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Parting shot.

I got on the scale and the balance bar with the numbers on it went up with a resounding "thump." Obviously someone had been monkeying with the bathroom scale again. So, I backed off and put everything at zero. The bar leveled out perfectly and the scale was right.

It happened sometime after last Christmas, about the time the festive goodies had all been disposed of. That included a 3-pound box of chocolates, at least 2 pounds of mixed nuts, another of fresh roasted chestnuts, and some eggnog along with lots of other really good eating.

Naturally, I didn't consume all that but I'll admit I performed my share of the eating like a champion. It was sometime after the scale episode that Elaine suggested that if there is reincarnation we should both come back as skinny people. You know the kind. They can eat anything and never put on a single pound. That would be heaven, to be able to "pig out" on favorites without being haunted by the specter of the scale.

So, my thoughts are of Heaven as I sit here pondering, "What would it be like?"

Just suppose things are different. You are looking at the television, it's about ten in the evening and a commercial comes on the screen showing Pizza Hut pizza. The slice is thick, juicy, steaming hot and the melted cheese is all stringy as a piece is lifted from the pan.

Salivating, you rush to the phone and order a large one with double cheese and pepperoni. You see, in the hereafter pizza will be dietetic, especially if eaten between meals.

Things would be changed so when the telly says, "Aren't you hungry?" you can dash down and have a double hamburger with fries and a milkshake.

The effects of candy, particularly rich, dark brown chocolate would be reversed. Excessive amounts of chocolate would tend to harden teeth and clear up skin blemishes.

And jogging would be fattening! Those heroes who dress in baggy clothes and dash around the pearly gates in the very early hours of the morning would continue to put on weight and perhaps be subejct to cardiovascular problems.

In Utopia, the way to keep in shape and tighten up that old tummy would be to sit quietly in a friendly over-stuffed chair exerting little more than the effort needed to turn a page in a book.

Many of us have a special fondness for tobacco in its various forms and uses. I've been known to sample a chew now and then.

In the next life, chewing tobacco will make teeth white and bright, and smoking will prevent respiratory problems and increase endurance and stamina. So the Olympic runners, especially the distance men, will be required to sit in a comfortable chair and smoke a couple of cigars just to keep in shape.

The automobile would be made differently. It would burn carbon monoxide. In the process of running, it would produce gasoline. Therefore, if you get ten miles to the gallon, you would be required to stop at your local gas station at least every other day! You would go there with a full tank to sell off 10 or 15 gallons. What greater pleasure than to drive up to the pump and tell the attendant, "Take out $20 worth!"

April 15th would be the deadline for filing your "take-back-money" form. By that day each citizen would be required to instruct the government how much money it should send back. Naturally, any person found cheating and not taking enough would be subject to audit and several penalties imposed--might even make him take more than he needed.

I can't quite figure what Heaven would have to offer the hunter or fisherman. I have fished in fabulous waters where almost every cast produced a fish, all of them of good size. At first it was a magnificent thrill contrasting with the many fishless days spent in the past.

On the third day we didn't get to the boat so early, nor was there that feeling of anticipation. The fourth day we fished only a couple of hours, switched to ultra light tackle trying to get some excitement into what had become a boring sport.

It is hard to imagine two guys catching one fish after the other and talking about a near fishless day when only one was hooked and that one broke the line. Naturally, the line didn't have a weak spot. The fish was that legendary, but unweighed, "big one that got away."

I guess for fishing to be fun there have to be good days and, "You-should-have-been-here-yesterday," days. And there must be a dream of getting a big one.

An Indian, after coming out second best in a confrontation with a well directed tomahawk, was said to have gone to the happy hunting grounds. This Valhalla of the primitives was believed to be thick with buffalo, turkeys, deer and all kinds of good things to shoot with the bow and arrow.

In the concept of the Indian the H.H.G., as it was known by the more advanced tribes, was the place where food was plentiful. There was but minor reference to the H.H.G. in relation to the sport of hunting.

For modern man the H.H.G. holds promise of more birds as well as big-game animals. Perhaps you dream of a Yukon hunt in search of a giant Dall sheep, one with at least 42 inches to the side. And if Heaven's promise holds true such a grand animal would be yours for the taking.

A Whitetail deer, one with ten big, wide-spread massive points? If that is your wish, then just go hunting and as a heavenly gift such a deer would walk into your sights. All you would have to do is wish for something and it would come true.

Naturally, all of us would be able to shoot better. The shot-gunner approaching a pair of staunch pointing dogs would know the covey would flush and with his now-brilliant shooting skill he would be able to kill two birds at every flush.

If this is what Heaven is all about, then perhaps I might favor another place. To known ahead of time that I would kill a trophy or double on birds leaves me cold.

The uncertainly of the hunt, the moment of truth when all of your skill is called for (and sometimes found lacking), the build-up of the drama with the outcome a fragile mystery until the final millisecond, the unspoken but total frustration of failure and the ultimate triumph of once more reenacting the heritage of the hunt; these things are the hunt.

Think on it, friend--this is the Happy Hunting Ground!!
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Title Annotation:heaven
Author:Wolff, Dick
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Article Type:column
Date:Aug 1, 1984
Words:1126
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