It's Not What You Know

by George and Eileen Anderson

Success in life all boils down to just a few short rules.
It's clever folk who follow them; the rest are simply fools.
For instance, ev'ry business man, they'll each one say the same:
It's not what you know, but who you know that helps you win the game.

...Which calls to mind a dream I had, where I'd been and gone and died,
And there I stood at the pearly gates, somewhere on the Other Side.
So, bold as brass I spoke right up: 'St. Peter, here I am!'
'Not so fast,' said he, 'We'll have to see how you fare in the exam.'
He sat me down at a little desk and showed me what to do,
While a horrible smell that came straight from Hell meant Old Nick was watching, too.
There was page after page of these questions; I could see the test would be tough.
'Ev'ry question has to be answered; just a tick here and there's not enough.'

I struggled on for hours, it seemed, and answered ev'ry one,
Then gave the papers to St. Pete to see how I had done.
St. Peter and the Devil stood there adding up the score
And ev'ry answer I'd got wrong - I could've sunk right through the floor.
St. Peter tugged hard at his beard; the old bloke looked quite glum,
While Satan grinned and jabbed his sharpened pitchfork in my ... back.

'I'm really very sorry,' said St. Peter with a frown,
'You've failed the test; you can't get in; you'll have to go straight down.'
He turned away with no more to say. I was bathed in perspiration.
But as Old Nick came near, despite my fear, I'd a flash of inspiration.
Quick as a wink those papers I grabbed, and ripped them up like so,
'Cause I'd just remembered the cardinal rule: 'it isn't what you know...'
Then I yelled, at the top of my voice, and it cut like a two-edged sword,
And the papers burned up and the Devil fell back as I shouted one word: 'Lord!'
With never a pause, His voice rang out; the pearly gates swung open wide,
While I took to my heels and didn't stop, till I was safe and sound inside.

Now, as real as it seemed, it was something I dreamed, like you dream things ev'ry night.
But it's worth you heeding the warning, though you've got ev'ry last doctrine right.
So whether you're clever or just plain dumb, take a bit of advice from a friend:
It's not what you know, but who you know that settles your fate in the end.

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