SCENE: Heaven. A cool but pleasant day in a garden rich with fruit, flowers, NO mosquitos, and a plate of brownies in front of me. God shows up with a clipboard full of forms.
GOD: May I sit down?
ME: Sure! Have a brownie.
GOD: OK, just one. We need to go over your reincarnation plan.
ME: My what?
ME: Haha! Good one, God! I keep forgetting. You must have a sense of humor, since you created humor.
GOD: Not a joke, dear one. It's time to reincarnate.
ME: You. Are. Shitting. Me.
GOD: I rarely shit people.
ME: Okay, then. No. Just no.
GOD: You thought it was optional?
ME: Well, basically, yes.
GOD: No, I'm afraid it's a necessary part of soul development.
ME: Look, Big Guy, I am just not buyin' that.
GOD: You're requesting an exemption?
ME: Duh, I am requesting logic. You invented that too, right? So. If 90 years of head colds, bee stings and algebra didn't Dee-Velop my Soul adequately before, it's all gonna be different this time? Bull. Sorry. Been there, done that. Not sitting through memorizing the state capitals ever, ever again.
GOD: You really are not understanding this concept. The idea is to have different experiences, things you couldn't experience in any single lifetime. We can arrange for you to incarnate in a place where education is something children crave and embrace when they get the chance.
ME: That's a small part of it, God. I mean, come on. You tellin' me there's any possible incarnation where I won't have to experience another stomach virus?
ME: I thought so. No dice.
GOD: You seem to be forgetting that I'm God and what I say goes.
I watch Him for awhile, and He lets me process this. And then I remember something.
ME: You said something earlier about an exemption.
GOD: I'm skeptical as to whether you qualify. You have a real attitude problem. You whine about trivial complaints when others have endured torture, muscular dystrophy, the atomic bomb. I think life as a religious minority in an eastern culture might do you some good.
Tears are rolling down my face.
GOD: Don't look so miserable. Nobody has to be totally powerless to shape their destiny. I grant everybody a wish before they go. Make one.
ME: I get a wish? Anything?
ME: Awesome! OK. I wish..... I wish that you had a speck of sand in your eye. Right now.
GOD: No, you're wasting it! It's for life in your new incar-- OW! Owowow!
ME: Sux, doesn't it?
GOD: OW!!! This is wretched! Wish it away, get this thing out of my eye!
ME: Wait, though, I thought I only got ONE wish.
GOD: Two! OK? Take a second one! Make it go away!
ME: Fine. I wish the speck of sand gone from your eye.
GOD: ......... Whew. OK. Yes. Better. That really is miserable.
ME: Yes. Yes it is.
God flips through the papers on the clipboard. Puts it down next to the plate of brownies. Rubs His chin for a minute. Looks up at me.
GOD: All right. You've got a point. Exemption granted.
He signs something on the last page of the paperwork and hands the clipboard to me.
GOD: Sign here, and initial on the top page.
ME: Thank you, God. I mean it. Have another brownie.
Nostalgic for the Pleistocene