Because This Time the Joke’s on St. Peter

I just had to share this joke from reader Cathyf. Woke up, found it in my in-box, smiled five minutes. I may be the last Catholic on earth to have heard it. We converts are all crazy about Christ and his Church but we’re a little bit short on Catholic culture. But that’s OK, because then the joke’s on me, and I’ve already eaten some humble pie during the first full week in Lent. Take it away, Cathy!

You see, heaven is a large walled compound, with gates of pearl at the entrance, where St. Peter takes his post with his keys. When the newly departed arrive at those pearly gates, St. Peter looks them up in his book, and either lets them in, or sends them down the road.

So one day it is St. Pete’s day off, and he is wandering about, and he sees some folks that he is pretty sure he sent down the road — but there they are inside heaven. He doesn’t think too much of it, though. He’s not paying all that close attention to faces, and after all they do tend to all run together anyway. But he does spend the next days paying closer attention to exactly who is being let in and who is being sent down the road. And on his next day off, he sees 3 different people who were definitely sent along their way.

St. Pete decides to do some investigating. He marches out the pearly gates and down the road. Around the corner, down a little ways, around another corner, where he is brought up utterly dumbfounded by the sight. There is St. Joseph, and he is boosting people over the wall! St. Pete marches over to St. Joseph and starts haranguing him. He says that this is utterly against the rules, absolutely unacceptable, and that there will be consequences! St. Joseph doesn’t say anything. Finally St. Pete finishes up his harangue by telling St. Joseph that he will not mention this little incident to anyone as long as St. Joseph makes sure that it never happens again.

Thinking that he has dealt with this outrage very well, St. Pete then spins on his heel, marches back up around the two corners and down the road and through the pearly gates. He resumes his job, but is still being careful to remember faces and who got let in and who got sent down the road. On his next day off, again, there are the Wrong People in heaven!

So again St. Pete marches out in high dudgeon; again he comes around the corner; again St. Joseph is boosting people over the wall. This time Pete is utterly apoplectic. He rages on and on about how unacceptable, wrong, not be tolerated, Pete is going to report this straight to God, terrible things will happen, maybe even Joe will get thrown out of heaven. Around this time Pete needs to pause for a second to take a breath. At which point St. Joseph, shrugging, says, “Hey, I go—I take the wife and kid with me.”

  • Mary P.

    Cute one! I've never heard it before. Thanks to Cathyf! As if we weren't grateful enough to St. Joseph….

  • Warren Jewell

    Mom sneaks them in by side and back gates – Dad helps them over the wall. Hang around with Love for all that time and beyond and you can't stop loving.Maybe, Saint Peter needs a break from gatekeeping and become principal defending saint for some newly dead at their particular judgments. While the Lord is deciding, he can jingle the keys to the Kingdom in his pocket.

  • Webster Bull

    @Warren,Don't you suppose St. Peter goes fishing now and then?

  • Allison Salerno

    A Protestant friend told me this one, which should give us pause.A woman entered the pearly gates of heaven and was surprised to find it was so quiet. She was told to keep her voice to a whisper. "Why?"Said Saint Peter: "Because the Catholics think they are the only ones in here."

  • Anonymous

    Don't suppose they'd be Angel Fish, now would they?

  • Wine in the Water

    Allison,I've heard the joke, just with Calvinists. ;)

  • Allison Salerno

    @Wine in the Water: Ouch! : )

  • cathyf

    Hey, Webster, ever the editor, you "corrected" my version of St. Joseph delivering the punchline. I always deliver it in a Chicago south-side Catholic accent. So just like you would say "da Bears" or "da Bulls" it would be "I take da wife 'n' da kid wit me."

  • Webster Bull

    @Cathyf, Hope you don't send the copyright lawyers after me! LOL I am very partial to St. Joseph and didn't want him to come off as…a Chicagoan!