Report From Hell: The Mother In Law

Ah, another Friday, another quick peak at what’s going on here in Hell Central far beneath the site of a popular Southern Californian amusement park. As it turns out, the Dark Lord Satan has discovered my little blogging efforts, including the little bits I’ve been writing about our cozy little underworld here, and much to my pleasurable shock, he was pleased.

“Yes, well, we could do with a little favorable PR,” he said as I soiled myself the moment I saw him sitting at my computer. “Not bad writing either. Though it would be nice if you watched your grammar a little more closely. Really, didn’t you learn anything back in High School?”

I was too petrified to catch on to the Dark Lord’s little joke, and shakily answered, “Y-Y-Yes, Lord Satan. I apologize.”

He laughed. If anything, Satan’s got a good sense of humor. And generous too, might I add. After deciding that the blog was a good thing, he rewarded me with a week in the Hitler room, which is the exact opposite of the Teletubby room which is the most heinous of punishments Hell has to offer if you’ll remember from last week’s report.

A quick sidebar here. Contrary to popular belief, Satan and his proxies are not allowed unlimited torture on all of our residents, and never as a means of retrieving evidence for use in any kind of court precedings. Hey, we minions of Beelzebub have standards too. In fact, according to a peace accord with… um… you know the other place… we are only allowed a maximum of so many hours per so many “guests”. There is a clause that bypasses this, but is only to be used for the most heinous of persons. For these very select few, unlimited torture is authorized.

Not wishing to press his luck, Satan has wisely chosen to only employ this clause with Adolf Hitler; though the ground work is already being laid to employ the clause also for Fred Phelps when he kicks it. Given, you know, the other guy’s abhorrence of people using him to justify heinous acts, we think we got an airtight case.

Satan’s also mentioned getting things in the works for Osama bin Laden, but at the rate things are going, that won’t be necessary any time soon. Though he did add that if a Democrat does get elected President in 08, he’ll stop procrastinating and get the paperwork pushed through.

Anyway, the Hitler room has become something of a reward for good behavior among us minions and lesser demons. Me not being one much for torture in the first place, not even for one so despicable as Hitler, I usually just force him to listen to Brittany Spears CD’s while I pop off to down a few cold ones at the bar.

I once tried Matis Yahu, thinking, you know, it would be poetic justice, but when I came back he was bobbing his head along, I decided to stick with the old standby.

Unfortunately, the general good cheer around the place was not to be long lived. After setting Hitler up with “Isn’t She Lucky” set to repeat, me and Satan dug in for a fierce Mario Party battle on the Wii when the door bell rang.

Yes, Hell has both a door and a doorbell. If you want to know where, I suggest you check out that one ride with all the kids from around the world singing about how small the world is. It’s in there.

In retrospect, I should have felt the foreboding in the thick air upon the sounding of that doorbell. But at the time I figured it was either the sulfur, or the nachos Lucifer had earlier.

tossing his Wii remote down on the couch in a huff, Satan pounded his cloven hooves to the door and welcomed… His mother in law.

Now it should be said at this time that Satan’s not married. Nor has he ever been. He was close once, very deeply in love, but the first time they copulated, well, you know, soul gets shattered, body is left a vacant and hollow shell, blah blah blah. Needless to say, the Lord of Flies vowed then and there never to love again.

Still, somehow Satan actually has a mother in law. I asked a demon about this, and he said, “Yeah, everyone’s got one somewhere in the universe. It’s hardcoded into the universe, though your puny human minds aren’t slated to find the physical proof of this until sometime just after 3000 AD.”

He further went on to explain that every sentient being in the universe is doomed to have at least one person whose expectations they will never meet, and who will render them a helpless lump regardless of how powerful they are. Even the Other Guy has one though she doesn’t visit him often out of general respect.

Satan’s on the other hand, visits often. Her name is Gladys.

Gladys stood at the door, her cigarette hanging loosely from her lips, her flat pancake titties almost completely visible from beneath the extremely low cut blouse she was wearing, and her frizzy blue hair hung low over her horn-rimmed spectacles.

