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Special Assignment

This angel named Carruthers was called in to the heavenly front office and informed by St. Peter that he had been picked for a special assignment—to go down to earth and make a list of all the people who had misbehaved.

Two months went by. Then one afternoon the angel came flapping wearily through the Pearly Gates and collapsed on a golden stool by St. Peter’s desk. “Sir,” he said, “you don’t know the magnitude of this job. I’m going to need some help.”

“Impossible,” St. Peter replied tersely. “We’re shorthanded up here as it is. You’ll have to go it alone.”

The angel struggled to the door. Then, suddenly, he was struck with an idea. “Saint Peter, suppose I made a list of all the people who didn’t misbehave. It would be much shorter and I could finish it in a week.”

“Good thinking,” said St. Peter.

The angel returned to earth and, as promised, he was back in a week with his list. St. Peter studied it and passed it on up the chain of command. Shortly, an order came down to write a letter to everyone on the list, commending them for their good behavior.

At this point, the fellow telling the story turned to his friend. “You know what else the letter said?” he asked.

“What?” replied the friend.

“AHA! So you didn’t get one either.”

Quoted by James Dent in Charleston, W.Va., Gazette