The marvelous but little known Christopher Hitchens deathbed conversion
For immediate release: Deadly Bread
(ACPA-Houston, TX) It's official: iconoclast and famous atheist Christopher Hitchens had a last minute deathbed conversion. "It was quite a site to see it happen right there in front of us," said Doctor Stephen Morton, a specialist at a Houston area hospice where Hitchens fought against a deadly illness.
Hitchens, known for anti-theist books and an excellent command of the English language, became seriously ill after eating a piece of toast containing an image of the Virgin Mary. "The silliness of it all was rather overwhelming so I bought it on eBay and ate it," Hitchens explained to a fellow patient, who later admitted to being an undercover reporter from the obscure publication Interior Design Magazine. "Unfortunately, too many people had handled the crusty relic and within a few hours I was retching. Now I'm at death's door from the not so miraculous toast."
Hitchens' unexpected and surprising conversion took place over two days and started shortly after hospital Pastor Rob Larkin paid a courtesy visit to the famous non-believer. "The poor chap," said Hitchens, "they didn't have a decent place for him to sit and I didn't want to eviscerate the fellow's nonsensical superstitious beliefs without at least offering him a chair. I'm an Englishman after all. So what could I do but have a conversion?"
Described as Georgian style with postmodern touches to round off the classical edges, the death bed conversion was completed with enthusiastic help from other patients and the night-shift staff. It includes comfortable seating for 4 visitors, a built in 42-inch LCD TV, microwave and a well-stocked mini-bar. "Yes, I know I shouldn't," said Hitchens, "but you only live once, no really you idiot, just once."
While staff and other patients raved about the conversion, hospital administrators were not too pleased. "Yes, we regularly have deathbed conversions in the hospice," sighed administrator Phil Livingston, "but it's usually subtle, maybe a plastic cup-holder or two, a mat for slippers, nothing like this."
Interior Design Magazine, expected to win a Pulitzer for breaking the story, finished on a cautionary note. "Hitchens was clearly invigorated after his conversion, but we think he might have started to annoy other patients with his continuous pushing that they needed to convert too."
In fact, his last words are reputed to be, "Excuse me, my dear fellow, can I interest you in a leaflet about how to proceed with a deathbed conversion?"
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