There are two ways to think of angels. The first is as beings of pure intellect, unburdened by a corporal form, yet somehow still able to administer a serious infernal arse-whoopin’ when such is required of them. The second is as cute, benevolent, and wholly ineffectual winged beings with a fetish for stringed instruments and a plan for our salvation unknown to all save the manufacturers of the Precious Moments line of figurines.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say “Ajambo the Evening Angel” falls somewhere in the second category.
Where to begin with Ajambo? Her name? Her instrument? Her $119.95 price tag?
How about her readiness for a heavenly hoedown? Because when I think of drawing my last breath and hearing the faint (and, in my case, highly unlikely) sound of heavenly strings lulling me into my eternal slumber, the musical score does not have a part for an instrument that only produces sixteenth notes and is to stringed instruments what the calliope is to a grand piano. Yes, I understand the banjo has a place in the musical pantheon, but it is a place way over there. A place by those two guys with the overalls, knee length beards, washboard, and jug o’ homemade hooch that they need to finish drinkin’ before they start – else Billy Bob ain’t gonna have nothin’ to play.
Undoubtedly, we’ve all heard the “mysterious ways” remark regarding the inner workings of heaven, but I’m fairly certain “salvation through tub thumpin’ bluegrass” is not part of the greater divine scheme. It will make me extremely penitent, so I suppose there’s the off chance I’ll reform if they offer to stop. However, I’m concerned that there may be some question as to my “saved” status when, immediately thereafter, I attempt to bludgeon Ajambo to death with her own banjo. For what it’s worth, no earthly judge would convict me.
If I might be permitted to continue my attempt at amateur theology, I’d like to offer the following. Specifically, posted on the pearly gates, I’m reasonably certain there is a list of prohibited items – items St. Peter, the divine TSA agent, will relieve you of prior to entrance – or, at the very least, check. You know, in the event you ever want to leave. Regardless, in illuminated twenty-two point font and directly below “nunchucks*” and “the complete works of Stephenie Meyer**,” I’m fairly certain it reads “banjos***.”
“*Do we really have to explain this one?”
“**Like marriage, in heaven, there is no Team Edward OR Team Jacob.”
“***For the comfort of our other guests.”
No, there are no banjos in heaven.
Because, if there was, it would not be heaven.