Warning in advance (unfortunate, but necessary I suppose): if you get all offended by jokes involving religion (even though this is pretty tame)... hit "back" on your browser right about... NOW. =============================================== As a good Christian, every night when John went to bed, he knelt down and said his prayers. Tonight was no different. "Dear Lord...", he began. To his utter shock, there was a blinding flash that filled the room, and when he looked up, he was stunned to see an angel standing in front of him. "Hello John", his voice boomed. "What? You're an Angel!!!?", John stammered. "Yes, I am the Archangel Gabriel, the highest among the angels! I am the messenger of The Almighty and I bring glad tidings to you John, from God himself!!!", the angel replied. "For Me?", said John, "Why me? I am a poor sinner!" "Every man is a sinner John", replied Gabriel, "but the Lord thinks you have the potential to join us one day. You're on the right path, so when he sees people like that, we have to make sure they aren't swayed from the righteous way. That's why I'm here". John was delighted. "You really think so? You think I can make it into heaven?", he asked excitedly. "I hope so, John. However, we have a little problem. I see you're still into the Home Theatre thing". "That's a problem? Really? Why?" "Well John, the Home Theatre isn't the issue in itself. It's more... well, let's just say there's entirely too many movies in your collection featuring Angelina Jolie, and we both know that's not because you're a fan of her acting, don't we?" "But I am, Lord", John nervously replied. "Come on John, remember... God knows everything. He knows what goes on in your mind. He knows the kind of thoughts you have. Look, you're not greedy, you're not proud. In fact, you're pretty much all clear on the Seven Deadly Sins thing... but Lust... that's what's holding you back. Now, 6 out of 7 is pretty good for most people. But God knows you can do better. You do want to get into heaven don't you?" "Of course I do!" "... well, just take care of the carnal fantasies you have about Angelina, OK? You can do that, can't you?" "I suppose so... ", John replied. "Good. I know you will. You're a good disciple, John, and The Lord takes care of his flock. He saw you were troubled by something though, so that's the other reason I'm here. Tell me what's troubling you. Maybe I can help?" "I don't know Gabriel", John said. "I don't think anyone can help". "John, have you lost your faith so easily? I am the personal representative of The Lord! Whatever it is, I can help. The Lord will know the answer". "Well, if you're sure", replied John, "but don't say I didn't warn you. It's funny you mentioned the Home Theatre stuff. See, I would really like to upgrade my kit". "Hmmm... OK, that's slightly bordering on avarice, but I think seeing as you agreed to dump the Angelina thing, I'll let it slip. So what's the issue?" "Well, it's like this. I really want to get a new DVD player, but I'm scared to. HD-DVD and BluRay are coming really soon now, and I don't want to spend my money on something that'll be replaced soon? If I do buy one of the new ones, which one should I buy? Will there be enough software available to justify it? How long will it take for it to become the standard? And how long will THESE formats last? Will holographic disks be commercially viable in the next 5 years or not? Will they be supported by the big labels, or will they be crushed because of the perceived threat to the new formats? What about my receiver? I want a new one of those too... but should I wait for the lossless soundtracks that come with the new HD formats? Will there be something even better in whatever comes after this coming generation? What about DVD-Audio and SACD, are they just stop-gaps until something better comes along? Are we even going to have disks in the future, or will it all be stored on my computer hard drive? It's all so confusing Gabriel, I don't know what to do! I need to know what's going to happen, Gabriel... can the Lord help me?" Gabriel stood in silence, absorbing all the information. "Gabriel?", John finally said. "Yes John, I got all of that. Look, all this is a little beyond me, if you give me a second though... I'll go and ask the Lord himself. But remember... no Angelina while I'm gone, OK?". Before John could speak, there was another blinding flash of light, and Gabriel was gone. John waited. Two minutes later, there was another blinding flash of light, only this time, trumpets sounded, night became day and instead of Gabriel, there was only a thunderous voice that made John's subwoofer sound like a tweeter on a 10 quid Dixons speaker. "I am God!" it boomed, as John fell to his knees in terror. "Do not be afraid, my son!" John finally found his voice. "Father! You have come to me! I knew you could help me! What does the future hold for my system?! Should I upgrade or should I wait? Show me the way, Lord, please..." There was silence, before the Almighty finally replied... "OK, final offer: Angelina in a jacuzzi, and I'll throw in Charlize Theron for a threesome. Take it or leave it. Amen."