After yelling 'This beer and wine list sucks!" in the main dining room of "The First Supper", the greatest restaurant in all of heaven and the entire solar system, beverage director Jeremiah James Henderson, 32, was suspended for five working days by his boss, God, 4,569,269,007.
Henderson, who landed the prestigious job just a week ago after a relatively brief stint on the much-maligned, though extremely promising planet Earth, said the restaurant's chef, Georges Auguste Escoffier, was "too damn slow" in implementing his new beverage and food pairing suggestions. Henderson let this be known in the middle of Friday night service at the 667 star Michelin restaurant on the Southside of Heaven that serves only 250,000 fortunate diners a night.
"Look, kid, these old farts are still using a wine, booze and beer list curated by Dionysus and Bacchus,' said Henderson with his infectious. but mischievously boyish smile. "Dionysus was good. Bacchus, too.. In their time, kiddo. In their time. Things have changed. Hell, they are still have Olde Babylon 800 in cans, for god's sake. They're still pouring the Battle of Arbela Syrah, Alexander the Great Vineyard, 331 b.c. by the glass. Even Alexander himself thought that shit was way too tannic. Duder, in five or six centuries no one will be drinking red wine, anyway. Plus, God has his kid running the place and he's never there "
That "kid", General Manager Jesus Christ, 2014, who critics also say is rarely at his restaurant, preferring to travel and promote his own brands and self-help books, was reached in East Saturn where he is opening a branch of the popular "La Buffet 'd Jesus Christ." chain.
"Jeremiah? I love that guy," said Christ, a carpenter by trade. "A week in and i love him. He's got the fire. But, maybe a week off might chill him down a bit. Look, I wouldn't have hired him if he didn't have the passion. And do you have any idea how many "somms" come to heaven and tell me or John the Baptist they know all about wine, booze, beer and shit? But, Jeremiah, he did know. But, he also knew not to take it too seriously.."
However, Christ said it wasn't the vast food and beverage knowledge that convinced him to hire Henderson, but rather a particular correspondence with an Earthling.
"In key positions here, before I take on anyone, I like to talk to the family and friends of the potential hire from their previous world," said Christ who grew up in a small town on Earth without a "normal" father. "So i talked to Jeremiah's father, cat named River Rock Mike, He told me something that I thought was so moving, so soulful. He told me that his son 'Jeremy wasn't bigger than life. He made the lives of others bigger.'
"I heard that and I told our host, St. Peter 'That JJ guy ever come up in here and I'm on tour, hire him on the spot. You feel me, Pete?' That's why we hired him. Because of what his father said. Not because he could blind identify a 149,000,047 B.C. Screaming Pterodactyl."
But, after three days on the job, Henderson began to clash with Escoffier and chef de cuisine Fernand Point over the future direction of The First Supper's food and beverage parings. Jeremiah was urging the kitchen to incorporate more Thai and Vietnamese dishes on the menu, food he knew matched well with wines and beers he loved. That didn't go over well. Monday night, Jeremiah took a 10 and had a martini with a bleu cheese-stuffed olive backed with a tumbler of garage-made California Apple cider he had brought with him from Earth. He then returned to the dining room and let it rip.
After being suspended during service, Henderson stormed out of the restaurant and went to a hill overlooking the entire world and sat on a lone chair arranged to appreciate the view. A reporter caught up with him. Henderson rose from the chair. He started getting nostalgic for his previous jobs, all of them on Earth, which looked so little, so fragile, yet so damn achingly beautiful on this heavenly night. Henderson took off his L.A, Kings cap and wiped his brow with the back of his wrist. He sniffled a few times and his eyes grew as shiny as the stars when he wondered aloud what his family and his beloved crew were doing. He even lamented leaving so soon.
"I wonder if they're missing me. You think they miss me, bud?"
The reporter assured them they did indeed. "Very much so. More than you know."
Henderson pointed to the now-vacant chair. "My crew used to make fun of me because I was always late. They'd send me pictures of an empty chair like that one and say I was there in spirit. Sweet, huh?"
"Earth gets a bad rap lotta the times, but when it's on, bud, when it's on, no place in the universe can beat it. One time, I had the crew dancing to James Brown on a hardwood floor in their stocking feet, sliding around and jumping on the bed like we was five-years-old. Pure, unfiltered, unrestrained joy. Get on up!" I'll always remember that. Get on up!"
The reporter asked if Henderson was concerned when he came back to work in a week that would still have his job at The First Supper.
"I'm not worried at all," said Henderson as he gazed off at Mount Olympus. "But, either way, it's bool. I hear Zeus is hiring. Yowza!"
Then Jeremiah Henderson looked even further away. Off at galaxies so distant they don't even have formal names. "Maybe I'll just go traveling. Rock a few casbahs. Hey, kid, you know the best part about traveling?"
The reporter thought about that for awhile, then said 'No. What?'
This story was reported by Mike Henderson, Taylor Grant, Kate Baratta, Alexis S. Kozac, Gary Alan (who is often mistakenly called Alan Gary), Bethany Walls, Jared Hooper, Adam Vourvoulis, Verona Masongsong, Daniel Flores, Kim Trac, Rachel Kerswell, Matthew Kaner and Kate Green. It was written by Morty Goldstein, Jr.
Twitter nom is @makmak47