There you stand before the Pearly Gates,
Waiting in line, realizing where you are,
Trying to figure out how you got there.
When your turn comes, you’re amazed:
No St. Peter, not even a clerk to greet you;
Nothing but a touch-screen monitor.
You must search through millions of obituaries,
Looking for yours on Amazon’s new obit site.
After hours of searching, you finally find yourself.
Your obit page has a head shot of you,
A blurb about your life, even product info,
Like gender, height, eye color, and age.
A yellow button catches your eye: Apply now.
You click it. It takes you to a form to complete.
Apply to Heaven. Estimated delivery time: two weeks.
The fine print tells you it’s based on customer reviews.
Friend and family reviews don’t count.
You can’t beg for reviews; they must be volunteered.
In the meantime, you’re encouraged to leave reviews.
Will you stick it to people who rubbed you the wrong way?
What will be your basis for judgment?
So you browse through the obits looking for others.
You note glowing five-star reviews of obvious sinners,
And one-star complaints against peace activists and volunteers.
Celebrities have thousands of reviews, more good than bad.
Some of your acquaintances have no reviews at all.
You do them a favor, and hope someone reviews you.
Chris McMullen, author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers, Vol. 1 (formatting/publishing) and Vol. 2 (packaging/marketing)