Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Yesterday, I died of ennui and prepared myself to ascend to the heavenly realms once more. This time, however, a gulf opened beneath me and swallowed me. I tumbled down for about 4 feet and banged my chin on a pipe.

An adder walked up to me and said "Howdy y'all" in a rolling Texan drawl. The creature informed me that I had descended to the chthonic planes, and that I would be tortured for exactly half of eternity as punishment for sins that I had committed in life.

I explained that I had eschewed evil for all of my days and had never indulged any solitary pleasures, but the adder produced a notebook from its sporran and read a list of sins. These were:

1. Staining an oven glove as a youth.
2. Drinking brine.
3. Unflatteringly mimicking Tim Curry.
4. Making light of a cripple.
5. Buying Kerplunk from a self-help guru.
6. Twelve counts of mur...

...and so it went on, each instance with a date and time that seemed to ineluctably incriminate me. I began to weep as the adder sniggered at my misfortune, and led me by the hand down a set of stairs, where I was met by various criminals and villains throughout history. Among them were Bill Sykes, Moriarty, Al Capone, Attila the Hun, Jack the Ripper, Dennis Norden, Dr. Crippen, and Skeletor.

They welcomed me to their gang, then warned me that daily punishment was about to commence. A troop of imps appeared from unseen alcoves and pelted us with bat guano for several minutes, then pinched our flesh with clothespegs and crocodile clips.

The adder held out his hand to indicate that the demons should desist their torments. He fumbled with his notes, blushed, and told me that there had been a bureacratic error, and that I wasn't due to die for several years yet.

I awoke in bed this morning feeling cheerful and gay. I did not like hell, and will refrain from toying with death from now on, lest I descend there a second time.

No comments: