Wednesday, October 8, 2008

PlainOleMike's Nine Rings of Hell-ular

The other day, I had a friend tell me to go to Hell. He didn't mean it, there was no urging me to book a trip on Expedia or anything, it was all just good natured ribbing, but even so, it got me thinking. What is Hell? There's hundreds of literary and Hollywood versions of it. Meet Joe Black, Family Guy, Bill and Ted, South Park, The Marquis de Sade, sitting through all fourteen hours that were Steven Speilburg's A.I. However, the grand-daddy of all that is the underworld comes from "The Divine Comedy." The classic version of Satan's rumpus room.

That grand old chap Dante made himself all famous simply for writing about Hell. Dante envisioned the land of H, E, double hockey sticks as a big funnel extending down into the center of the Earth, kind o flike a giant beer bong with burning flesh and tortured souls instead of the frosty brew and scantily clad co-eds. If Dante were MapQuest, he'd probably direct you to Jerusalem or there abouts to start your Netherworld treasure map, personally, I'm pretty certain he's off my a few thousand kilometers. My best guess is that the eternal lava pits are simmering just to the left of Washington.

Dante's beer bong is made up of nine circles, with that I can agree,but I don't think Dante had Mr. Orwell's eye for the future. I don'tt hink he fully thought out the multitude of future sins the human race would come up with. He had this part right, the first circle is the widest and they get smaller and smaller, less and less crowded until the ninth circle, which is a little tiny room, kind of like TheUnderworld's half bath. Dante and all the subsequent Dantephiles and Danteholics that supported his visions over the years needed a pair of fresh eyes, therefore, I've taken it upon myself to revamp Hell. This is a Hell for the modern world.

1st circle: Limbo. In Dante's brain, Limbo is for the folks who never found God, the ignorant; the unbaptized, savages, Carrot Top, and the like. Other than Mr. Top, who has punished all of us quite enough, I don't reallybelieve these folks deserve Hell. Instead, Limbo is for those that have committed lesser crimes, they won't necessarily burn in the eternal fires, but their seat is uncomfortably close. Limbo's population will be made up of people who wear pants you can easily fit three or four people into, parents who let their preteen daughters dress like extras from "Betty Jo is a Filthy Filthy Whore: The Musical," and celebrities that incite people to ask, "why is this person famous, and why won't they go away?" Also down there, in the forever limbo (which by the way does have an all Harry Belafonte all the time soundtrack) will be PeOpLe WhO TyPe LiKe ThIs, anyone who tears articles out of waiting room magazines, and every single beingthat has ever uttered the words, "would you like to take part in a short one to two minute telephone survey?"

Sure, you have rapists, murderers, little boy diddling clergymen, crack dealers, Michael Jackson, and all their ilk. I'm not going tof orget about them. Let's just go ahead and throw them into Hell's urinal right now, go ahead and assume these people are damned to an afterlife of eternal swirlie. These folks go without saying, my concern, though, is the remaining eight Hellevels. Like one of those freakishly limber Gong Show contestants with nineteen hula hoops, Hell has more rings we need to discuss.

2nd circle: This is the merely uncomfortable level. This is the level of eternal smacks across the face. Never ending sting of the cheek. Ring number two is reserved solely for souls that encounter cell phone static and ask their conversation partner (fully expecting a laugh)"can you hear me now?" Enough. Ring two may not be deep, but no one will hear you, except Satan's minions who will slap the crap out of you. Your comaptriots: people who over spout Saturday Night Live catch phrases. They will be seated in a slightly disagreeable chair next to you.

3rd circle: Every single time I go to the grocery store I see future residents of this very special ring. These are the people who, at insane volume levels, have one very loud side of a conversation on their cell phones for every one around them to hear. These people, since they lack the gene that controls discretion will be forced to parade naked in front of Howard Stern (oh come on, you know he'll be down there) for all eternity. Howie and his boys will teach you the lesson of keeping it to yourself by broadcasting your flaws and faults to all of the afterlife. In the 3 ring convoy will be the folks sneaking sixty eight items into the express lane and that moron who can't figure out the self check out, but insists on getting to it just before me.

