In the bowels of hell, there is a café known as Hell’s Kitchen. It’s very popular serving the best sushi you could imagine.
Seated in one corner are Wayne and Greg, Angels, representatives on earth of their respective Eternal Departments. They are taking a time out from their earthly duties which basically comprises of pointing souls up or down.
Greg who comes from the upstairs department is wearing a heavy disguise as he is really not supposed to be within a pig’s ear of hell.
The disguise is necessary as Greg loves the sushi in Hell’s Kitchen and as everyone knows you can’t get a decent sushi in Heaven.
His friend Wayne, the dark angel of Hell smuggles Greg in on the proviso that Greg provides Wayne with a ham sandwich. Heaven makes the best ham sandwiches, and so Greg slips one into his large coat pocket when he ventures into Hell’s Kitchen.
It’s been a particularly busy time for them, lots of death on earth, wars being waged, nature disasters happening, and in one small African country, a virus is dropping the locals like flies.
As they sit there enjoying their particular repasts, Greg speaks to Wayne.
“They are playing that song again. Why do they do that down here?”
“Gives them all hope I think. Most of them are well past the novelty of Hell, the good times only last so long and its then about doing it all over again.”
“How can you buy a stairway to Heaven when you don’t have any money?”
“Ah, it’s just about hope. What else is there when your eternity is a series of events you repeat over and over. They aren’t meant to be enjoying Hell even though there is a lot to be said for it.”
“I mean apart from the sushi, what else is there?”
“Well, untold physical pleasures for one. You can get into that and most do until they discover that the repeat version is the same as the first version and the woman or man you saw across the way and have lusted after is still the man or woman across the way. It’s a cruel form of punishment isn’t it.”
“But if you score lucky I guess its ok.”
“Lucky? If you knew Lucky, you wouldn’t be saying that.”
“He’s not lucky?”
“He is but you won’t be. Ugly as sin, well that’s being kind to sin come to think of it.”
“I see…So do they have a notion as to where the staircase is?”
“Just past the fiery cauldron. Its where they go in the hope of making a start. But even if they get there the staircase is a death trap. Well, maybe not a death trap as such after all if your dead that’s a final thing in itself.”
“Your referring to the missing steps aren’t you.”
“Yes, ingenious idea. They think they’ve made it, start up and before they know it their back where they started. And usually slightly more singed.”
“Must be a disappointment I would think.”
“Most definitely. Many come back shattered souls. Which is fine by us as they are meant to be shattered souls.”
As the final line of the song: “And she’s buying a stairway to heaven. “sounded off and the next song, Chuck Berry’s, Johnny B Goode began playing the two Angels looked at their eternity watches and with a shrug set off back to Earth to attend to the recently departed.
“Does the playlist ever change?” asked Greg.
“Yes, “replied Wayne, “They reverse the songs each month, creates confusion but by doing that it does give them something to look forward to the next month.”
“Oh clever,” answered Greg consulting his note book and noting that tonight was the annual Hymn sing off in Heaven, the souls would be lining up to participate and Greg was glad he was working till late.