Report From Hell: Jerry, The Plumber

Well, it’s Friday afternoon, so you know it’s about time for another report from Downtown Hell located beneath a wildly popular amusement park in Southern California.

Now, I haven’t done one of these in a while, and for that I’m terribly sorry.  It’s been, well, busy down here lately.  Nothing you need to concern yourself with, nothing at all, though, if I were you, I would abstain from the pirate themed ride for a while.

Oh…  Before you get the wrong idea, it’s not that we did anything to it, it’s just that… well…

*sigh*  Satan’s gonna send me to the Teletubby room for sure because of this.

A little background first.  Satan’s about ten feet tall, give or take.  Really, it depends on if you take into account the horns or not.  Plus, he hunches.  So I would guess his full length, horns and all, is probably closer to twelve feet.  He’s big.  And anyone that big…

Okay, no more beating around the bush.  Satan can drop an aromatic mud-log roughly the size of a German Shephard without even a grunt.  The other day, the Chef had to call in sick (by which I mean he had burned lunch and therefore had to spend the rest of the day having his eyeballs picked at by nightcrawlers), and so we had to get Chinese take-out for dinner, and nothing plays hell with Lucifer’s GI system like cheap Chinese food.

The bathroom in Hell is located right beneath the pirate’s ride, so when the Lord of Darkness spent about four hours giving birth to giant stink-baby, I’m sure you can imagine the effect it would have on the ride.

But here’s the worst little bit of it.  WE HAVE NO PLUMBERS IN HELL!

I know, we’ve got hordes of demons and minions down here, and you would think that demons would be particularly skilled seeing as how they’re all either fallen angels or devil-spawn, but as it turns out, not a single one of them seems to comprehend the concept of turning a wrench, or fluid flow mechanics.

This could only mean one thing, we had to call Jerry.

Jerry is the only plumber that will come to Hell.  No one knows how or why this arrangement was made, but given that none of us down here can fix a backed up toilet or a clogged sink, no one really questions it either.

Besides, Jerry’s a decent enough guy.  Also, he happens to be particularly punctual.

The Master of the Pit had just gingerly lowered himself down on the couch when the doorbell rang.  “You’re gonna have to get that,” Satan said, looking at me.  “I can’t move my ass hurts so bad.”

I patted my Dark Lord sympathetically on the shoulder as I rose to get the door.  It really is a sympathetic sight to see the Ruler Of All That Is Unholy suffering from a blown out O-ring, he just looks so pathetic.

Opening the door, I was greated by a short round man with a scruffy chin and thick black moustache in a pair of stained coveralls and old worn out hat who stuck his hand out.

I shook it.  “Hey Jerry, glad you could get here so fast.”

“No problem,” he grumbled.  “But really, why the hell do you have to have your front door in this ride?  Really, I can’t stand those stupid kids and that dumb ass fucking song.  Who gives a shit how big the world is?  It’s not like I’m going to see half of it on my salary.  And the kids in the clogs…”  He grunted.

“Nice to see you too,” I remarked snarkily.

He continued on, not even registering that I spoke.  “You couldn’t have put it in the haunted house?  That seems more the right mood.  Or maybe the pirate ride.  I love the little restaurant they have in there…”

“Yeah I wouldn’t eat there if I were you.”

“Why not?”

“It’s overpriced,” I said quickly, not wanting to make Satan feel worse than he already was.

Jerry nodded.  “True.”  Then he turned to Satan on the couch.  “Hey Big Guy, how’s it goin’?”

Satan barely looked up.  “Other than the fact that it feels like someone jammed a hot poker up my brown eye?  Just great.”

“Chinese food again?”

Satan nodded.

Jerry set his tool box down on the floor and put his hands on his hips.  “You know, I keep telling you you need to stay away from that stuff.  Go to a nice sub shop or a deli.  Get a good, lean sandwich.”

Satan merely shook his head.  “Too healthy for me.”

“Tell that to your ass,” Jerry scoffed.  “So, lead me to the problem.”

I escorted Jerry down the hall towards the large black door that opened on to Satan’s bathroom. 

“How’s the wife and kids?” I asked.

Jerry shrugged.  “Not too bad.  Well, the wife’s okay.  The kids…”

“What’s wrong with the kids?”

“Not gonna be able to cover them.  I make too much money to qualify for medicaid, but the company doesn’t have health benefits, so I can’t afford to enroll them in healthcare.”

“What about S-CHIP?” I asked.

