I am not a terribly religious person, but through years of church-going as a youngster and from watching many TV shows (Seventh Heaven?) and movies, I have been led to believe there is a heaven, or some sort of life after death. I have always imagined a few different scenarios of what it must be like in heaven. In no particular order…

1. The Self Almanac: I figure at first entrance into heaven, I would be set up in some sort of study area with a room full of impossibly large books that detail everything that ever happened to me in my time on Earth. If I wanted to look up, for instance, every time I ate a piece of bread, I would be able to look that up in the index and get a very detailed run-down. If I wanted to find out my personal record for most times blinking over a five-hour period, I would be able to find that information. I could also see where my record stacked up against everyone else who ever lived. Maybe these books have been converted to digital format by now… I’m not sure.

After a great deal of time had passed and I was no longer interested in my own library of statistics, I would be able to find out all the other answers to the mysteries of the world. “What did the Glanzer farm look like in the year 632 BC?” and I would be taken to that spot at that point in time to analyze. Or if I wondered about life on other planets, I would have access to such information.

2. Checking Back In: In the second scenario, I would awake in some sort of high-tech pod in a science lab of some sort, and instantly remember that I had been there before. God would be standing there in a lab coat with a clipboard and say, “Congratulations, sir, your visit to Earth in the form of human Ryan Glanzer was a massive success. Take a couple days, rest up, and get ready for your next assignment. We have an opening for someone to take on the form of a guinea pig named Murray in the Congo; he’s about to be conceived. The gig is yours if you want it. You won’t remember any of your previous life or this conversation until you return once again.”

3. Reunion: The third scenario involves prancing around in lots of clouds and visiting with past friends and family and pets and celebrities. In order to avoid being stuck at one’s current age at the time of death for all of eternity, each person would be rewound or fast-forwarded to the time of their peak level of attractiveness or fitness. The only question I have is what clothing people will wear, if any.

4. Animal Payback: The fourth, and worst scenario, involves entrance into Heaven #3 from above, only after every animal I have ever killed or eaten gets its chance for revenge and gets to eat me. Even the grass-eating cows that wouldn’t normally eat a human can dig in and take their turn if they so choose. Every fly that was swatted gets its chance to swat me. Once I have lived out each of these thousands of horrifying lives with chickens eating me, all will be even and I will be granted entrance. Hmm… on second thought, that kinda sounds like hell, not heaven.