A Parable: An old man and his dog were walking down a dirt road with fences on both sides, and came to a gate in the fence. They looked in and saw that it was nice grassy with wooded areas--just what a 'huntin' dog and man would like--but it had a 'no trespassing' sign, so they continued to walk along the dirt road.
Further down the road, they came to a beautiful gate. Standing beside the gate was a man in white robes, who greeted the old man: "Welcome to Heaven!"
The old man was happy, and started in with his dog following behind. The gatekeeper stopped him. "I'm sorry, but he can't come with you. Dogs aren't allowed."
"What kind of Heaven won't allow dogs?" The old man thought for a minute, then sighed. "If he can't come in, then I'll stay out here with him. He's been my faithful companion all his life, I can't desert him now."
"Suit yourself, but I have to warn you, the Devil's on this road and he'll try to sweet talk you into his area. He'll promise you anything, but he won't let the dog come with you either. If you won't leave the dog, you'll spend Eternity wandering along this road."
The old man nodded his head and turned to go, with the dog trotting along behind.
After a long, desolate stretch, they came to a rundown fence with a gap in it--not a gate, just a hole. Inside, another old man sat in the shade. The first old man leaned in and asked if he and his dog could come in and sit in the shade for awhile.
"Of course! There's a brook, with cold water under that tree over there. Make yourselves comfortable." "Can my dog come in too? The man down the road said dogs weren't allowed anywhere." "Would you come in if you had to leave the dog?"
"No sir. I didn't go to Heaven because the man said my dog couldn't come in. I guess we'll be spending Eternity on this road, but a glass of cold water and some shade would be mighty fine right about now. If he can't come in here, I guess we'll keep walking."
The man smiled a big smile and said "Welcome to Heaven."
The old man was shocked. "You mean, this is Heaven? And dogs are allowed? How come that fellow down the road said they weren't?"
"That was the Devil, and he gets all the people who are willing to give up a life long companion for a comfortable place to stay. They soon figure out they've made a mistake, but by then it's too late. The dogs come here, but the fickle people stay there. God wouldn't allow dogs to be banned from Heaven. After all, they were created to be man's companions in life; why would he separate them in death?"
A friend shared this with me a few weeks ago, and it seems to confirm that, for me, Indiana is Hell.
It also seems to shed some light on the character of the woman who asked me to leave Biscuit behind.
PS: This same woman left her bicycle with me--asking me to take care of it--but took the bike rack.
When there's a bad accident on the freeway, and people are so impatient that they either: change lanes incessantly in order to get into whatever lane is moving fastest at the moment with no regard for the other people stuck in traffic, or worse, start driving down the shoulder, only to block oncoming emergency vehicles trying to get to the accident, I can only think that society has gone from "Bowling Alone" to "Dying Alone."
And to counterbalance the heavy commentary, three cartoons inspired by Saul Steinberg.