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AFTERWORD Last Things Considered BY ANDREI CODRESCU SOMEBODY HANDED ME a pamphlet on the street. The cover featured a red-winged devil straddling the Vatican between its hooves, with the number 666 and “VISA” written on his chest. Having just stretched my credit to the limit, I could agree with the sentiment: Visa is the Devil. And so is Mastercard and American Express. Under the picture of the Devil, it said: “Very important: What to do in case you The evaporation of four million people who believe this crap would leave Nye world an instantly better place. miss the Rapture.” The Rapture, and I quote, is “the immediate departure from this Earth of over four million people in less than a fifth of a second.” This happily volatilized mass are the “Saved” who were “born again in Jesus Christ.” Everybody left behind will, basically, go to Hell, but not before experiencing Armageddon, which is a really bad end of the world. If you find yourself in this situation, HEAD CUT OFF. This loving Christmas message, coming as it did amid the jungle of the mallSanta and the twinkling manger at the corner of Canal and Ramparts streets in New Orleans, made it clear that the Rapture is indeed necessary. The evaporation of four million people who believe this crap would leave the world an instantly better place. Hell, by the way, where the rest will end up, has been found, according to the tabloids. It’s under Brazil. It’s a -sea of molten lava where the damned are chained and boiled. The location was doubtlessly chosen Andrei Codrescu is an NPR commentator and editor of the ‘zine, Exquisite Corpse. very carefully because Brazil is very sexy. Countries like England and Canada were eliminated in the first round. The other good news concerning the afterlife has been reported in a letter in the Ann Landers column, informing us that “college-educated adults .with incomes of to intense radio lob whose federal jeopardy i n , eopardy n tne U.S. Congress, issued o n during its -All Things Cons, evening news show. NPR publicly said Codrescu’s “re -‘narks crossed a line of taste and tolerance that we should have defended with greater vigilance.” “We spoke to Andrei who told us he would like to apologize for what, in 1iindsight, he regards as an inappropriate more than fifty-thousand dollars a year were the most certain that they were heaven-bound.” Furthermore, “of the six in ten Americans who believe there is a Hell, seventy-seven percent do not believe they are going there.” Cut my head off, will you? 8007: eanW re quest for two`minutes of air time to pre-:. sent his view. “At least they showed some integrity, says Codrescu, who adds that NPR has never rejected any of his commentaries,. which have aired on the network since 1982, THE TEXAS OBSERVER 23