AGENT: Number 96. Now serving Number 96.
ME: That’s me.
AGENT: How can I help you?
ME: I’d like a half pound of the Genoa salami, thinly sliced.
AGENT: Am I moving on to 97, funny man?
ME: Sorry, couldn’t help myself. I’m here for my annual check up with the big guy.
AGENT (noting the big calendar on the wall behind him): Cutting it a little close this year.
ME: My insurance only covers one check-up per year.
AGENT (gives me a hard stare): I see you haven’t gotten any funnier in 2018.
ME: Funnier? I’m not sure it’s possible to get much funnier than I am already.
AGENT: Nice. Might want to try a little humility when you see HIM.
A buzzer rings on the desk.
AGENT: He’ll see you now.
He pulls a lever which drops me down a chute into a room with bright white light all around me.
GOD’s disembodied voice booms, coming from everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
ME: Oh hey. God. Thanks for squeezing me in so close to the end of the year.
GOD: How are you?
ME: Me? I’m good. Pretty great actually. My wife and kids are happy and healthy. Thanks for that. 2018 really was a whirlwind year.
GOD: That’s something coming from you. You guys generally pack it in EVERY year.
ME: True. But there was so much going on. Work is good, took some awesome trips, spent time with friends and family, my daughter got into college—
GOD: Congrats on that. Must be a huge weight off.
ME: Thanks! It is — for all of us.
GOD: So 2019’s going to bring a lot of changes.
ME: It will. We’ll be empty nesters for the first time in 18 years.
GOD: That’s big. How are you feeling about that?
I think for a moment.
ME: I’m not really looking forward to that part. I mean, I’m excited for my daughter to go to college. She’s going to the same great school where her brother will be a senior so I’m happy they’ll share a year there together. All of that is good. I mean great.
ME: But I’m going to miss having my kids around.
GOD: That’s natural.
ME: Sure. I know that. Most parents love their kids but I totally adore spending time with mine. It took years as they were growing up before I agreed to let them go to sleep away camp. I didn’t want to be away from them for that long.
GOD: But you did.
ME: I did. And I’m glad they went. It helped them become more independent and self-sufficient. It was a great experience.
GOD: Excellent. They are great kids! You and your wife did a fine job.
ME: They are. Thanks! And that’s why I know college will be great too.
GOD: It will. You will see them and you and your wife will get used to having more time for the two of you.
GOD: I’m GOD. I know stuff.
ME: Right. Still it’s reassuring to hear you say that.
GOD: 2019 is going to be awesome. For all four of you.
ME: That’s great. Thanks for listening.
GOD: It’s what I do.
ME: Happy New Year, God!
GOD: Happy New Year!