Of course, I know many fine rich people,” the Governor said, perhaps thinking of his campaign contributors. “But most of them are like a rich old feller I know down in Plaquemines Parish, who died one night and never done nobody no good in his life, and yet, when the Devil come to get him, he took an appeal to St. Peter.
“’I done some good things on earth,’ he said. ‘Once, on a cold day in about 1913, I gave a blind man a nickel.’ St. Peter looked all through the records, and at last, on page four hundred and seventy-one, he found the entry. ‘That ain’t enough to make up for a misspent life,’ he said. ‘But, wait,’ the rich man says. ‘Now I remember, in 1922 I give five cents to a poor widow woman that had no carfare.’ St. Peter’s clerk checked the book again, and on page thirteen hundred and seventy-one, after pages and pages of this old stump-wormer loan-sharked the poor, he found the record of that nickel.
“’That ain’t neither enough,’ St. Peter said. But the mean old thing yelled, ‘Don’t, sentence me yet. In about 1931 I give a nickel to the Red Cross.’ The clerk found that entry, too. So he said to St. Peter, ‘Your Honor, what are we going to do with him?’”
The crowd hung on Uncle Earl’s lips the way the bugs hovered in the light.
“You know what St. Peter said?” The Governor, the only one in the courthouse square who knew the answer, asked. There was, naturally, no reply.
“He said: ‘Give that man back his fifteen cents and tell him to go to Hell.
A.J. Liebling, The Earl of Louisiana