October 19th, 2011

book cover humor

column: A Heavenly Jobs Program

Anybody else having problems getting LJ cuts to work? Is Steve maybe having fun with me?



“Hello, Apple Customer Service, how may I direct your call?”

Hi, this is Steve Jobs.


It really is! I assume you haven’t forgotten me yet.

“Oh, not at all. But, um … aren’t you dead?”

            Yeah, I’m calling from Heaven. Ironically, the weather’s a lot like in Cupertino, but with less pollution.

            “But how --?”

            How am I communicating with Earth? I hacked Heaven’s phone system. Just wanted to check in.

            “Oh, of course.”

            Listen, tell that moron from the Westboro Baptist Church that Heaven is full of guys and gals from the US military, and every Wednesday they have a great mixer with the people from the Muslim neighborhood.

            “I’m so sorry about his group wanting to protest your funeral, sir –“

            Come on, he Tweeted about how evil I was from his iPhone – how funny is that? Besides, between the two of us, which one made the world a better place? Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me. There’s also the fact that we sometimes sit around at the Heavenly Pool telling jokes about him. ‘How many Phelps does it take to screw in a light bulb? None – he likes to be kept in the dark.’

            “I can only imagine the look on his face when he gets there and sees you.”

            Heh. Oh, he’s not gonna get here.

            “Oh --?”

            I’ve seen the files. They had a Microsoft based system up here, security was horrible – I just hacked my way right in. So I sat down and had a talk with Saint Isidore, then Tom and I went to work redesigning the whole system.”


            Edison. Imagine the talent pool up here! Alexander Graham Bell loves the iPhone, by the way. I’ve only been here two weeks, and we’ve already gone all wireless, and the angels are now supplied with iPad 3’s. I guess it goes without saying that up here we use cloud computing.

            “Naturally. So, what’s life like, up there in Heaven?”

            Well, there’s no cancer.

            “No … Mr. Jobs, I’m sorry we lost you so soon.”

            Don’t worry about it. There’s no cancer. Nobody hates up here. Nobody wants. I can stay up as long as I want, build new stuff, play with electronics, eat all the ice cream I want without getting fat, and I feel great. I just finished my latest operating system – I’m calling it the Cheetah. It’s fast, man – fast. This Cheetah will prosper.

            “But no one down here will ever see it …”

            Don’t worry about that, either. The people doing the work are the moving force behind Macintosh; my job was to create a space for them. If the people who replace me clear out and let them work, they’ll come up with something just as good. Besides, the Cheetah’s going to do a great job up here keeping the records, updating the naughty and nice lists and such. My new iPod’s going to be a hard sell, though – the live bands in Heaven are incredible.

            “Well, sir, is there anyone you’d like me to direct your call to?”

            Hm … no, not really, I guess. I thought about having you put me through to Fred Phelps, but that would just be cruel … and maybe talking to my wife would be cruel, too. People up here, they’re not interested in being cruel.

            You know, I once said that all expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure fall away in the face of death, leaving only what’s truly important. I was already facing death – there was no reason not to follow your heart, so I did. Every morning I looked in the mirror and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?’ whenever the answer was no for too many days in a row, I knew I needed to change something. I figure that was a pretty good way to live my life.

            “I think so too, sir … a very good way.”

            Oh … and one more thing:

            ‘Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in square holes … the ones who see things differently. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them, because they change things. They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones we see genius. The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.’

            “Thank you, Mr. Jobs.”

            Sure, see you soon.

            “Wha --?

            No, no, sorry – just an expression!