"So you're open all the time?"
"You are new, aren't you? There is no time up here...we're just open."
"Happy hour doesn't seem too busy."
"Doesn't matter...we get a crowd when between the angels' shift changes."
"So that's when they hurry over?"
"Nobody is in a hurry up here. We've got eternity."
"Who's the big guy down at the other end?"
"You know, The Big Guy."
"You mean, God?"
"That's just one of his names."
"Where's the long white beard?"
"Why would he have a long white beard?
"Well, all the pictures...."
"You know anyone who's seen God and lived to tell about it?"
"Well, I know some preachers who claim ...."
"Preachers! How would they know what he looks like when they can't even get along with each other?"
"So why not a beard?"
"Does he look old to you?"
"You keep forgetting, there isn't any time up here, so how can you get old?"
"Then why is he frowning?"
"Probably more of those preachers claiming exclusive knowledge of His will...you know, like judging who's a Christian or not, or who's a Muslim or Jew or not, or telling people how God wants them to vote, or getting rich instead of caring for the poor. Stuff like that."
"So what does He do about it?"
"Where do you think the term 'Happy Hour' came from, anyway? He invented it, because he's like anyone else, he needs to get the universe off his mind."
"Does He have a special drink?"
"Yes, his favorite cocktail is called "The Holy Spirit."
"That sounds blasphemous."
"You accusing Him of blaspheming Himself?"
"Uh no, it's just that..."
"Where do you think He got the idea to name The Holy Spirit?
"Did you make it for Him?"
"No, He created it Himself."
"Uh, who's the skinny Jew next to Him?"
"You are really dense. Think a minute."
"You mean Jesus?"
"That's one of his names, yes."
"But sitting at a bar? Drinking? Those churches and preachers claim drinking comes from the Devil...."
"There you go again. Preachers! Why do they spend so much time trying to make people unhappy? That's the Devil's work. The Big Guy likes people to be happy, especially after a hard day, or century or whatever."
"What's Jesus drink?"
"For some reason, he usually sticks to red wine. Told me once it brought back memories of fun times. Makes him smile a lot. And see, The Big Guy is loosening up, smiling, joking with Jesus and those poor people down there. That's why we always have happy hour."
"I need another drink. After all those years in a dry state, this is more than I can say 'grace' over."
"That's the spirit."
"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding watercolor, metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.