Once there was a student named Putitoff who would never work in class and would make all kinds of excuses for not doing assignments on time, or never, if he could get away with it. His family spoiled him, nevertheless, so he had a terrible attitude, and would always ask, “What’s the point?”
Well, one day, on his way to school, another student lost control of his Hyundai and careened into Putitoff’s Audi, and he was knocked unconscious.
In that smashed up state, he went up to heaven, but Saint Peter stopped him at the Pearly Gates and said, “Have you got the entry ticket?”
“I’m not sure,” he said, “What is it?”
Saint Peter rubbed his chin, then, said, “How about copies of all of the second partial’s homework?”
“No can do,” Putitoff said, “What are my options?”
The Gate-keeper put his long gnarly finger beside his nose and said, “Tell you what we’ll do. I’m going to give you a chance to go back and make things right, so the next time you’re in a situation like this, you’ll know what you’re up against.”
Putitoff regained consciousness, found he was unhurt and still inside his car, so he continued on his way, turning down the kilometer, and smiling to himself. “The old geezer said I only needed copies, that should be easy enough to pull off. If I somehow die prematurely, I’ll be breezing right through the Gates into Paradise.”
Over the next two semesters, Putitoff did not become more industrious. He still hated doing homework, but instead of asking what the point was, he would bully the leaner nerdy kids into giving him copies of their work, which they had put all their efforts into getting right, and when they wouldn’t hand their work over willingly, he would smack them around a bit and threaten them with worse until they gave in. Also, he had what he thought were at least three foolproof ways to get answers on tests without studying. His rich parents continued to indulge him because he was getting passable marks even though he wasn’t actually learning anything. He made enemies all around, and his attitude worsened.
Time came though when a couple of the elder brothers of some of his victims decided to exact revenge. They complained, with evidence, to the authorities and got him expelled. The principal called his father, who was embarrassed. Putitoff, driving home, was distracted in thinking of the scene he was about to face. Not paying attention to the road conditions in the crappy part of town he had to pass through, he drove his precious Audi into a gaping pothole and it flipped over, pinning him underneath – no way to get out and rapidly losing air. And, then, well, you can probably guess where he next found himself…
Saint Peter stepped forward, scowling. “You again?” he said, “So soon? Well, what have you learned?”
“I got all my homework right here on this little USB.”
“Do you see a computer here?” Peter asked. “Okay, here’s the deal. If you can tell me what the reading was about on the last exam, you’re in. If not, you’ll have to go elsewhere.”
“But, but, where can I go? And how do I get there?” Putitoff was pinching himself, but this time he wasn’t waking up.
“Well, it’s about ninety-million miles straight down, and it’s rather hot, so you’d better take off that sweater. The good thing though is they don’t ask any questions at the entrance. You might try checking on Purgatory as you zoom past, but as you’d have to stay there in that heat until enough of the living pray for your release, which is not bloody likely, I’d say it’s six of one, half-dozen of the other. Nice seeing you again,” and he gave the sinner a little push to start him on his journey.