Sunday, April 16, 2006
These guys look like shrunken storm troopers, don’t they? Or bikers who’ve been thumped on the head.
Really, they’re one of the many rings of hell that Dante’s editors wisely took out. Dante used to have 173 ½ (the half was the one bad peanut in an otherwise fine batch), but his editor told him that no college professor would find any significance in this number. And, besides, nine rings could be easily worn on two hands; anything more than ten would be wasteful.
Dante: Oh, you’ve got to leave it in. It’s more torment than any sulphuric eyewash.
Editor: How so?
Dante: Look, I’ve got two kids in the house and these things just appeared. And the kids just whang away at them non-stop.
Dante: So? So, they’re tuned about a half step apart and when the kids go at it, it sounds like a scratched CD skipping on the “dan-ke” of Wayne Newton’s “Danke Schoen.” The live version.
Editor: Now, see? As your editor I’m going to have to point out that this information is way beyond your time. You couldn’t possibly know about it.
Dante: Talk to the hand. The point is, this is true suffering.
Editor: But remember the theme. What sin deserves this torment?
Dante: Procreation! I tell you, it’s the root of all evil.
Editor: You may be a little too close to this matter. Who are you putting in the 112th ring of hell? The procreators, the bells, or the children?
Dante: Oh, uh, the bells, of course. The parents are already being punished.
Editor: And how do you propose the bells to be punished?
Dante: Oh, uh, by having to listen to … Oh. How about if they’re the torment for people who sing along to their iPods in public?
Editor: Getting there. Let’s mark that and set it aside. Now, about those people who insist you eat all the food on your plate and then call you fat in the same breath…