In a move designed to help lower the costs brought on by overpopulation, my guardian angelship, which had been provided by my guardian angel, Christian, gets outsourced to the Philippines.
I become accident-prone, clumsy, and cannot perform well in bed with my girlfriend, Lindsay. Also, she begins to receive mysterious gifts from the Philippines.
I receive an introductory letter from Sopsop & Sopsop, an insurance company in Makati, Philippines.
We have been contracted to provide you guardian angelship. We have implemented a 24-hour watch. Please treat our field operatives as you treated your last guardian angel—as if they were invisible and all-knowing. Sign and return this form.
CEO of Sopsop & Sopsop
I sign and return the form.
I am followed everywhere by six field operatives, all Filipinos wearing headsets and sunglasses.
Over the course of the day, I lose my wallet, stub my toe, accidentally run over my dog, accidentally kill my dog, and get into an argument with Lindsay about our “missing” dog. I holler at the Filipinos to pay attention and guard me. I call Sopsop & Sopsop’s complaint desk and am placed on hold for 40 minutes before a real voice answers. It is Mr. Sopsop’s brother, the president of Sopsop & Sopsop. He warns me again not to speak directly to the Filipinos, and that I must pretend they are invisible, like Christian was invisible.
I send an e-mail asking Sopsop & Sopsop to reinstate Christian as my guardian angel.
My request is denied. Sopsop & Sopsop notify me that I have violated paragraph 3 of section 8 of the first clause of our signed agreement. As a penalty, Mr. Sopsop, CEO of Sopsop & Sopsop, begins charging me a 6 percent annual percentage rate for my guardian-angelship coverage.
More Filipinos arrive. My boss warns me not to bring Filipino friends to my cubicle at work. I tell the Filipinos to leave. They tell me they’re invisible, and then attempt to hide behind my fax machine.
The Sopsop brothers begin accompanying Lindsay and me wherever we go: to the movies, out to dinner, even into our bedroom while we prepare to make love. When I complain, they tell me they’re invisible. This is part of their guardian-angel duties, they say. “Pretend we are invisible,” they remind us as we undress. “Pretend we are not in the room,” they whisper as I pleasure Lindsay. “Remember,” they remind me, “we are your guardian angels.”
Two dozen roses arrive from a Mr. Sopsop for Lindsay on Valentine’s Day. I have no money for roses. I make her a card.
Desperately, I begin to pray …
ME: Dear God.
MR. SOPSOP, CEO OF SOPSOP & SOPSOP: There is no God. Only Mr. Sopsop and Mr. Sopsop.
ME: Don’t interrupt while I pray, Mr. Sopsop.
MR. SOPSOP, PRESIDENT OF SOPSOP & SOPSOP: Pretend we are invisible.
ME: Dear God, please return Christian. Life is not the same.
MR. SOPSOP, CEO OF SOPSOP & SOPSOP: Violation of paragraph 4 of the provisional clause!
MR. SOPSOP, PRESIDENT OF SOPSOP & SOPSOP: Violation noted! Action pending!
I receive a bill from Sopsop & Sopsop informing me I am delinquent on my account. Because of this, Sopsop & Sopsop has increased my APR to 19.99 percent and fined me $35 for the violation—namely, contacting God regarding poor guardian-angelship coverage.
The Sopsop brothers invite Lindsay to dinner. Because I am a client on probation, they inform me it is against protocol to dine with them. I have an egg roll and watch Letterman with six Filipinos. Lindsay does not come home that night.
My boss hollers at the Filipinos for hovering in my cubicle. They tell him they’re invisible. He fires me.
I have no dog, no job, and no girlfriend. Eyeball-deep into a three-day bender, I’m followed by the Filipinos as I stagger from bar to bar. We encounter a gang of hooligans. My Filipinos set aside their sunglasses and headsets and ready themselves to guard me. It’s on. The hooligans not only give me the beating of my life; they give my guardian angels the beatings of their lives. We’re all tossed in jail, despite the Filipinos’ repeated claims of being invisible. Also, they have no green cards.
Mr. Sopsop, CEO of Sopsop & Sopsop, bails me out. I have no money to repay him. He hires me as an administrative assistant. I move to Makati. My job is to type out the notes that the Filipinos crouching in my new cubicle hand to me. The notes read: “Subject still typing,” “Subject still typing,” and “Subject still typing.”
Lindsay is engaged to Mr. Sopsop, CEO of Sopsop & Sopsop, but is also having an affair with Mr. Sopsop, president of Sopsop & Sopsop. I plan to get her back. As soon as I can get her alone.
I’m fired from my administrative-assistant job for alleged sexual discrimination against Lindsay. I am then deported from the Philippines and ordered never to return.
I begin to drive across America to find myself.
I stop at a gas station. The attendant is named Christian. My mood brightens. A miracle? I ask if he wants to grab a beer. He does. We get in my car. He stabs me 16 times in the neck and then steals my car. Different Christian altogether.
I’m welcomed into the afterlife, where I receive a gift basket and a typed apology on official letterhead. My original angel, Christian, should never have been replaced to begin with. It was all due to a paperwork blunder.
Because of the 16 stab wounds in my neck—not to mention the countless injuries and meaningless deaths and destructive hurricanes and mangling car wrecks and terrifying bear attacks and other miscellaneous violence caused by Heaven’s perpetual disorganization and inefficiency—I bring a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the people of Earth against Heaven and the institution of guardian angelship.
Naturally, I am banished from the kingdom of Heaven. As punishment, I am forced to wander a New Jersey shopping mall for eternity with 16 damned holes in my neck that drip and moan and occasionally attract fruit flies. Sopsop & Sopsop has been contracted to oversee my banishment. “We are invisible,” six Filipinos tell me each time I beg for scraps outside the food court. “We’re just doing our jobs,” they remind me as I wade in the fountain, searching for spare change.