The UK government, faced with crippling rises in ferry fees across the river Styx, has come up with an innovative solution. Britain will become the first nation in history to privatise its Underworld operations and literally create Hell on Earth.
Britain had, since time immemorial, paid a fee of two pennies per soul to Charon, the ferryman of Hades, but a recent renegotiation by Liz Truss has seen prices rise to seven figures.
Ms Asmo Deus, the member for Barnstoneworth, has been selected to head up the newly created Ministry of Eternal Damnation. Next week she will unveil plans for Britain’s first Retribution Centre. It is believed that it will be a 9-ring complex and is set to be built on swampland in Dagenham, currently owned by Robert Jenrick MP.
Ms Deus told us that “The Retribution Centres will bring Hellfire and torment firmly into the 21st Century. Things have changed a great deal since Dante’s day and it is important that we provide modern chastisements for modern misdemeanours. Of course, there will be the traditional scourging and pecking out of eyes – people are entitled to these traditional elements of the afterlife – but we are determined to make the punishments fit the crime. Hell is for eternity, not just for Christmas and we are determined to get things right. Dagenham will host the first of many circles of Hell that are aimed fairly and squarely at the modern sinner. We want to build a Hell Service that is an integral part of Global Britain”
The First Circle of Hell on Earth – Escalators
This will be reserved for people who can’t be bothered to use escalators properly. They will be constantly teased by the imminent arrival of a tube train out of Hell. However, an assortment of fellow dullards, standing still in the right hand lane, will guarantee that they miss it be a few seconds every time.
The Second Circle of Hell on Earth – Pavement Parking
People who park on pavements will be similarly taunted with an unobtainable prospect of an early release. To secure their freedom, they will simply be required to navigate a pram and several bulky bags of shopping through a six-inch gap. Any losses or damages will require the damned to go back to the beginning of the obstacle course.
The Third Circle of Hell on Earth – Sodcasting
Sodcasters will get precisely what they deserve as they are forced to spend eternity in a room full of randomly detuning radios. To focus their minds further, every few minutes a monkey will clap their head twice between a large pair of cymbals whilst saying “Tish-tish now, you little git.”
The Fourth Circle of Hell on Earth – Chewing Gum
Let’s be honest, nobody likes a gum chewer and there are few more deserving of endless torment.
Gum chewers will be surrounded by masticating camels until the end of time and find themselves unable to move because their shoes are gummed to a Wetherspoon’s carpet. If that doesn’t teach them a lesson, nothing will.
The Fifth Circle of Hell – Holiday Photos
People are, generally, polite enough to look at the odd holiday snap, but some wretched souls are only too willing to take advantage of this kindness.
We’ve all been there. “Here’s the missus standing outside a shop. I don’t know what the shop sells because it’s written in Japanese. Here’s the missus standing outside a restaurant. I think it was next door to the shop. Or was it two doors down? Anyway, they sell Japanese food, I think. I’m not sure, we didn’t eat there. Here’s the missus standing by a Japanese phone box. They’re quite useful for phoning people in Japan. Here’s one of the missus standing by a tree. It’s a Japanese tree. If you look carefully, you can see Mount Fuji in the background. I know that there are probably a million pictures of Mount Fuji on the internet, some of which are actually in focus, but it’s not the same …”
These people will simply be placed together and armed with mobile phones with inexhaustible batteries. Karma in full effect.
There are also plans to create a sub-circle for people who think it is somehow possible to “do” a country. Whatever that means. They belong together.
The Sixth Circle of Hell on Earth – Power Tools
Nobody buggers up a perfectly good hangover quite like Captain DIY next door. You know it’s eight o’clock on Sunday morning because he starts up his angle-grinder. And he goes on and on and on until it gets dark. You may wonder why there are so many angles in his house and why they need grinding week after week, but mostly you just want his soul to burn for the rest of eternity.
Thankfully, a remedy will be on offer in the DIY circle where Captain DIY and his chums will be forced to confront their deepest fear – a socket-set with a missing socket. It’s tough but it’s fair.
The Seventh Circle of Hell – Pubs
There is, needless to say, nothing whatsoever wrong with pubs, unless Timmy Spoon happens to own them. but some people just shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near them. Christmas drinkers, rugby fans and people who tell crap jokes are all beyond endurance, but endless fire and torment should be reserved for people who cheer when somebody drops a glass.
Anybody who has ever committed this most mortal of sins will be cast into the 7th circle of Hell on Earth, a pub where the barman refuses to serve any more drinks because some jerk cheered while he was working his arse off to keep things moving. And it will be a really bad pub with migraine-inducing wallpaper and a jukebox that only plays North Korean death-metal.
The Eighth Circle of Hell on Earth – Hipsters
Hipsters, in general terms, are most likely to end up in an artisan purgatory but a special place in Hell has been reserved for those that force us to look at their mutilated ears. It’s not nice, it stinks to high heaven and it’s nigh on guaranteed to scare the wits out of young children and small furry animals.
Offenders’ tattered ear lobes will be stretched a little further so that they can be used as skipping ropes which they will be forced to use continuously until the unlikely day that Dagenham freezes over.
The Ninth Circle of Hell on Earth – Pavement Cyclists
There is nothing we can say about anyone over the age of twelve that cycles on the pavement that hasn’t gone through your mind already. These people are in their very own super-league of scummery and wholly deserve their place in the ultimate circle of Dagenham.
The punishment that awaits them is way too grisly to be described on a family website, so we will have to leave it to your imagination. But, believe us, we’ve seen the plans and it’s very, very good. We can safely say that it is the most laudable proposal that we have ever heard from any government. The pitchfork saddles will be the very least of their troubles.
The Future’s Bright – The Future’s Infernal
The Dagenham complex will also house a multiplex cinema, a bowling alley and a fried-chicken restaurant. There will probably be an outlet of Claire’s Accessories, too, because that seems to be obligatory.
Sinners, however, should not be too worried. It seems that the construction project will be overseen by Dido Harding and is, therefore, likely to take an eternity to be completed.