There are so many different versions of “Heaven” and I think it’s important to understand that what we experience after we die is what we need and want.
Of course, individuals seek out their friends, their colleagues, their soul families! What’s the point of any of this if we don’t have friends, family and love?
I was asking who might want to talk and tapped George Carlin, asked what he was doing, whether he was hanging with Robin Williams yet, etc. I got the distinct impression of a dark comedy club with a black, flaking paint and stage lighting that was a little glaring and a bit dim at the same time.
A good ol’ DIVE!
This is the sort of club George loved the best.
At this juncture, I got up to stir some soup I was making while writing this post. It takes such a long time to make decent food, I wanted to multi-task a bit, but I ended up interrupting George right as we were beginning our conversation. He didn’t seem to mind though, and he had some cooking tips. Here’s the conversation tangent we just took:
George: Yeah, put some three year old oregano in there, that shit’s the BEST!
Kate: It’s three years old? Holy crap I guess it is.
George: YEAH (long, drawn out, a tad pervy yeaaaahhhhh!) Old oregano, that’s where you really get the flavour. I never had any oregano, my drunk friends would think it was pot and try to smoke it!
Kate: Gross, I can’t believe this stuff is three years old. What are you George, the french chef now?
George: Don’t put water in there, where’s your wine! Put a little more red wine in there, that’s what that french guy would say, they LOVE wine!
I added water and then sat back at my computer. George, you were talking about comedy clubs in Heaven,
George: Yeah well you know we gotta keep our game sharp, cause every time one of our friends die, and comedians, actors – they WRECK their bodies! You know one’s always gonna come in soon! And what do they all want? A fuckin FREE SHOW! For a lot of comics, this was the GOOD SHIT, the BEST of times, the time in the dives, before you got famous, when you had friends you could hang around and drink with and talk shit about.
We could dish it out good!
Go stir your fuckin’ soup!
Kate: Sorry about that George, last time.
George: AS I WAS SAYIN’. The comedians, that’s the first place they wanna go, to their memories of the best times and relive ‘em. Especially if they’ve had a hard life, and I think you’ve gotta have a hard life to see anything funny in the world.
For a lot of comedians, they NEED to get a good laugh in a filthy club before they can even look at their fuckin’ shit-show of a life, and you know, when I’m talking about “comedians” I’m not just talking us stage comedians, us lucky-fuckers who were smart/stupid enough to get famous.
There are a lot of comedians in life, you’re one of ‘em kid. (Yes, he actually calls me “kid”) The people who see the irony, who feel in their guts that none of this shit matters, the things we all take so seriously. So make fun of it, get other’s to lighten up, bring a little bit of brevity and irreverence to your goddamned existence!
That shit’s sacred, you know what I mean?
So this comedy club, this DIVE, this place of my creation – it’s a place of healing for all those folks who die and feel like the first thing they need is a drink, a smoke and a good fuckin’ laugh! And some tight-assed angel will take this poor soul by the hand and say, “You need to go to George’s.”
(Shows me the exterior of a night club in a tightly packed, greasy city, at night, dimly-lit by a streetlamp, a crackling neon sign outside in bright pink that says “George’s”.)
George: I like the bright pink because it make’s the jock / masculine guys think for a second they’re being taken to a gay club, and they think “SHIT! Did I go to the wrong heaven!!!???”
Kate: THAT is fucking hysterical, George!!!
George: I KNOW, I’m a comedian. Give me a little credit here.
Kate: Which photo do you want, George?
George: Uhhh, I like the one in the black turtleneck. That’s the last time I looked so good!
Kate: What do you look like now? (What do you choose to look like now?)
George: Like I just rolled outta bed. It feels that way, I still feel like I just woke up. (Dying is like *waking up* and seeing your whole life as a dream)
George: Actually, I really liked that movie The Matrix. Incarnation is a lot like that. Except when you wake up, it’s sort of a relief. Except you do miss the people still plugged in. That’s why we try so hard, you know? My wife knows I’m okay, I got that point across. Then I felt, Well, what am I gonna do ‘till she gets here?
Hence: Chez George. When my wife gets here I’ll hand the club off to someone else. And hey, when you get here you be sure to check it out, right?
Kate: Damn straight I will! I miss the dark, gritty clubs in Toronto, too. (Note to readers: Kate had a brief stint in stand-up comedy herself. Very good, but BRIEF. Too much drama back stage!)
George: All that drama was because you were working with other girls. NOW DON’T GET ALL pissy feminist with me, I did sexist comedy in the 80’s you can’t give me any shit I haven’t already heard! (teasing) It’s TRUE, if you’d worked with more male comedians, you would’ve been better respected. I know the business. But you never would’ve lasted in that racket for long anyway, so it’s no big loss.
Kate: Thank you for the life advice, George, it’s good to know I didn’t miss out on the goldmine that is late-night open-mike comedy!
George: See yuh sweetheart.
George: PS: That quote you’ve got there, it’s even funnier in heaven!