1.1 While it seemed another night, I found myself tossing and wearied. When Finally I did pass into slumber right away I was taken into dream. I dreamt a man stood at the end of the bed. In full pirate regalia, he was clad, buckle shoes, stripey socks, pantaloons, a wide belt, a loose poet’s shirt, and tricorn hat. From where I lay, it was quite clear that he had been drinking heavily, as the smell of beer was quite strong.
1.2 “Come with me” he said. “Why?” I asked “Why should I go with you, obviously a drunkard, and a stranger as well?” “Do you not know me?” said he, and indeed, though I had never laid eyes upon this man before, I somehow knew him. “In my previous life, I was sometimes called Saint James the Bastard.” This name I knew though the man I did not. So I agreed at last to come with him. “Is it far?” I asked. “As far as a lifetime and only a single step away” he answered, and took me to the window.
1.3 My window opened not onto the trees that normally, but instead upon a well-fitted brigatine. Several more pirates crewed the ship and snapped to attention as the captain and myself came aboard. “Cast off, me hearties! Set course for Heaven!” and the scurvy crew set about to sail the ship high above my town. We touched down in a pesto-dark sea, the morning sun stained the skies marinara red. And after many years that took but a eye-blink, a island hove into view.
1.4 The island was immense. Big enough for all the people of the world who ever lived and were yet to come. As we approached, I could see the massive volcano that dominated the island. Even Olympus Mons on Mars would be dwarfed by the massive mountain. And on Heaven’s slopes gleamed rivulets of freshly erupted beer. Some collected into trickles which danced over the rocks. Others collected into mighty rivers, which filled lakes in which Pastafarians played. Even from this distance, I could see that some streams were dark with Porters or Stouts, and others were light with Pilsners and Kolsh, with a spectrum of brews flowing down the slopes, so that each may try what is their preference.
1.5 And in between the streams, I could make out many buildings. Some looked to be massive factories, square and gray, others looked to be dwellings, tastefully made out of flotsam and wrecked ships. In some places, many, many buildings clustered together near a bend in the stream of beer. In other places, great swathes of the mountain were left open, so those who wished solitude could have it.
1.6 From the many bays and piers I noticed many ships setting sail and coming into port. “Captain James, those ships, where do they go? From where do they come?” I asked. To which he replied “Those be the holy messengers, charged with bringing believers in. Often, they are sent to bring pasta to the Earth.” “Pasta comes from heaven?” I asked, startled. “Of course it does!” He replied. “What? Did you think it grew on trees?” Properly humbled I remained quiet, but Saint James was not finished yet. “By the way, you forgot to capitalize Heaven there. It be a proper place name, so be deservin of capitalization. You are a Pastafarian! We don’t let ourselves wallow in ignorance!” Properly chastised, I turned to the pier to which we were approaching.
1.7 As the ship was tied off, the Captain took me down the gangplank. We were greeted by a great throng of people, those dressed as pirates, and those with little or no clothing at all. And as we walked upon Heaven’s holy shore, I could not help but notice that it seemed… less then Heavenly. While the strippers were pleasant to look upon, and I am sure had nice personalities, most were homely instead of fair. The pirates on the shore were fine people, yet not that interesting. Even the stream of beer, flowing down Heaven’s holy flank was flat and macrobrewed. The bowls of pasta which seemed to be upon nearly every rock, were undercooked and the sauce was watered down. “Captain? Why are these things here? Why are the shores of heaven filled with ugly strippers? Why are the Pastafarians such bores? The pasta is terrible and the beer worse. Why are these things in Heaven?” And Saint James gave me the First Truth.
