So, which circle of hell do I belong in?
It’s actually really hard to tell, as I qualify for quite a few.
Firstly, hell has a vestibule, and no, while that does sound like a handy place for sinners to leave their coats and umbrellas, there’s a load of people running about in there instead. It’s for people who we uncommitted, fence sitters, forced to chase the banner of self interest whilst being stung by wasps and hornets. I’ve sat on the fence a few times. I could go there, but wait, there’s more.
Over the river Acheron and we are into the Hell proper, and the first circle in Limbo. I can’t stay there as I was baptised, and so even though I’m an atheist, I don’t think they’d let me stay.
The second circle is lust. I could stay there, especially as Lancelot, Paris, and lots of other hot guys from history are there. Although, there is apparently some kind of hurricane permanently going on, and my hair is frizzy at the best of times, so maybe not.
Th third circle is for gluttons. Yeah, I have been known to eat a whole packet of biscuits whilst laying in the bath. However, this circle is permanently raining, and muddy. Sounds a lot like Scotland, except for the face Cerberus is there and likes to bite and tear his chubby sinner pals, so maybe not.
The fourth circle is for the spenders and misers. They are stuck rolling big rocks at each other for all eternity, like the worst P.E class with medicine balls ever. I have been a spender. There have been times I’ve needed a lay down and cup of tea after opening a credit card bill, but I’m better than I was, so I won’t be stopping. Famous residents would include Ebeneezer Scrooge, if he hadn’t repented, were real, and didn’t post-date Dante.
The fifth circle is anger, people fighting each other in a swampy marsh. That’s not the place for me. My temper is short-lived and not very fierce, like trying to light a damp firework, so moving swiftly on.
The sixth circle is definitely one for me, it’s heretic city. It’s one big cemetery, where the dead are permanently stuck in graves, as they believed there was nothing more than the grave after death.
The seventh circle has three layers, like some kind of demonic mall. The outer is for the violently evil, and is full of boiling blood and fire. The middle is for suicides and profligates, and is really quite bleak. Suicides are transformed into thorny bushes, that harpies feed from. If you break a twig off of one, it hurts the person. The profligates run about the trees, being chased by ferocious dogs. The inner ring is where we have people who were violent against God (blasphemers) and violent against nature (sodomites). I find this the most ludicrous of all the rings, as free speech and free love don’t seem like a problem, not to mention how is that a more serious circle of hell than the violent or the profligate? Profligates light cigars with money and burn down houses for something to do.
The eighth circle is all kinds of fraud. It is divided into ten bolgie (stone ditches with bridges between each one) and in these ten sections we have areas for seducers, astrologers, politicians, sorcerers, imposters, hypocrites, and basically lots of people whose pants are on fire. In the flatterers bolgia, they are literally drowning in human poo. Yuk.
The ninth circle is the crown of it all. It is separated into four rounds, and it’s all about treachery and traitors, so all the big big names are there, Cain, Mordred, Judas, etc. You know, the kind of people that make good heavy metal band names.
At the centre of the rings is a big three-headed Satan, in one mouth he has Cassius, in another Brutus, and in the last, Judas Iscariot. I kind of wish Dante was still around so he could go through again and tell us where Hitler and Stalin are.
I think as I belong in a few of those circles, I’d need some kind of timetable rotation, but if i had to pick one, I’ll go with the permanent graveyard of atheism. Especially as Eddie Izzard and Stephen Fry would be there, too.