3rd installment of the Demonology Files
(Note: a miser is a really rich guy; think Trump)
A man had spent his whole life accumulating money. He had to work doubly hard because he did it all legally with a minimum of scandal ('cause government fines are expensive). In other words, he was all work work work, money money money, all the time. He didn't marry, he didn't have kids, and even though he was rich he didn't get laid because he spent all of his nights doing paperwork.
One day, our miser finally decided he was rich enough. He was going to take a year off and then play it be ear. Maybe take a tour of Europe or go to Japan and eat sushi.
But then there was a knock on the door. The miser answered it (apparently he was so cheap he didn't even hire a butler), and it was an angel on a Blackberry.
"Hi, I'm Azrael, Angel of Death," they said, not looking up. "I'm here to take you to the afterlife."
"What?" the miser squawked. "But I still have stuff to do!"
"Hey, in five minutes I gotta pick up a drunk twenty-year-old who decided to drive home. Don't you start with all your unfinished deeds."
"Give me three more days and I'll give you a third of my money," the miser said (which was enough to buy a pair of jumbo jets and a lake house).
Azrael rolled their eyes. "Oh, yeah, let me take a bribe and disobey orders from God. Sounds like a plan!"
"Two days! Two days, and I'll give you half of my riches!"
"Still not worth eternal torment in Hell."
"One more day, and I'll give you all that I own."
The miser sighed. "Give me five minutes? I just want to write a note."
Azrael still didn't look up from their Blackberry. "You mean a text?"
"No, a note. Similar to a letter?"
"Whatever. Five minutes."
The miser quickly wrote his note, before Azrael took his soul.
"Humanity, make use of your life. I could not buy one hour for all the money I own. Make sure that you realize the value of your time."
Death and the Miser
This is an Islamic story that inspired the above painting by Hieronymus Bosch, a late 15th Century painter who wanted to show the dangers of turning away from Christ and Christianity to earthly desires. (See the guy on his death bed? He's reaching for a bag of gold given to him by a demon instead of the cross the angel's trying to point him to.)
Anyway, I like the story because it's a universal message: death doesn't take bribes.
Thanks for reading! :)
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