1.8 “Many of the living believe that there is a Heaven for those who are to be rewarded, and a Hell to punish. This is not His way. He gathers all the best and brightest to Him at the Crater. The coolest pirates. The hottest strippers. The sauces there would blast away your mortal mouth. And the beer? Sweet Spaghetti Monster…” Seeing that words had failed him, I turned to the volcano, and looking up saw the top was lost in Alfredo-white clouds. “It is a long walk.” I observed. “Not really. This be Heaven, after all.” he said. “Well, less so this part, which be the outskirts. As the Flying Spaghetti Monster gathers those most worthy to him, those deserving of heaven inhabit all parts, according to their virtues.” “And which virtues are these?” I asked. And Saint James gave me the Second Truth.
1.9 “Any who believe” said St. James “Are saved. There is a spot in Heaven for them. While it is possible to a complete douche bag and still get into Heaven, you will not be invited to the parties, nor on the pillaging crews, nor to swim in the cauldron. Some get over it and knock off the crap. They slowly get accepted further up the mountain. Others accept their place and set about making it better. They quickly find themselves very busy far up the slopes. And others still can’t give it up. They find their place down here, and grumble about the beer, and complain about the ugly strippers, yet do nothing to improve their situation. They may spend eternity down here.” he explained. “Are they doomed? Will they never partake of the Holy Font of beers? Never taste the Perfect Alfredo? Never set eyes upon the Most Beautiful Strippers?” I asked shocked. “Don’t be an ass.” said St. James. “They can go wherever they want. This is Heaven, after all! But like in real life, people don’t like to hang out with chowder heads. And more and more, those who deserve find themselves accepted for who they are up the slopes, and those who remain without virtue, find themselves accepted farther down.” “Ugh.” Said I. “It sounds like high school.” “It is like high school,” replied St. James. “But unlike that flawed copy, in Heaven, you are actually valued by what you are worth, rather then by who you are dating or who is on the football team.” “So what are these virtues, then?” I asked. “Oh, sorry. I got sidetracked there.” Said St. James. And proceeded to give me the Second Truth for real this time.
2.0 “Pastafarians are judged by a number of Virtues,” explained St. James “But the most important are Wit, Piratitude, Respect, and Comeliness. Wit is not just making up snarky comments, though those are important, especially when defending the faith. Instead, Wit is all things mental. Quickness of thought, reasoning, acuity, curiosity, personality, acceptance. Those that go out and explore His creation and enjoy it and wish to find out more about it are blessed. Those that retreat to only one book, or to the television, they are doomed. Those that do not ask questions, that do not marvel at everyday things, those who do not go off the recipe to try and make the sauce better… they may never see Heaven’s blessed shore. Those that hate or fear the many, many things that He created cannot be true Pastafarians.”
2.1 “PIratitude is force of will. It takes will to show up dressed in holy regalia in these modern times. It takes will to stand up for what you believe in, and to draw cutlass to defend it. Piratitude might be said to be able to take what you want from life, despite what others want. Besides, doing something interesting that you want makes you a more interesting person anyway. There is a noted lack of accountants up here, you know.”
2.2 “Respect might be the greatest of the Virtues. In some ways, it is the flip side of the coin of Piratitude. Where Piratitude says you should go ahead and build a pirate ship out of recycled beer cans, Respect says lay off those who ain’t attacking ye. Respect all of His creation, for He made it. Recycle, turn off the light when you aren’t in the room, and for Heaven’s sake, get rid of that retarded SUV! Respect people too, as they are part of His creation. It doesn’t matter who is climbing in whose bed, or what they are eating, or what they wear. They are following their own Piratitude just as you are following yours. So show some Respect!”
2.3 “Comeliness is beauty. Not just physical, but beauty in any of it’s forms. Think of it this way, you want to make the world more pretty with you in it. There are lots of ways to do this. Start by not being a jerk. Take care of yourself and let others take care of themselves. Offer help to those who need it, not to those who don’t. We are all one crew on the Earth, what kind of crewmate are ye gonna be?”
