Saturday, September 14, 2013

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

               Or. . .The Divine Travesty

On my summer vacation, I went straight to. . .well, it was the Pastor's idea, actually. He thought that maybe if a group of us visited Hell, we would be more fervent in evangelism. Car-pooling was Sister Samantha's idea, though one wiseacre suggested we could go in a handbasket. Cute.

It doesn't take long to get there--especially in a car full of screaming children--so we quickly reached the outskirts, a frenzy of freeways, smoke-stacks, and everlasting road construction. At first, we thought it was Chicago.

We drove through a maze of slums and suburbs until we reached the Motel Six-Sixty-Six at Sulphur Springs. Our agent had booked us on the economy plan.

Since the next day was Sunday, we looked around for a church. No problemo. Hell has every denomination you can think of. So we picked a place that was serving brunch. The service was long and boring, and although God's name came up in songs and liturgy, no one seemed to know much about Him. It wasn't really all that different from back home.

Monday, we toured the correctional facility at Pitchfork Falls.

Walking down the long linoleum corridor, we heard a hideous screaming. When we came to the first open doorway, I thought the flickering lights were flames, but then I realized the room was filled with projectors casting ghoulish, strobing images on the walls and the faces of the damned--fuzzy, distorted images of palm trees, tropical sunsets, and water-skiers.

"Have no pity, " said the tour guide. "In their lifetime, these wretches lured innocent victims into their homes and subjected them to endless vacation slide shows."

The next room was filled with radios--hundreds of them--all screeching at full volume, while tormented souls writhed to the wail of rock, rap, and sports-casting. In life, they had played blaring boom boxes outdoors on quiet residential streets. Oh, if only they could go back and undo their wrongs. 

On second thought, naaaaa.

We saw room after room of agony and pain. In one, former ministers sat chained to hard benches listening to scatter-shot sermons that never came to a point. My husband squirmed when he saw men sitting for hours in buckets of ice water. Their crime? Leaving the toilet seat up. And when I saw those poor disfigured women branded with bar codes, I vowed never again to shop at a discount store without making sure each item in my cart has a price on it.

They were all there--dishonest auto mechanics, telephone solicitors, check-bouncing Congressmen, and the tech support people that leave you on hold for eternity. There is a God, and He's mad.

I don't think we're going back next year. It's getting too touristy and practically everybody goes there for the summer. But we've got some great slides of the trip, if you'd care to flip the light switch.

Well, on second thought, let's skip the slides.

DISCLAIMER: This piece was written just in fun. No actual theological doctrines were harmed in the writing of this parody of Dante's Inferno, Volume One of The Divine Comedy. 

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