by Michael Pilla
Scene: A large, dark wood paneled executive office decorated in the style of the 1930’s. Sitting behind an intricately carved desk, an impeccably dressed middle-aged gentleman with a pencil thin mustache and a slightly annoyed look on his face is reading a report when he is interrupted by the intercom.
Executive, impatiently: Yes
Sexy female voice from intercom: Excuse me Sir. Jerry from the fourth ring is here….”
Executive: Send him in.
Like most people, Jerry is a little nervous about bringing the boss bad news. He has more reason than most. The man behind the desk is Satan, Jerry is one of his foremen. A minor demon, he’s a soul who’s been around so long that he was finally given a job — managing the Fourth Ring of Hell. Just for fun, Satan has given Jerry the demeanor of a blue collar worker from Passaic, NJ.
Jerry: Pardon me Your Demonic Majesty, Sir.
Executive/Satan: Yes. Well, what is it? I understand you have a complaint…?!
Jerry: No, no —not a complain, not a complaint Your Devil-ness, no…but we definitely have a, ah….situation down at the Ring. As you know, we’ve had an influx of souls from, shall we say, the world of finance and — and ah well all those Alpha Males, they’ve organized and’ve come up with a list of demands.
Executive/Satan: DEMANDS?! Well, now that I think of it that’s the way I started, reminds me of me…What do they want?
Jerry: First, they keep asking about the “Wages of Sin.”
Executive/Satan :They do know that’s only an expression don’t they,…
Jerry: Well, you know, Bean Counters your Bad Assness, they tend to be very literal…. They’re complaining about the distribution of wealth. Since they did most of the damage up there, they don’t think it’s fair that most of the spoils of all that evil is controlled by the top 1% of the demons down here.
Executive/Satan: Guess they’re not so good with irony either.
So let them complain. They’re in Hell!, they’re supposed to be miserable…
Jerry: That’s the other issue, Oh Prince-o-Darkness, sir….
They’re not THAT upset about being here. They see the fact that they’re here as proof that they were, pardon my French, “Real Pricks’s”up there so to speak. They’re kinda proud of themselves and even compete with each other—who can endure the most whippings, who can wade through the deep end of the lava pool the longest, who can eat the most frozen pizza…and so forth.
They’e also demanding improvements to the infrastructure. You more than anyone would have to admit that this place HAS been around forever.
Executive/Satan: Actually a little before forever…you should have seen it the day we fell in…
Jerry: They’re demanding bigger Sulphur Pits to ease over crowding, a separate Ring for Derivative Traders, a Suggestion Box…
Executive/Satan: A Suggestion Box?!!
Jerry: Apparently some of them worked in reality TV and have creative ideas about torture.
Executive/Satan: We need to wrap this up, I’m already late for my weekly meeting at Fox News. What do you suggest we do.
Jerry: Forgive me, Source of all Evilness, Sir, but all the usual Medieval stuff ain’t workin’on these guys. They were all raised on Wes Craven movies.
Executive/Satan, shuddering: Some of that stuff keeps ME up at nights
Jerry: We need to think out “cavern”as it were on this one, Chief. I suggest we go JPS on their asses.
Jerry: You know, John Paul Sartre, the a French existentialist philosopher, writer, and political activist, who proposed that Hell was other people and that the afterlife doesn’t exist…
Executive/Satan: The afterlife doesn’t exist. Satan chuckles sarcastically to himself
Remember how surprised he was when he got here? Had lunch with him the other day…he was delicious.
Jerry: Anyways, as I was saying—we go all JSP on them—put them up in cheap hotels, give them fast food joints with very bad service…and, and domestic beer, and give them economy cars with no extras and constant traffic jams… Or, of course, we can just move them all to Peoria.
Executive/Satan: Hmmm..Peoria. Satan says thoughtfully with a smirk.
Jerry, how would you like to manage the Third Ring….