Monday, April 18, 2005

Hard to believe, Harry

As you all know, Johnnie Cochran, the lawyer who got O.J. off, recently passed away.
He was in the waiting area, in anticipation of being called to meet St. Peter, when Terri Schiavo came in. Then, Pope John Paul II came in.
You get some time in the waiting area; after all, St. Peter is only one angel and he's got a lot of people to process.
But St. John called John Paul II, then called Terri Schiavo. Johnnie was wondering when he was going to get his chance.
Finally, St. John called out: "Mr. Cochran. Mr. Johnnie Cochran."
Cochran stepped forward and was led to meet St. Peter at the gates.
"Mr. Cochran, have a seat," St. Peter said as he turned to his computer and made a few keystrokes. "Thank you for your patience."
"I didn't know you had computers here," Cochran said.
"Yes, we've had them for years. It's awfully tiring for our clerks to have to write all those names and then carry the information over. Besides, we were losing papers left and right. Anyway, I apologize for the delay."
"It's worth the wait to get into Heaven," said Cochran.
"Well, Mr. Cochran, you're going to have to wait a little longer."
"Why is that?"
"We looked into your record. It's really pretty good, but there is one thing for which you'll have to do some penance."
Cochran stared straight ahead. "What might that be?"
"It seems you defended a gentleman, name of Simpson, who killed his wife and a delivery boy. Because of your representation, Mr. Simpson was acquitted."
"Wait," Cochran said. "I wasn't the only lawyer there defending him. And how do you know that he did it?"
"We know, Mr. Cochran, we know. We also know that you said, 'If it doesn't fit, you must acquit.' "
Cochran smiled. "That was a good line," he said.
"It was, but its success is going to cost you some time in purgatory," St. Peter declared.
"How much?"
"Well, usually God is pretty straightforward about this. He pretty much knows right away. But he felt that, since you had done some good in your time on earth, he would ask Solomon for his opinion. Solomon can be a ditherer at times, and he did take his time with this one.
"So, Mr. Cochran, your time in purgatory will end only when Mr. Simpson confesses or dies."
St. Jude takes Mr. Cochran over to the purgatory area.
"He'll never confess," Mr. Cochran moaned. "And he's probably going to live another 25 years, at least."
"Mr. Cochran," St. Jude said, "I know you're not that familiar with the Catholic tradition. But you're talking to the right person, if you want. I am, after all, the patron saint of lost causes."