If you decided that chapter 1 of The Devil’s Diary was not for you, then it is best to skip the following post, because here is chapter 2.
I sometimes wonder how in Hell (haha, that’s funny) I put up with this lot here! Yesterday the ventilation guys went to the Christian section to repair the busted machine, and they got into a brawl with the smokers there. Damn me and my slick ideas.
The repair people did not repair, the smokers left the place so there’s no smoke and Humphrey was on my case again most of the morning. Maurice then went over there and when he came back the ventilation system was up and running again. That man’s a miracle. He said he just kicked it and it started working. I think he’s an angel, the way he winged it. (Haha, that’s funny!) Anyways, the smoke system operators are back on their jobs so that’s taken care of.
But as the law of persisting misery goes, something else broke down again. And of course, in the Christian section again. Why do they always want all these complicated things. Don’t they understand that the more technology you bring in, the more is going to break?
This time the soul devouring apparatus stopped. A mechanical problem with the shutter synchronising with the conveyor belt or something. Normally a soul for that section is dropped through dark clouds while begin rained upon with hot oil (or hot salty water if the oil runs out, you must have backup plans), falls through a bout of thunder and lightning (yes, the special effects group did a really nice job there) and then the soul falls through the devouring machine. Shutter opens at the very last moment (for a good scare), soul drops on the conveyor, is taken past the Blazing Fires of Hell(tm), is then carted off to the grim place that they so desperately want, and that’s that. But now the shutter failure blocks the throughput, so we are facing a real situation.
A bloody nuisance is that the repair group for that unit is not to be found. Looks like someone messed up with the vacation roster or something. There are only four people that know something about the thing, which is a bad thing already. Maurice has been doing all he can to round up someone who can at least take a look at the shutter and get it to move again, if only in an improvised way. When something like this happens, it is very embarrassing.
Maurice told me that there were plenty of folks interested in looking at the equipment, but none of them dared to tinker with it. Afterwards Maurice found out that all these people wanted to do was have a look at the construction, the bloody nosy bastards! When I heard that, believe me, I wish I could have told them to go to hell. (And no, that is NOT funny!)
At first I was really glad that no one started nagging me about it, because Humphrey seemed to have the afternoon off, but then there was this guy Dudley. Is he lucky to be dead or what… if he wasn’t yet, he would be now. Humphrey, believe me, is a GOD compared to Dudley. I am going to get a new mobile phone. And Dudley is not getting the number to it-
Dang. That was him again. The Dud-man. Don’t ask. Dudley first called Maurice to ask how he could file an official complaint about the lousy performance of the machinery that he had to manage. Maurice told him. An hour later I had four complaint forms on my desk already! Don’t ask me how the friggin’ idiot managed to get them there, but he pulled it off.
One about the problem with the devouring machine as it is, one about the bad syncing with the conveyor, one that he is suffering from embarrassment as he has to walk all the newly arriving souls down a ladder instead of having them enter the regular way, and finally one in which he claims he is not paid enough for all this labour and asks a raise. I’ll raise him something he’s never had raised before if he sends in one more form.
Maurice is a gem as a secretary and side-kick kind of person. He managed to keep most problem makers off my back most of the day and also got in touch with the people from the high-tech stuff that sent me some interesting things yesterday. He said that they will see if they can set up something nice for me to come and look at. I am curious. This could be something very innovative. Perhaps I should take one of the guys from the old eastern block section with me. See how they react to all that bling bling stuff. He wouldn’t risk a heart attack! (Haha, that’s funny!)