4th circle: Living it up in Fourthringville will be all the people who use the Nextel BOOOODOOOP walkie talkie phones in public places. Again the grocers, the mall, the gas station, the bus, the train... Could Nextel have come up with a more obnoxious sound? I can't watch that scene in Dumb and Dumber anymore without expecting Jim Carey to pull out his mobile phone. It's okay, you'll have people to talk to on that level - the guy who decided that you can't control the volumeof the BOOOOOOODOOOOP noise and all of corporate Nextel will be walkie-ing and talkie-ing with you. For all eternity you will be whipped with ham radio antennas while being forced to listen to 1970's big rig CB chatter and watch "Smokey and the Bandit 2" over and over and over and over and over. 10-4?

5th circle: This fifth circle of hell is earmarked for the people who, in very inappropriate places; like church, class, meetings..., forget to turn the ringer off. No, that in itself is not a sin, that's a mistake, a forgetfulness issues, a reason to eat more zinc or carrots or whatever it is that improves memory. The criminals here are those that hear their phones go off in these inappropriate places and let them ring and ring and ring and ring. Sure, sometimes they give a sheepish, apologetic smile, but do they get off their butts and make it so we don't have to hear a synthesized cell phone version of "Holla Back Girl?" No, they do not. So, they will be drafted into Hell's marching band, where they will perform cell phone beeping button versions of Journey's greatest hits until their thumbs are numb, then they get to start in on the REO Speedwagon catalog. Roommates: people who are still doing impressions of or quoting Napolean Dynamite or Austin Powers and the actual Napolean Dynamite.

6th circle: This is a personal vendetta ring. Anyone who has answered a cell phone during a face to face conversation with me. This has happened countless times: at the book store register while I was cashiering, while I was talking to a table I was waiting on, the bank teller even did it to me once, my own friends have done it during dinner at restaurants... I've seen it happen in church, and it even happened during a parent/teacher conference the other day. It is a vicious, indescribably rude act. Due to the high instance of this sin being committed at dining establishments, these folks will spend the after life eating waiter-spit-soup in the company of people who don't hold elevator doors and those that leave their pets in the car during summer.

7th circle: It's quite passe to be vindictive against people who talk on the phone while they drive, and I myself am guilty of it, so I don't reserve this circle for just any driving phone talkers; this is for the people who are actually distracted enough by the telephone to have it cause safety issues. If you're alone, chat away, but if there are any of the following things taking place, welcome to level 7: kids in the car with you, you're a teenager talking to other teenagers who are also driving, you have a hamburger in the other hand, you are talking to someone that is actually in the car with you, you are within ten miles of home, you have caused an accident in the past, or you are applying make-up and/or shaving. Your hell will be equipped with crash test dummy driven vehicles repeatedly smashing into your cellphone talking ass while they endlessly sing, in their metallic robot voices, the chorus of the Crash Test Dummies song, "Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm." Extra volume on the song for thosewho A. Palm Pilot with that stupid little pen or B. Text with that incessant thumb typing while piloting a motor vehicle.

8th circle: A special table for a select few. Everyone here will inexplicably have their cell phone clipped to their belt. Why they don't move it mere millimeters into pocketland, no one can comprehend. Who could possibly be calling that needs your attention milliseconds quicker than a hand into pocket maneuver takes? Since these folks think they're some sort of modern day communication device gunslingers, their forever will be spent with PDA styluses under their fingernails, ridden by spur wearing cowpokes, and being constantly antagonized by rodeo clowns. Along for the rodeo will be any one that wears a beret (non-military) and most of the four AM Denny's customers.

