laughed maliciously as one of his primary helpers, Richard Milhous Nixon, dragged poor old Lars away complaining loudly.
Half an hour later the Nixon was back and said, “Hey Boss. We’ve got a big problem down on grate number four where I took that freaking old Norwegian.”
“Wassamatta, Dickeyboy?” asked the Devil. Nixon was one of his favorites along with Adolph Hitler and Dan Rostenkowski.
“Well Boss, when we put him on the grate he just grinned, and when the fires got hot he just went to sizzling and popping like all get out. Turns out he’s full of Lutefisk oil and rum and that stuff blew the back wall out of the furnace. Now, the whole damned shitterree is shut down for who knows how long, and that damned Norwegian is all of a sudden the hero of everyone in Hell. If we had an election right now he beat the bejesus out of you, Boss.”
Lucifer frowned. “So, what’d you do with him?”
“I got him over in the freezer now and he acts like he's at a party. He’s running around in a thong and has him a couple of those cute porn actresses and they are all cuddled up over there having a ball. I don’t know where he got it but he’s got rum enough for years.”
“Well, Jesus H. Jehosephat Christ!” swore the Devil. “That Son of a bitch had a car load of rum when the train hit him. I just hate those damned old Norwegians, dammit all to Hell. I guess we’re just gonna have to move him over to the Country Club section with the other old Norwegians. I guess it’s the only way we can keep peace in Hell.”
A resigned Nixon sighed deeply and turned back to his duty. This new job was pretty damned vexing and today was just one more long horrible, tiring day in Hell. Things had certainly seemed entirely better back on Earth, even while being impeached.
* ‘Gammel Erik’ is the Norwegian nickname for the devil, equivalent to ‘Lucifer’ in English.