When Mike Wallace got to the Pearly Gates, he found Saint Peter standing out front waiting for him. At the look of confusion on Wallace’s face, Saint Peter reached out a welcoming hand. “It’s okay, Mr. Wallace. You can rest now.”

“No, wait,” Wallace looked around anxiously. “Where, uh…am I dead?”

Saint Peter simply smiled in response.

“Oh. Well, I see. I sort of figured that, you know. That last chest pain was a real motherfucker…oh, sorry.” Wallace seemed embarrassed at what Mary referred to as his newsroom language, but Saint Peter only nodded. “And who are you?” asked Wallace.

“Why, I’m Saint Peter, of course. I would have thought a 93-year old newsman would have heard enough jokes about the Pearly Gates to recognize Heaven when you see it.”

“But, wait, there must be some mistake. I’m Jewish. I should be in Olam Ha-Ba, not Heaven.”

Saint Peter laughed. “Olam Ha-Ba, Zion, Elysium, Jannat, Canaan…it’s all the same place, Mike. About the only part you guys got wrong was the bit about the 57 virgins. That was wishful thinking on someone’s part.”

“That’s a Muslim, for you,” said Wallace. “They’ve always been optimistic when it comes to tail.”

Saint Peter ignored the comment and continued. “Mr. Wallace, you’ve had a long life and a great career: five decades in journalism, thirty-eight seasons with 60 minutes, interviews with seven US Presidents, as well as leaders from Iran, Panama, Palestine, Israel, China, Libya – you’ve been around, Mike.”

“Thank you, Sir.”

“No, our thanks to you, Mike,” said Saint Peter. “You’ve kept us all honest. Aside from the legal thing with General Westmoreland, and that crack you made about low-income Californians, it’s been flawless. Good job.”

“Yeah, I felt bad about that. Any chance I can talk to Westmoreland while I’m here?”

“Sure, he’s here, but I gotta tell you—he barely made it in. And maybe you want to talk to Malcolm X while you’re at it—he’s still kind of pissed off about the Muslim story you did back in ’59. Maybe you can smooth things over some.”

“Oh, okay. Good idea.”

“We have a special wing for you news guys, and even a small lounge in the back for the CBS folk. It’s starting to get a bit crowded though.”

“Yeah, who’s there?”

“Well, we’ve got Walter Kronkite, Ed Bradley, and of course Harry Reasoner.”

“Oh, that’s great,” interrupted Wallace. “I’ve really missed Harry.”

“Yes, well, let’s see…there’s also Don Hewitt, Charles Kuralt, Doug Edwards…oh, wait. I just thought of something.” Saint Peter looked strangely uncomfortable for a saint. “I hate to do this to a new recruit, but I have a small favor to ask: do you suppose you can get Andy Rooney under control? He’s been shooting off his mouth like there’s no tomorrow. And keep him away from Kurt Cobain, whatever you do. He’s been after Rooney since the second he walked through the gates.”

“Yeah, sure,” said Wallace. “I knew it would mean trouble when Andy smarted off about that kid Cobain’s suicide.”

The two walked on in silence for a while, when suddenly Wallace brightened. “Hey, does this mean I can redo some of my interviews? Or maybe even do some new ones?”

Saint Peter rubbed his chin for a moment before answering. “Yeah, okay. Who’d you have in mind?”

“Oh, boy. Where do I start?” Wallace began to tick off his fingers. “How about Reagan? He was starting to slip when I spoke to him last. How’s his Alzheimer’s?”

“He’s right as rain. Who else?”

“Do you think I could finally get the real poop on John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe?” He asked hopefully. “I could tell he was lying his ass off about her.”

Saint Peter shook his head. “Probably not. They’re still pretty tight-lipped about the whole thing.”

“Oh, I know – how about a joint interview with Richard and Pat Nixon. I always regretted not talking to her. And Dick was still uptight about Watergate back then.”

“I don’t think that would be a problem. Is that everyone?”

Wallace got more and more excited as he thought about the possibilities. “Wow. All the famous dead people…Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Chairman Mao, Bin Laden, Amelia Earhart, Jim Jones, and I have all eternity to do it. Hell, I could even interview Hitler.”

Saint Peter grimaced, and looked downwards. “Sorry, Mike. A lot of those guys aren’t here.”

“Oh, you mean they’re…down there?” Wallace looked crestfallen. “God Damnit! Oh…sorry, Sir.”

Saint Peter patted him on the back. “It’s okay. We have an exchange program. I’ll see what I can do. Shall we go?”

“Yes, let’s go.” For the first time in years, Wallace was eager to get to work. As they approached the Pearly Gates, he suddenly laughed. “Hey, Saint Pete—did you hear the one about the teacher, the garbage collector, and the lawyer who died and went to heaven?”

Saint Peter smiled, and taking Mike Wallace by the hand, led him inside.

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