A Character Reference For the Afterlife

Attn: St. Peter, Pearly Gates of Heaven
It has come to my attention that Mr. Baum is currently residing in purgatory while his case for admission to Heaven is pending. As his mother, I have been asked by an official in your office to provide a character reference on his behalf. The below list includes my unbiased, certain observations regarding Mr. Baum:

- He wanted too much.
- He got too little.
- He slept, on average, six hours a day.
- He never understood why the bottom side of the pillow is cooler than the top.
- He felt your pain.
- He repeatedly questioned the assumption that he was not the center of the universe.
- He always took the tiny shampoo bottles from hotel bathrooms.
- He had a Bar Mitzvah, but could not read a word of Hebrew on the day he died.
- He once compared his sister to Miss Piggy on "Muppet Babies."
- He was sincere about the comparison.
- He recognized his faults and tried to fix them.
- He went through a box of Cheerios approximately every 72 hours.
- He was convinced that, one day, he would achieve immortality (evidently he was wrong).
- He regularly ignored my polite requests to clean up his room.
- He meant to say he loved you, even if he never got a chance.
- He tried.

Thank you for your time and continuing interest in this matter.
Amy Baum
Los Angeles

About the author:

Gary Baum is alive, well, and too young to clearly recall the Reagan years.