9th circle: This is it, this is the big boy. This is reserved for the utmost of utmost sins. The pickings will be slim, but the tortured souls wandering this level for the hereafter will be people who, when they are not actually talking on the phone, wear the hands free headset or the "Blue Tooth" into completely unnecessary situations. If you keep the ear piece in during youth sporting events, church, walking around stores, or the biggest sin I've yet witnessed, into the movie theater, you will take the elevator down and hit the big round number nine. Hell will not be a picnic for you, so leave your basket behind. You'll be greeted each morning with an army of failed dental assistants who will spend the day shoving inappropriate things into your ear; like cats, your elbow, and Austrian pop star Falco. Your dance partner will be Simon from American Idol and those pseudo-Christian nut jobs from The AmazingRace.

Dante was a fine writer, a creative man, and a wee bit on this side of wacky. He had the right idea, but he needed himself a flux capacitor and a glimpse of the future to see the real crimes against humanity. If you, yourself, are guilty of any of these sins, do yourself a favor, repent. Say a couple of Hail Marys, knock off a few Lord'sPrayers, maybe even recite that Crash Test Dummies song for good measure, there is still hope for you. Can you hear me now?

If you liked this one, throw a vote my way for Humor Blogger of the Year over at Please.


HappyHourSue said...

That was hilarious - may they all burn in Mike's hell.

Qelqoth said...

I loved this post but I must say - telemarketers are on a par with bluetooth wearing yuppies. I say burn them all in a sea of their own irreverence!

eve cleveland said...

Hilarious!!!!! I love it and I think Dante needed updating. Why is it that the people who talk the loudest have the most boring conversations? I don't want to hear them, but I can't tune them out. You should send this to Esquire or The New Yorker.

Preston said...

I agree with everything but the belt thing! I already keep my wallet in my front pocket and my cell phone, albeit slim, isn't slim enough to prevent another bulge. I've got enough bulges going on down there, I don't need another, thank you very much. I'll keep it safely restrained to my belt rather than banging against my leg every time I walk or run. (I won't even comment further on that)

PlainOleMike said...

Q - telemarketers get their own hell.

Preston - You must have one of those George Costanza wallets. You have a good reason, so I'll pardon you for your transgresssions - however, those who use cellphone on belt as a fashion statement.... let them be damned.

OK, Crazy said...


I agree with all of it.

"PeOpLe WhO TyPe LiKe ThIs" YES!

"people who use the Nextel BOOOODOOOP walkie talkie phones in public places" DOUBLE YES

"Everyone here will inexplicably have their cell phone clipped to their belt. Why they don't move it mere millimeters into pocketland, no one can comprehend." I HATE THEM!

Great job!

Jamie said...

I am pretty sure you are right..those are the people going. I HATE when someone gets up on my shit in line (is crwding me as I pay) while they talk loud on their cell phone...burn baby BURN!

Always Home and Uncool said...

Considering Falco's been dead for a few years, would that make him easier or harder to insert in one's ear?

Dang Bluetooth ear dildos.

Bill said...

Amazing piece of writing! I don't even own a cell so have nothing to feel guilty about. (When it comes to phones, anyway :>) Off to stumble - excellent job Mike!

Hedon said...

OMG Mike!

That there is an exquisite piece of writing! I read the Divine Comedy twice and Dante has nothing at all on your version of hell.

What about the retards that receive a phone call while driving right in front of my loaded semi -- in heavy traffic no less -- and simply take their foot off the fuel while looking for the phone? You find a real special section for them and I'll start sending them your way at once.

Again, really great post!

Bill said...

Mike - go to

Your post is featured but when I clicked the link,it says Page not Available At Your Blog ( notiicatin is from Blogger). Dont know if you can fix it, but you're missing some good traffic.

Janna said...

I agree with almost everything... though I must humbly admit that I am guilty of texting while driving.

So I guess I'm getting a ticket to the 7th circle.

Can I go to Limbo instead, if I promise to taunt Carrot Top?

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