2.4 “These virtues all reinforce and supplement each other. Someone with a lot of Wit will have it easier to find a way to follow their Piratitude. By following their Piratitude, you will show others the way, and Respect their choices. Respecting others needs and wishes improves your Comliness. Finding ways to improve your Comliness will improve your Wit. It goes without saying that many times you can improve yourself in many ways with even the simplest decisions.” “Now you are making it sound like a video game.” I observed. “Again, a poor copy of reality.” quipped St. James, and lead the way up the mountain.
3.0 We stopped in the shadow of a factory as we climbed Heaven. I refreshed myself with a quaff of weissbeir trickling over a rock. It was notably better then those below. “Tell me,” I asked “I have always heard that Heaven has a stripper factory, yet we have passed a few on just our short trip. And I see more further up the slopes. Are the Gospels wrong?” “No,” he replied “Its like that place in the mall where you can make your own teddy bear. Even though there are hundreds around the world, you still call it a workshop singular, not workshops. Heaven has a stripper factory with many fabrication plants. It does not have multiple stripper factories.” I understood and followed him further up the slope past the wild garlic and basil.
3.1 “Behold!” said St. James “The Great Beer Lake.” And I saw. Three streams of beer flowed into a natural basin, before pouring over the edge. And many pirates and strippers (and pirate-strippers. Rreow!) rested at its shore, sailed upon its waves, partook in its substance, or swam in it. We rested there at the shore for a while, and drank deep of the lake, and did admire the skinny-dipping of the strippers and pirates. And after a hearty meal of Pad Thai, we continued up the slope.
3.2 From far off, I could hear the sound of flintlocks discharging. But St. James seemed to pay it no heed. In moments, we pulled into view of a massive pirate shanty built around a huge factory. “It must be a Friday” St. James noted as he entered into the town. And verily, all around the festivities were commencing. We saw a group of Pastafarians hauling casks of ale around. They made their job easier by drinking the casks as they went, making it lighter. Huge bowls of pasta were heaped for all to sample from. A pirate welcomed a freshly manufactured stripper from the factory. A group of Pastafarian ladies plundered the ale and pasta from their male counterparts in good fun. A great bevy of wonders I did see in that city, but St. James drew me on. “Come! We have to reach the Crater. You will have all eternity to explore Panpastum later. But there is more to show you now.”
4.0 And true to his word, as we climbed, Heaven improved. The fragrance of great cooking was everywhere. The beer changed to the bitterest of IPAs, the richest of Porters, the sourest of Lambecs. Great clumps of tomatoes and garlic and basil seemed to grow everywhere. And the pasta! Ravioli exploding with flavor. Pot Stickers that satisfied with a single one, yet left you hungry for more. And I had a Cannolini that would make a grown man weep. The strippers we passed were humblingly beautiful, even the men. And the talk of the Pastafarians changed from whining about their situation to learned debates upon matters both classical and modern. I met with Jack Rackham, seated outside of a shanty, discussing the effects of Facebook on modern culture while drinking a very good American Strong Ale. Yet, even though the peak was in sight, St. James drew me onward to the top.
4.1 And as we crested the top, I was allowed to witness the Holy of Holies. I cannot describe to you the glories there save for the fact that truly the most Witty, the most Piratical, the most Respectful, and the most Comely of the pastafarians and strippers were found there. They ate of pastas so good as to make heroin pale in comparison. They drank of freshly erupted beers so good as to make mortal brewmasters despair. And above it all, flew the Spaghetti Monster.
4.2 I fell to my knees in the knowledge that I was not worthy of this view. Even the indescribable smell wafting from the crater was as far beyond what I deserved as I was beyond the sea far below us now. Then I felt his Noodly Appendage touch me. “There is no fate” He said unto me “Only what you make of yourself. If you truly wish this, then embrace your Virtues. There is a spot here for you, all you have to do is take it.”
4.3 And I awoke in my own rooms, untouched as before. Yet I swear I could hear His voice saying as I woke up. “Oh! I almost forgot! Don’t forget to tell everyone, okay? Thanks!”