Or should I take the Dud-man along and try all these new things out on him? Now there’s a thought…
I have to admit that I was sort of anxious about the whole Christian hell thing and how they were handling things, so I snuck over there and had a look. All in all I must say that they were doing well, given the circumstances. It was a good thing that someone thought of it to switch off most of the special effects. There are only few things more stupid than climbing your dead soul down a ladder while at the same time thunder and lightning happens, screams from the pit come up and then the broken shutter tries to open, making no more than dumb whimpering sounds. Also watching them trot along the conveyor belt is a bit shameful. But let’s face it, better this way than no way in at all. And making them all wait up there until we have this problem handled isn’t exactly the paragon of hospitality. High-five for back doors. Too bad that the system broke down, the effects combined are really a good show. Well, once it’s fixed I’ll arrange a proper descent into hell for the good- eh make that the -bad- souls that are hooked on experiencing the real thing.
After that I had a bit of a stroll. All those things wear a person out, even if this person is the devil himself.
Carefully staying out of sight of the Dud-man, I worked my way to the African section. Things usually are quite relaxed there, as most African tribes don’t really fear a devil as such. Only the Kamitics and the likes don’t seem to trust me. They claim that the devil is merely something inside people that fights the good side of nature. At first this was a bit unnerving to me, since it struck me as a rejection of my position, but after I got to know them better, the situation between us improved dramatically. They just see me as a friend that checks up on them occasionally, which works for both sides.
As I was there, I had a look at the latest exercises in landscaping that have been done there. Some of the African tribes had asked for a lake with fish. They always were fishermen and they don’t want to quit that simply because they’re dead. Well, why not.
The lake came out pretty nice. The landscape people really added a few nice touches, like the spots where you can walk straight over it (I know, not very original but a nice twist) and a small island with a fresh water tap. The dead fish for the dead fishermen is a nice idea too! I should go back there some evening, apparently they even put in a few strings of lights underwater that have to give the place a really special look.
Come to think of it, I noticed a drop in African natives coming in here a while ago. For quite a while they were not allowed in Heaven. Pete had strict orders to stop them and you know Pete. Give him an order and it is cast in iron and nailed to the cross for all to see.
But there are quite a few different races here, which makes this place such a nice melting pot (haha, that’s funny). You can run into every kind and type here. A nice mix of breeds, and there’s always something cooking.
I stopped by the Pygmies and had a taste of their latest brew. Their beers here are a lot better than those when they were alive, they claim. Must say that the stuff has a certain appeal, although I would not swap it for the mead that the Pagans have. They really put their soul into that. (Haha, now that IS funny!)
Which reminds me, I should note this down. The poker night last night with Peter, Baal and Gabe. Man, that was some kind of fun, you should have been there, diary! Pete had promised to supply the drinks and he really did good. The wine he had along was really some nectar of the gods, like the Greeks say.
I do think that Baal drank the least of us all purposely. After a while he started winning every hand and that is strange. He usually quits quite early, owing the others a decent bundle of change.
But we had a ball together. Gabe at one moment was so intoxicated that he wanted to wager his wings during a game. Good thing he didn’t, he would have lost them. And they’re not my size either. (Haha, now that’s funny!) Note to self: remember not to shake head violently after poker night with the guys. It hurts. Like Hell.
This evening I got an invitation from the Pagan community. More specifically from the Asatru people. They are really having a ball here, and for that they throw a party at regular times. I had to accept that of course. A good party once in a while is what makes death to die for, that’s what I say. I already got in touch with Thor and Odin, asking them if they wanted to trot along over there tomorrow as well. After all, the Asatru are their crowd, so that would make the party a real kicker!
Thor agreed promptly, he said he’d bring a few extra hammers and perhaps there could be a hammer-throwing contest. Odin also agreed to come, but he had some reservations about Thor’s hammer-act, but I managed to convince him that he should do a few of his shape-shifter tricks. Those are amazing to see, and it’s not just me who never gets enough from that.
Hmm. I should ask Maurice over also. The man’s slaving all day to get all the work done, he deserves a break. Especially with the Dud-man on his tail all afternoon. I’m sure the Asatru won’t mind. They’re cool people, although in the cool department nothing beats an Eskimo, as I always say. I hope they will dress up with their horned helmets, axes, swords and spears. Oh, wait… no spears. Odin would get pretty nervous around them. Must be there early and tell them NO SPEARS.