Admiral Stockdale Questions Peter Jennings at the Pearly Gates
HEAVEN Recently deceased Admiral James Stockdale, who battled Alzheimer's during and after his run for the vice presidency in 1992, blew a gasket when Peter Jennings arrived at the Pearly Gates after dying of lung cancer on August 8.
Stockdale, who famously waxed existential during a vice presidential debate with the question, "Who am I and why am I here?" turned the tables on Jennings who had just arrived at the Pearly Gates, looking urbane in a trench coat and smoking a cigarette "because it doesn't matter at this point."
"Who are you and why are you here?" the Admiral said to Jennings. "I'm the naval hero who got 15 minutes on C-SPAN. You're a foreigner who reads cue cards and gets 150 consecutive hours of weeping over 97 networks and 346 cable outlets. They've elevated you to the level of a Christ figure, for Christ's sake!"ť
"Did I hear a giant sucking sound'?" asked a diminutive bald man as he appeared from a cloud. "If there's a problem, let's fix it."ť
Pulling out a chart with a graph showing the ratio of Stockdale's disappearing brain to Jenning's holey lung, the little guy said, ""It's simple. We're doin' the ol' switcheroo! Admiral, you get Jenning's brain. Mr. Canada, you get the Admiral's lung. That's what we call good ol' American ingenuity! That'll be $35,000 a piece, thank you.
"I've got a Mexican surgeon I've flown up here courtesy of my Space Shuttle, I'll give Dr. Jose here a couple of grand and pocket me a cool 68 thou. That's why we got NAFTA!
"And then courtesy of CAFTA, I'm gonna rocket the two of you back to earth to appear in commercials for my computer data centers in Honduras."
Jennings replied, "I never thought I'd be the one saying 'Houston, we have a problem.' Well Ross, we have a little switcheroo for you. You get a chance to enter the Kingdom of Heaven to explain your Medicaid computer system to the Big Guy, and we will take your flying machine and splash down near Edwards Air Force Base for some Chimichongas!"ť