Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Here's your two cents: A joke from the 1930's

Here is a joke often told by Peter Bilezikian, a tale that has made a difference in the lives of many a rich (wo)man.

It was the depression; it was pouring rain.  A rich man was walking to his automobile when a newspaper boy, cold, wet, and shivering on the corner of the street called to him.  "Hey, mister.  Get the latest news."
"Sorry, kid, I get my papers delivered at home."
"But mister, it's pouring rain, I'm cold and wet, and I can't go home until I sell this last newspaper.  Please buy my paper."
"I told you, kid, I don't need it!"
"But, mister.  It's only 2 cents . . . "
The rich man paused for a moment, reconsidering, took 2 cents out of his pocket, gave it to the newspaper boy, and gruffed, "Here's your 2 cents."
"Thanks so much, mister!"
Without a word, the rich man took the newspaper from the newspaper boy, and threw it in the nearest trash barrel.
That night, much to his surprise, the rich man died and found himself knocking at the pearly gates.
St. Peter came to the gate.
"Yes?" said St. Peter, obviously surprised to see the rich man standing there.  "How can I help you?"
"I want to enter the pearly gates," answered the rich man.
"Really!" replied St. Peter.  "Now tell me. What good have you done in your life?"

(Now this question was, in fact, in contradiction to  Marash Girl's father's beliefs --  Ephesians 2:8, 9 - "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast."  Back to the joke . . . )

The rich man paused.  "I can't think of any good I have done in my life."
St. Peter asked again.  "You must have done something good in your life. .  . think about it. . ."
The rich man suddenly remembered.  "Well, in fact, yes.  Just yesterday, it was pouring rain, and a paperboy tried to sell me his last newspaper, and even though I didn't need the paper, I bought it for 2 cents, and then tossed it in the nearest trash barrel.  I get my papers delivered to my home," the rich man stated proudly.
St. Peter replied, "Is there anything else?"
The rich man paused, thought, and answered, "No, I can't think of anything else."
"Just a moment," answered St. Peter.  "I have to check with the Boss."
St. Peter was gone for a few moments, but soon returned.
"Well," asked the rich man, "What did the Boss say?"
St. Peter reached into the pocket of his robes, and held out his hand to the rich man:  
"Here's your two cents. Go to hell."


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