Margaret Thatcher in Heaven

Thatcher [imperiously, handbag slung at the ready over her forearm]: Well? Are you going to let me in or do I have to speak to your superior?

Saint Peter [pulling on his flowing beard and mulling over a long scroll spread out before him]: Hmmmmm…

Thatcher: What on earth is the matter with you?

Saint Peter [nervously]: Well, it’s just that God was very displeased with that poll tax business and, well, he has recommended a few thousand years in purgatory before you’re allowed in here.

Thatcher: What a horrible little man! You tell that sanctimonious bumbler that my poll tax was one of the most misunderstood initiatives in British history! And this makes me wonder: just how is it possible that God misunderstands anything?! Am I going to have to clean up house here as well?!

Reagan [beaming from behind the gates of heaven and waving]: Maggie!!! How wonderful you’ve finally died! I’ve missed you way more than Nancy!

Thatcher [face lighting up]: Dear Ronnie!!!

Reagan [shouting]: Well, come on in! Everyone is so excited to see you!

Thatcher [jabbing her thumb at Saint Peter]: I’m getting some flak and rubbish from this dreadful papisher.

Reagan [face darkening]: What the hell is going on here, Pete?

Thatcher [piping up]: He says I have to go to purgatory first.

Reagan [voice full of menace]: You will stand aside, Pete, and let her in or I’ll kick your ass all the way from here to the Mason–Dixon line and back.

Saint Peter [stammering]: But… but God… He has clearly stated…

Reagan [roaring]: I don’t give a good Goddamn what God thinks! God has no business meddling in the affairs of paradise! Now, stand aside!

Saint Peter [muttering and unlocking the gates of heaven]: Oh, very well. Very well. But you are going to have to answer to Him, Ron. Not me.

Reagan [slapping Saint Peter gently on the cheek and slipping $100 into his robes]: You’re a good boy, Pete. Now fuck off.

Thatcher [taking Reagan’s arm as he escorts her through the gates]: You haven’t changed a bit, Ronnie. Thank God. It’s so good to see you.

Reagan: I’m telling you, Maggie, you’re going to love it here.

Thatcher: What lovely grounds!

Reagan: I know. It’s… well, it’s paradise.

Thatcher: But where is everyone?

Reagan: Oh , they’re all back at the palace getting ready for you. We’re going to have one hell of a party, Maggie!

Thatcher: They?

Reagan: All of them! Friedman, Goethe, Lincoln, Adam Smith, Churchill…

Thatcher: Ooooooooo, Winnie!!!

Reagan: Of course! He’ll be along shortly. He’s getting patched up in the infirmary at the moment.

Thatcher [concerned]: Oh? What happened?

Reagan: He got unseated from his horse by Darth Vader at this afternoon’s tilt on the polo field.

Thatcher [chuckling]: Probably served him right. Playing polo after his luncheon carafe, I’ll wager. Still, that Vader’s always been a bit slippery.

Reagan: Aw, he’s alright. Once you get over the respirator and his penchant for arbitrarily asphyxiating people with his mind, you realize he’s just like us!

Thatcher [puzzled]: Wait a minute. If he’s dead, why on earth does he still need that ridiculous costume?

Reagan [laughing]: Well, he doesn’t, of course. He just thinks he looks way cooler in it. You have to admit, it does have flare. I should have borrowed it when I kicked Gaddafi’s ass. By the way, Maggie, it’s no longer “why on earth?” it’s “why on heaven?” You’ll get used to it.

Thatcher [hesitantly]: I suppose so but, tell me Ronnie, what about them?

Reagan [grinning widely]: That’s the beauty of it: there is no them!

Thatcher: What?

Reagan: It’s only us!! There is no society!

Thatcher [incredulous]: Do you mean to say there are no socialists here?!

Reagan [gleefully]: Not a one! Not even any liberals. They are all down in hell burning for all of eternity! When your old nemesis, Scargill, bites it – he’ll get cast down too. Don’t you see, Maggie? We were right all along (so to speak)! God, I love it!

Thatcher [face alight]: But, that’s just… that’s just… amazing!

Reagan [calming down and becoming serious]: It is. It really is. You know, everything is absolutely perfect. The only sector here is the private sector. We’re all industrious, rich and intelligent. We eat the finest foods and drink the finest wines. We have the greatest libraries and are surrounded by the highest art. We sleep in angel hair beds. The Wi-Fi is pretty good. God does exactly what we tell him to do or we kick his ass… Ah, here’s the palace. Come on in. Genghis Khan is dying to meet you.

Thatcher [pulling Reagan’s arm]: Wait, what’s the matter, Ronnie? You’re suddenly frowning.

Reagan: Well, there is just one little problem up here I have to tell you about.

Thatcher: Whatever could it be? Everything you’ve said so far has gotten me so excited I need to change my knickers.

Reagan [searching Thatcher’s face]: Maggie, there’s no one up here for us to hate. We agree about absolutely everything! Conversations can get pretty boring pretty quickly when you are just concurring all the time.

Thatcher: Oh, dear. No adversaries means no competition. That is a serious problem.

Reagan [grumbling]: No kidding. That’s why Vader gratuitously clubbed Churchill in the face with his mallet this afternoon. We all feel this constant nervous pressure to take on a foe but there’s simply no one here to take on. We just like each other too much. And nothing can be done about it. Forever.

Thatcher [pensively]: How dreadful.

Reagan [softly]: Actually, Maggie, you could say it’s quite hellish


About Requiem for the Damned

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