“Well what the hell are ya waitin’ for Lucy? Go get my bags from the car. And Mipsy. Don’t forget Mipsy, ya big lummox. And you be careful with her! Last time you singed her fur and it cost me forty five dollars for groomers to fix her. How are you, Kyle dear?” She added in an overly sweet tone.

I waved and smiled sheepishly. She doesn’t like me or anyone else anymore than she does Satan, but treats us nicer just to make him feel worse. It’s her job after all, and she’s incredibly good at it.

“S-Sorry mom,” Satan groaned as he headed out.

“Don’t ‘mom’ me ya great clod!” She barked after him. “I didn’t squeeze you out my peehole, you sorry sack.”

Like I said, INCREDIBLY good at her job.

After a few moments of very uncomfortable silence where I tried to blend in with the scenery to avoid having to talk to Gladys, Satan returned balancing eight full sized suitcases in his arms with Mipsy, a small unidentifiable lapdog, perched atop the entire mess.

“Great Jesus!” Gladys spat. “I brought NINE suitcases, or can’t you count?”

Delicately, Satan placed the luggage on the floor, and whimpered, “S-sorry M…er… Gladys.”

“Mrs. Terriwinkle” she corrected.

“Mrs. Terriwinkle,” Satan amended before running back out to get the last case.

Eventually, after continuously being berrated, Satan managed to take all nine suitcases up to Gladys’ room and we all sat down for dinner which would, of course, be the main event of Gladys’ visit.

This is why.

She complains about the food as is to be expected, and she’s good at this. She riffs on Satan constantly about his table manners, which I always thought funny because he’s actually got impeccable dining ettiquette and even knows which forks to use when in every occasion. All this is well and good.

It’s when she starts talking about politics. That’s where everything begins to go down hill as you are about to see.

As is always the case, Satan hires his best chef to whip something up, tonight it was Rack of Lamb. “Hell, Lucy! You KNOW I can’t stand lamb, all thick and greasy. I tell you this every time but do you listen to me? No! It’s always want you want to eat…”

“I can have the chef fix something else for you, Mrs. Ter…”

“No” she huffed impatiently. “I see how I’m treated here. That’s fine…”

“Bernard” Satan called, and for the first time since Gladys showed up, there was that edge in Satan’s voice that promised years worth of unimagineable torture if you failed his task. But Gladys was having none of it.

“Don’t you dare,” she growled. “I’m a polite guest, and I eat what’s been put before me. I’ll not have you think I’m some whiny old woman like you, Lucy!”

Lucifer’s shoulders sank. We ate in silence when the true festivities began.

“Did you hear about the Democrats? They’re doing it again, failing to come to an agreement with that nice McConnel… What’s he do again? Head of NASA?”

“He’s the Director of Intelligence,” I corrected her, earning me a disapproving scowl from the old woman.

“And that’s not how it happened, Mom.”

“Terriwinkle.”

“Mrs. Terriwinkle,” Satan corrected himself.

“Oh really?” she asked, a threatening tone dripping from her voice. “So why don’t you tell me the REAL story, Lucy. You’re the lord of all that’s unholy so I suppose YOU of all people would know what REALLY happened.”

For a second I thought he was going to break, but then his eyes lit up with a kind of resulote daring. He was going to correct her no matter what the consequences were. “Well, they had made a deal with the NDI,” he explained. “They actually caved and gave more than they should have, but because that asshole of a President couldn’t have any limits on his power whatsoever, he nixed it and then tried to pin it on the Democrats to make them look bad.”

“RUBBISH!” she roared at him. “President Bush is a fine man!”

“No he’s not!” Satan declared, trying very hard not to sound like he was whining. “I’ve already got a reservation for him.”

“Nonsense,” Gladys countered. “He’s a good Christian man.”

“My ass!” Satan spat.

“WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE YOUNG MAN!” She was on her feet, her eyes nearly popping out of their sockets, her already bushy head of hair standing on end. Satan cowered.