At this, Jerry laughed hysterically.  “Are you kidding?  Bush just vetoed the shit out of the recent S-CHIP bill.  We’re screwed.”

“Oh,” I said.  “That…  Well, that sucks.  I’m sorry.  I’ll talk to Satan, see if he can’t find some way to help.”

“I’d appreciate it.”

“Least we could do for our only plumber.”

By the time we reached the door, Jerry was wearing a hopeful smile, but that wouldn’t last long.  Grabbing the handle, I looked at him and warned, “Now, brace yourself, it’s ugly in there.”

“I’m Hell’s only plumber,” Jerry said skeptically.  “I think I’ve seen the worst there is to see.”

“Alright.”  I turned the knob and slowly swung the door open.  A small wall of towels about knee high were the only things keeping the murky brown “water” from flowing out into the hallway.  Drifting in its ebbs and flows were anonymous dark brown shapes that bobbed menacingly about the surface, and the stench was almost enough to make me puke.

“Jesus Fucking Chr…” Jerry started to whisper before I clapped a hand over his mouth.

“Don’t say it,” I warned.  “Satan doesn’t like his name being spoken down here.”

Jerry frowned.  “Aren’t they brothers?”

Half brothers,” a deep voice corrected, and Jerry and I both turned to see Satan standing there, his face grimacing, probably from the effort of walking down the hall.  “Same father.”

“Oh,” Jerry said.  Then his brow furrowed deeper.  “So, who’s your mother?”

“Don’t have one,” Lucifer replied, looking on at the scatological carnage that the bathroom had become.

“He’s got a mother-in-law,” I offered helpfully, earning me a nasty look from the Lord of the Flies.

“Oh, I didn’t know you were married, when’d that happen?”

“I’m not,” Satan said.

“Then how do you have a…”

“Nevermind,” I interrupted.  “I barely understand, and definitely wouldn’t be able to explain it to you.”

“So can you fix it?” Satan asked.

Jerry perused the small dark lake and the soiled toilet seat at its center like a porcelain island.  “Won’t know for certain ’til I get in there and have an up close look, but it appears to me that you’ve gone and tried to jam a redwood through a pinhole.  It’s gonna take time.”

Satan nodded.  “Alright.  Kyle, I’m gonna have a lie down and put some ice on my anus.  I’ll check back in a little while.”

Wincing at every step, Satan trudged off down the hall while Jerry fished out a pair of galoshes and a respirator mask from his tool box.  Gear on, he also grabbed a wrench, a plunger, and a snake, and stepped over the wall of towels and sloshed his way towards the toilet.

“So, Jerry, anything interesting going on topside?  Besides Bush vetoing S-CHIP, I mean?”

Jerry rested the wrench and snake on the sink basin, and plopped the plunger down into the toilet with a sickening squelching noise.  He pumped up and down on the handle as he turned to me and in a tinny voice replied.  “Well, since we’re talking about bathrooms…”

“Oh no.  Craig?”

He nodded.  “Well, he tried to reverse his guilty plea, but the courts wouldn’t let him.  Said that it was his choice not to appear in court, and now that the plea and the fine were entered, he’s stuck with it on his record.”

“Fucking ridiculous,” I sighed under my breath as Jerry gave up on the plunger for the time being and moved on to the snake.

“That’s not the best bit.  The best bit is that even though his Republican buddies all want him to go the way of the dodo (politically speaking of course), he’s sticking around to the end of his term.”

“Some guys just don’t know when to quit,” I said, shaking my head.

“No joke.”  With a rattling noise that echoed in the weird acoustics all bathrooms seem to have, Jerry slid the snake down into the bowels of the toilet.  “Let’s see, oh, and you got Bush, again.  He gets caught red handed but still refuses to admit he tortures.

“We know what he does, there’s no way he can get away with saying he doesn’t torture,” I remarked.

“Well, he’s tryin’.  No one understands why though, it’s pretty much common knowledge anymore that torture don’t work.

“It works fine down here,” I offered, earning me a reproachful look (or as reproachful as you can get wearing a respirator).

“Yeah, but you guys have a different reason behind torturing folks.”

“You got me there.”

At this point, Jerry coiled the snake back up, and went for the plunger again.  He worked furiously, and I thought he was about to go for the snake again when all of a sudden a bile inducing belch leapt forth from the depths of the toilet bowl.  “Hey!  I got it!”

He tried flushing it, and with a satisfying BA-WOOSH  the toilet drained.

“Good man!” I said.

“Yeah, I gotta gift,” he said, placing the plunger back on the sink and sloshing his way back towards the door.  “I gotta bucket in my tool box, you wanna hand it to me?  I’ll get this water level down for you guys.”

