ne night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with our Lord God Almighty. Across the sky flashed terrific lightning and the air shook with thunderbolts. (This is the Lord's way of terrifying people into liking him and having no other, possibly more compassionate, gods before him.)

lso across the sky, in between the lightning, thundering and cowering, the man saw scenes from his life. For each of the scenes he saw two sets of footprints in the sand along the beach, near to the sewage but set apart from the used condoms.

ne set of footprints belonged to him; the other set belonged to The Creator of All Worlds Beyond.

hen the last scenes of his life were being played out, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed, between the flashes of lightning that were now bringing on a migraine, that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed what looked like the occasional tyre mark, parallel to the footprints. He also noticed that this seemed to have happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life.

his really bothered him, even more than the bleeding from his eardrums caused by the booming thunder, and he questioned the Almighty God about it (even though he was committing a terrible sin daring to ask the Lord God about His mysterious ways which we despicable, sinning, scum-ridden mortals should never do).

e said, "Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints and what look like tyre marks. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would forsake me - just like you did to your son when you were playing Dungeon Quest and forgot he was on the cross."

he Divine Lord deigned to answer this question, instead of smiting the man from existence as He should really have done for the impudent and arrogant presumption on a mere mortal's part. (Not that I would dare to question why the Omnipotent Eternal Heavenly One didn't immediately squish him in to a billion squelchy bits. He moves in mysterious ways our wonder to behold, after all.)

he Supreme Being bent down to speak to the man, after asking him not to let the gore from his profusely bleeding ears and eyes drip on the sand that the Hallowed One had created so caringly, tenderly and lovingly, and said, "That's an interesting question, but let me first say this: My precious child. I love all of humankind. Were it not so, I wouldn't, in real terms, send plagues and earthquakes and diseases to wipe out innocent children and create stillborn babies and give whomever I choose cancer and let child murderers and paedophiles roam the earth with a free will and let them, and the killers and rapists, claim huge financial compensation from society for abusing their civil rights. But to get back to the point you were making. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints and those strange treadmarks, and you thought you were on your own. You were.

" hat was when I borrowed the car and went out on the pull while you wallowed in self pity at home, bleating like a depressed, whinging little sheep!"

nd then the All-Powerful, All Holy, Lord God Almighty smote him from the earth and wiped all manner of his very existence from the Great Book of Life.

nd who can argue with that?


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