As part of the I’ve Become My Parents book project, I’ve been going back and creating cartoons for older posts. I was working on this cartoon for one of my earliest posts, called Hell in a Handbasket, and started thinking about what might happen if the impact of the global economic crisis were to extend as far down as Hades itself. I know it really has nothing to do with becoming my parents, but I thought I’d share this little press release with you anyway. Hope you don’t mind the diversion from our regular programming.
For immediate release
GRIM REAPER ANNOUNCES SWEEPING CHANGES TO HELL-BOUND TRANSPORT SYSTEM
Hell announced today some of the biggest changes since the now infamous Apple-Eating Crisis.
November 19, 2012 – Hell
In perhaps the most stunning example of the far-reaching effects of the global economic crisis, Hell has announced massive across-the-board cuts to services in the coming months.
“We’ve had to make some difficult choices,” says the Grim Reaper, Senior Vice President for Recruitment and Transport Services, “There are more sinners than ever, yet we haven’t had an increase in revenue since, well, ever. We really should work on our revenue model.”
The 2013 budget, released today, includes cuts to several services previously considered essential in Hades, including the world-class burn centre. “My beard was practically singed off on the way down here. This is Hell for goodness’ sake, how can you have this much fire and no burn centre in this entire section of the afterlife? It’s an occupational health and safety issue.” remarks Osama Bin Laden, a relatively recent arrival.
The Grim Reaper says there simply is no choice. “The heating bill alone for this place is beyond belief. I don’t know how we’ll manage to keep this place miserable. We have to make cuts somewhere.”
One such cut appears to be in Hell’s transport system. The Reaper would not use the word “layoffs” but he did suggest that Hell would decrease its reliance on Screaming Banshees. “Those ladies bring a lot of drama and really set the tone for what’s to come when the damned get to Hell, but their benefits package alone has been killing us down here.”
Asked to comment on the Screaming Banshees’ benefits package, union leader Bean Shith had only this to say, “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaWEEEEEEEeeee!”
In lieu of Banshees, the 2013 Operating Budget calls for increased use of hadbaskets for transport of sinners to Hell.
Some Hell residents expressed concern that the handbasket diminishes what they call the “punishment factor.” Saloth Sar, also known as Pol Pot, thinks handbaskets are for “stupid little wussies.” Pot arrived in Hell in 1998 engulfed in a ball of fire while his toenails were being chewed off by starving wood rats and little girls pointed and laughed. He thinks handbaskets simply don’t punish the sinner enough. “Listen, I deserved what I got, with the exception maybe of the girls laughing at me; that was a bit over the top. But there are many worse ways to be transported to Hell than in a handbasket. Stick me in a trunk with any of the ‘Real Housewives’, now THAT’s torture. But a handbasket? Really?”
“Look, I don’t like it any more than you do,” says The Reaper, “do you have any idea how silly I look traipsing around with a handbasket? I look like Little Red Riding Hood only taller, skinnier, not wearing red and, you know, dead.”
When asked if similar cuts were being considered in Heaven, Founder and CEO, God, would only say, “We have not taken anything off the table at this point in time,” leaving many to speculate as to the nature of next year’s budget.
“I heard they’re cutting back on the number of virgins each guy gets,” speculated Bin Laden, “You know, virgins are a totally non-renewable resource.”