In truth, it’s sad to see him like this. This great being reduced to quivering like a beaten puppy. He deserves better.

“Bush is a good Christian, just like that nice Mr. Tancredo,” Gladys nodded assertively.

Satan dropped his fork.

“What?” she dared him.

“Tancredo’s not a good Christian,” Satan mumbled under his breath.

“And why is that?” she prodded. Her eyes were narrow and dangerous and I knew Satan was in big trouble here.

“He wants to bomb Islamic holy sites to stop terrorism,” he answered, not willing to meet her gaze.

“EXACTLY!” she yelled triumphantly as though Satan just proved her point.

“Mom!” Satan pleaded with her, ignoring her calls for him to use her last name. “They’re on the same friggin’ side, most just don’t know it yet. Don’t get me wrong, I wish Tancredo all the luck in the world on this one; he’d be doing my work for me, but to say he’s a Good Christian!”

“You’re an IDIOT!” she screamed at him. “EVERYONE knows that Muslims are heathen Hell-spawn.”

“They are not!”

“Are too!”

“I RUN HELL!” Satan roared, a she slammed his fist onto the table. “I SHOULD KNOW!”

“AND YOU WOULD IF YOU WEREN’T SUCH AN INCOMPETENT! NOW SIT DOWN AND EAT YOUR LAMB! IF IT’S GOOD ENOUGH TO SERVE YOUR MOTHER IN LAW, IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU!”

Satan opened his mouth one more time to argue, but I flashed him a warning glance. ‘Don’t do it,’ I tried to warn him. ‘You really don’t want her to get going.’

Whether he came to the realization on his own, or he got my mental message, he sat down all the same and commenced to spearing his asparagus violently.

They went on like this for what seemed like hours, covering the expected veto of insuring children, the YearlyKos convention, the whole Scott Beauchamp mess, and a whole slew of other topics.

By the time dinner was done, I was coated in mashed potatoes and lamb grease, Gladys looked like a seasoned war veteran just back from the frontlines, and Satan was tucked into the fetal position and quivering in a corner.

“Well, I should be going,” she said almost matter of factly.

Peaking out from behind his arms, Satan said, “What? So soon?”

“Yes,” she sighed. “I have bible study tonight.”

“Oh… Well… I was hoping you would at least… Stay the night?” Satan offered in a forlorn voice as he slowly stood up.

“I can’t dear, flying out to Vegas tomorrow.”

“Oh… well, I’ll just go get your things then, shall I?”

Gladys waited for him at the door as the the Fallen Angel Lucifer plodded his way downstairs, this time with all nine suitcases, and Mipsy nipping at his heels. He hefted the luggage in the back of her H3 Hummer, and as I watched from the door frame, Satan and his mother in law stared at each other.

“Well, I should be going…”

“Yeah… no… sorry you couldn’t stay longer.”

“When are you due for another humbling?”

“November.”

She patted him on the shoulder. “I’ll try and clear my schedule,” she said with a wan smile.

“It was nice seeing you again Mrs. Terriwinkle.”

“Mom.”

“Mom.”

They stared at each other for a long while, and finally, reluctantly, they hugged. “Take care of yourself, Mom.”

“Will do. You be good now, sweetie.”

“Kinda not in the job description,” Satan mumbled, and Gladys chuckled.

“Suppose it’s not. Well be bad then,” she offered and hoisted herself up into the monstrosity that was her vehicle.

They waved, and her tail lights sped off, mowing down a gaggle of mechanized children dressed shod in clogs and singing about the stereotypes of their culture. When Satan came back inside, he looked a little misty eyed.

He sighed. “Gonna miss her,” he muttered as he swung the door closed behind him.

“I know you will,” I agreed and patted him on the back, ignoring the severe burning sensation that seared my palm.

We were just about to get back to playing the Wii when the doorbell rang again. Satan nearly leapt for the door, and swung it open. “MO…” he started, but the moment he saw who had rung the doorbell, his voice died in his throat.

It was uncle Harry.

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