512 Words

The Story of Joe

M. Stanley Bubien

In the land of the U.S., there lived a man named Joe. This man was blameless and upright; he loved God and shunned evil. He had no sons, no daughters, owned no animals, no house and needed no servants. He was the least of all the people in the east.

One day, the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. Then the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Joe? There is no one in the U.S. like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who loves God and shuns evil."

Satan replied, "Does Joe love God... um... you... for nothing? Have you not put a hedge around him and everything he does? Instead, bless the work of his hands, and give him everything so that his wealth spreads throughout the land, and he will surely renounce you."

The Lord said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he may have is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger."

"Cool!" Satan replied. "Um... I mean hot!"

One day, when Joe was eating at McDonalds, Ed McMahon came to Joe and said, "You've just won the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes!"

"Thanks to God!" Joe said.

While he was still speaking, Monty Hall came to Joe and said, "It's a brand new car!"

"Thanks to God!" Joe said.

And while he was still speaking, Carmen Electra came to Joe and said, "Take me, I'm yours!"

"What a babe!" Joe said.

"Baywatch babe," Carmen corrected.

And lo, they went and became married. And lo, they moved unto California and bought land. And lo, Joe had sons and daughters. And lo, Joe owned many animals, a big house, and needed servants. He was the best of all the people in the west.

And the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Joe? He still maintains his integrity."

"We'll see about that," Satan replied.

When Joe's three friends heard about all the prosperity that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and counsel him.

"Surely God will bless you and your longings!" his first friend said.

"Surely God will heal your heart and all your infirmities!" his second friend said.

"Surely God will shower happiness upon you!" his last friend said.

So these three men stopped speaking because Joe was righteous in their eyes.

And Joe replied, "I have heard many things like these. Wonderful counselors are you all!" And Joe prayed for the Lord's blessings with his friends. They prayed over the sons and daughters they loved; they prayed over the land they loved, over the animals they loved, over the houses they loved, over the servants they loved.

And Satan smiled, "Have you considered your servant Joe?"

The Lord said to Satan, "There is everyone in the U.S. like him; he is shameless and uptight, a man who loves what God has given him."

And so Joe died, old and full of years.

"Hot!" Satan said.

Copyright ©1999 M. Stanley Bubien. All Rights Reserved.

Please contact the editor for free text versions of this very short story formatted for e-mail, usenet news, or ftp.

Story Bytes


September, 1999
Issue #41

512 Words