Heaven or Hell?

Bill Gates dies and finds himself in purgatory, being sized up1 by St. Peter. "Well, Bill, I'm really confused on this call2; I'm not sure whether to send you to Heaven or Hell. Up here we are all using Windows, but we can't decide whether it's a good thing or a bad thing. I'm going to do something I've never done before in your case; I'm going to let you decide where you want to go." Bill replied, "Well, what's the difference between the two?" St. Peter said, "I'm willing to let you visit both places briefly, if it will help your decision." "Fine, but where should I go first?" "I'll leave that up to you3." "Okay then," said Bill, "Let's try Hell first." So Bill went to Hell. It was a beautiful, clean, sandy beach with clear waters and lots of bikini-clad4 women running around, playing in the water, laughing and frolicking about5.The sun was shining; the temperature perfect. He was very pleased. "This is great!" he told St. Peter. "If this is hell, I really want to see heaven!" "Fine" said St. Peter, and off they went. Heaven was a place high in the clouds, with angels drifting6 about, playing harps and singing. It was nice, but not as enticing7 as Hell. Bill thought for a quick minute, and rendered his decision. "Hmmm. I think I'd prefer Hell," he told St. Peter. "Fine," retorted8 St. Peter, "as you desire." So Bill Gates went to Hell. Two weeks later, St. Peter decided to check on the late9 billionaire to see how he was doing in Hell. When he got there, he found Bill, shackled10 to a wall, screaming amongst hot flames in dark caves, being burned and tortured by demons. "How's everything going?" he asked Bill. Bill responded, with his voice filled with anguish11 and disappointment, "This is awful! This is nothing like the Hell I visited two weeks ago! I can't believe this is happening! What happened to that other place, with the beautiful beaches, the scantily-clad12 women playing in the water?!???" "That was the screen saver," replied St. Peter.




  1. To size someone up = to examine someone
  2. Call = a decision
  3. I'll leave that up to you = I'll let you choose/decide
  4. Bikini-clad = dressed in bikini
  5. Frolicking about = playing in an active, happy way
  6. To drift = to move slowly on water or in the air
  7. Enticing = very pleasant or interesting so that you feel strongly attracted
  8. Retort = to reply quickly in an angry or funny way
  9. Late = describes someone who has died recently
  10. Shackles = a pair of metal rings connected by a chain that are used for fastening together a prisoner's hands or feet. To shackle: to put shackles on someone
  11. Anguish = extreme unhappiness caused by physical or mental suffering
  12. Scantily-clad = wearing very little clothing