This guy was a doctor, who was very successful, very independent, and gave a lot of money to charities. Well he died one day and he went to heaven, and was looking forward to getting into heaven. But, he saw this great big line waiting at the white, pearly gates. So, he got in line and was looking at the people ahead of him and he noticed some of his former patients, and he saw others that he thought were vagrants. He kind of thought to himself, well gee, Ive done so much for mankind in helping people, I dont think I should have to wait to get into heaven. He walks up to the front of the line there and Saint Peter is at the gate. And he said to Saint Peter, he went and told him about his life on Earth, and Saint Peter says well yeah, Im well aware of that, however, we have a rule that everyone has to wait in line based on when they die. So the doctor goes back to the line, not really satisfied. So, hes watching the line slowly decrease when he sees this guy in a white smock, a stethoscope lying around his neck, a headband with a reflector on it walk up to Saint Peter and then walk right in to Heaven through the white pearly gates. Quite obviously, this guy was a doctor so the man was a little upset with Peter. He asked him, how come you told me that nobody could get ahead of anyone else and you let that doctor go through the pearly gates. And Saint Peter says ohhh haha thats not a doctor, thats God, he just thinks hes a doctor.
Terry explained to me that he learned this joke through one of his longtime friends in a phone conversation. He said that whenever he and his friend speak to each other, they usually start off their conversation by telling a good, clean joke. Terry was unsure of where his friend may have heard the joke but assumed that it had it been passed down from a family member. He said his friend occasionally will tell jokes that his parents and grandparents had told him years earlier. When I asked him when he performs this joke, he said that he usually will tell it in a social gathering amongst friends and family. He believed that it was an appropriate joke for people of his age because they do not want to hear as he termed crude jokes like many of todays youth. He said that a good example of telling this joke would be at a dinner group because it is funny, simple, and meaningful.
When Terry performed this joke, he used much enthusiasm in the different voices for each character. When I asked him why he used these voices for the different characters, he said it added spunk to the joke and it helped keep audience members entertained. He said the key to telling this joke is to be passionate about it so that the listeners will enjoy it as much as he does. He said that this joke is especially nice for ice breakers whenever he is meeting people and needs something interesting to open up the conversation. He also that the joke helps continues conversations as well. Whenever a conversation is starting to dwindle, this joke will help keep the person on the other side of the conversation entertained. Therefore, they will be able to continue to their discussion with a joke.
When I asked Terry what he thought about the joke, he said that he enjoyed how clever it was and it how it reminded him of his mother. He said his mother had passed away and this joke helped him remember his childhood and the times he spent cleaning dishes with his mother. They would always tell each other clever, humorous jokes as they cleaned up after dinner. Whenever he heard this joke for the first time, he thought it would be a good joke to tell his mother. He thinks the joke represents clever humor but that it also represents God and his ability to do whatever he pleases. He can dress up like any person he wants and get away with it because he is God.
When I heard this joke, I too thought that it was pretty clever and that my parents would enjoy it. Similarly, I thought people of his age would enjoy this joke more than people of my own age simply because it relates to church and it is not inappropriate. However, I do believe this joke has a different meaning. I believe it is trying to tell us that no matter how great we think we are, we always need to be patient and wait in line just like everybody else. Just as the doctor thought that he deserved early entry into heaven, there are many people in todays society who think they deserve more than others. But, this joke reflects how people need to wait for their turn, no matter how great they are. This joke perhaps also shows the power of God and the fact that he can do whatever he wants.