johnny henderson was brought up to be a good person.
but he turned out to be a bad person.
his mama wanted him to be a preacher man.
his papa beat him, but not nearly enough.
he fell in with a bad crowd.
they robbed banks and drank hard liquor and raised hell.
johnny never rose to prominence in the ranks of the gang.
he died in a hail of gunfire outside terre haute indiana.
the other members of the gang always remembered him as a good guy, who could be counted on, but not very bright.
when johnny died he was sent to hell.
after being assigned to a bunk in hell, and getting to know some of the guys, and the demons who ran the place, he was given the opportunity to say goodbye to one person in heaven.
he chose his mama, who had passed away peacefully a few years previously, after baking a pan of her famous biscuits.
hello mama, johnny said.
hello johnny. i am sorry to see you come to this pass.
i am sorry too. johnny said. but it is not as bad as all that. i am lucky enough to be together with a pretty good bunch of guys. attila the hun, genghis khan, pontius pilate, pope john xxi, baby face nelson, and others. though i must day i am more impressed with them than they are with me.
pontius pilate! johnny’s mama exclaimed.
you would be surprised, he is a great guy with a great sense of humor.
well, i have some good friends here in heaven, johnny’s mama replied. aunt minnie is here, and mrs rogers from the church bake sales, and president james garfield, and william jennings bryan -
william jennings bryan! you mean to tell me they let that old fraud into heaven!
well, johnny, the lord and st peter let him in, so it is not for us to say. and he is a very nice gentleman, always very courteous.
mama, i see our time is up, so on that note i will leave you.