SCOOP! TODAY WE BRING you an exclusive report from The Afterlife.
The scene: a quiet street in a swish suburb of heaven assigned to music stars. A big house is topped with a neon sign which says “The King”.
In the front garden, a chubby man in his early forties is watering his plants and singing to himself: “Since mah baby lef’ me. I found a noo place ta go.”
He looks up as a thin man with lank black hair appears, moonwalking along the pavements.
The newcomer points to the sign with his white-gloved hand. “I see you guys prepared a house for me,” he says.
“Sorry, bud,” says the stocky homeowner. “There’s only room fer one king round here. And that’s me.”
The thin man looks aggrieved. “But I’m the king of pop. I sold hundreds of millions of albums.”
The thin man twitches nervously. He thinks about moving on but then looks again at the word “king” in neon letters. He decides to fight for it. Making stabbing motions with his gloved hand, he launches into an argument. “You need more than album sales, you need the full rock star package. That’s what I had. I was totally eccentric and lived in a big mansion filled with bizarre mementoes. And I was as famous for my hot moves as my singing. Now that’s a rock star.” He does a quick moonwalk on the pavement to demonstrate.
Elvis (for it is he) replies: “You’re a mime?”
The other man is furious. “I am not a mime.”
“That ‘dance’ is jes’ lesson one, normal walking, for any mime. And that white face. Ah jes’ thought….”
“I am the total rock star package,” the thin one repeats.
Elvis puts down his watering can. “Ah had all that stuff too. Mah mansion was called Graceland. And mah dancing was so hot they weren’t allowed to show mah hips on TV. So ah think ah’ll jes’ keep mah title if you don’t mind.”
The thin man is determined now, and he isn’t giving up without a fight. “The mansion and the cool moves were just the start. The main thing is that you gotta be baaad, know what I’m saying? I always talked about moral values, but wasted my fortune on junk. I was worth a billion dollars and ended up owing people money. Ah spent four million dollars just on statues.”
Elvis, 42, replies: “Ah did ‘xactly the same thing. Wasted a huge fortune on junk. Maybe me and you is twins.”
The newcomer, 50, is clearly taken aback. “I’m sure I was badder than you,” he insists, although he is starting to sound unsure of himself. “I was addicted to drugs. My favourite was Demerol. When I died, first they said it was a heart attack, and then they said it was probably Demerol.”
Elvis scratches his head. “Now that’s weird. Ah was also addicted to drugs. When Ah died, they said it was a heart attack, and then they blamed Demerol. Ah died jus’ before startin’ a new concert series.”
“So did I,” says the thin man. “But I’m telling you, there was no way you were as bad as I was. I got in trouble over my interest in underage fans. Now that’s really baaaad.”
Elvis shakes his head. “Sorry, mistah, you ain’t badder than me. Ah also liked the young ones. Ask a 14-year-old gal called Priscilla. Check out mah biographies.” The King tilts his head to one side and looks puzzled. “But there’s one thing ah’m suspicious of. Pop stars are usually good lookin’. I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but you are one mighty weird-looking fella.”
The thin man nods sadly. “Yeah. I used to be young and freshfaced and nice-looking. But I lost my looks as I got older. It was my own fault.”
Elvis nods. “Same story with me. Ah had ever’thing in life when ah was alive, ‘xcept for one thing: a buddy.”
The newcomer agrees. “Me too. Wanna drink?”
“Can we get Demerol round here?”
Elvis puts his arm around the thin man’s shoulders. “Buddy, we’re in heaven now. You don’t need it.”