It came as a great shock to Dr Gareth Priscott, Professor of Literature at a prestigious university, to discover upon entering Heaven that he had never heard of the greatest novel ever written.
“Put it this way,” said Archangel Michael, “I’ll give you another example: Wuthering Heights would never have seen the light of day if Charlotte Bronte had not pushed for her sister’s novel to be published.”
“But surely,” said the Professor, “Providence in all the great scheme of things, would not have allowed such a masterpiece to be lost from human endeavour.”
“I’d like you to meet Mrs Jocelyn McLeod, mother of six, homemaker, and part-time secretary to a refuse collection agency, whose novel, Onion Fingers in the Deep Fryer, is regarded in heavenly circles as the greatest novel ever written in any language.”
“I’d love to read it,” said Professor Priscott.
“You can’t,” said Archangel Michael. “It was never published, and her husband threw out the manuscript when clearing things up after her death.”
“But surely Heaven saved the masterpiece for all time,” said the Professor.
“Humanity must look after humanity,” said the Archangel. “We can’t be mopping up after every foolish human foible. Humanity must take responsibility for humanity.”
And that was that.