I handed him the bucket, careful not to let him actually touch me.  “How about Jena Six?  Any good news there?”

“Mixed,” Jerry replied as he started scooping buckets of turd infested water into the toilet bowl.  “The good news is that Mychal Bell has been released on bail.”

“Nice,” I said.  Just because I live in Hell doesn’t mean I truck with racists.  In fact we kinda frown on that down here.  We once had this minion come down, charming guy, right?  Said all the right things, go Satan!  Lucifer is awesome!  Was a real up and comer.

Then he screwed up.

We were eating dinner, and this guy says, “I wanna be in charge of torturing the darkies.”

“Excuse me?” Satan asked.

“You know, black people.  I’m real good at torturing them.”

Satan didn’t even finish his meal.  That guy was put in the Teletubby room for a month, and then Satan promptly ate his soul.  Now, before that, I had never actually seen someone’s soul get eaten, and let me tell you.  It’s not quite as funny as you would think.

“You guys really confuse me,” Jerry said, interrupting my thoughts.

“How so?”

“Well, it’s like you root for the good guys a lot of the time.  I don’t get it, am I on the wrong side or something?”

I chuckled.  “No.  Look, Satan’s official position is that he doesn’t want humans to be mean to other humans, just like…” for this part I whispered, “just like his dad.”

“That don’t make any kinda sense.”

“It’s about territory.  When people start treating other people like shit, Satan feels as though their encroaching on his territory.”

“I get it.  The Devil wants us to be decent to each other because being evil is his job.”

“Yeah.  That and he doesn’t understand the whole bigotry thing.  Utterly baffles them.  Satan’s asked me about a hundred times why people would even act that way, but even I’m at a loss.  Anyway, you said the news was mixed, so what’s the bad?”

“Well, that’s the thing, Bell’s out, but racism is still in.  This really foul…  You know, some of this shit just really makes me sick.  I thought being a plumber would give me an iron stomach, you know.  Wade waist deep in floaters all day, you figure you can handle anything, but here you got these kids, right, they roll around in mud, and you get one remaining clean kid.”


So the remaining clean kid lays down, and the kids smothered in mud pretend to beat the piss out of the clean one.  N-bombs get tossed around and everything.”

I shook my head.

“Damn near lost my lunch.”

“That’s fucked up.”

“Tell me about it.”

I sighed.  “Let me guess, did any of them proclaim not to be a racist?”

Jerry snorted.  “Yeah…  Like, saying it makes it true.”

“You got any good news before I go and slit my wrists?”

Jerry sighed.  He was born in that neck of the woods, and so I could imagine the kind of toll having to hear of the atrocities going on there must have on him.  But after a couple more buckets full of water he perked up.  “You’ll be happy to know it looks almost like Peggy Noonan is turning into a liberal.”

“No shit.”

“No shit.  Wrote up a piece that was just short of a love letter about Barack Obama and everything.”

“Next thing you know the sky’s gonna turn pink, and Rush Limbaugh’s going to join the anti-war movement.”

“Yeah, fat chance of that happening.”


“Uh-oh is right.  The comedian has gone and called military members who don’t support the Iraq war phony.”

“Oh Dark Lord,” I spat.

“Yeah.  Do you read the Gun Toting Liberal?”

“Yeah, he’s pretty good.”

“Well, that’s the guy to read, been on a tear about Rush all week long.  Some real good stuff there.”

“Hmm… I’ll check it out.”

“You about done?” Satan’s voice said from over my shoulder.

“Hey Master, how’s the ass?”

Lucifer cringed.  “A little better.  What’s the deal here?”

Jerry doffed the respirator and proudly proclaimed, “Got her right good and fixed proper, big guy.  Just be careful from now on.  If you’re gonna eat Chinese, remember, courtesy flushes, they’ll save you in the end.”

Satan chuckled.  “You’re a life saver, Jerry.”

“I know.  Well, I hate to ask, but it’s bill time.  Here let me get that over there.”  Jerry reached over the wall of towels into his tool box and grabbed a pad of paper and a pen.  A contemplative looked filled his face as he scribbled down a few figures, scratched a few out, and wrote down a few others.

Finally, clearly satisfied with his math, he tore the top copy off the pad and handed it over to Satan.


“What?” Jerry asked innocently.  “So… I guess now would be a bad time to ask about health care for my kids?”

I take most of the links hit in my periodic Hell Reports from bloggers who were kind enough to link to us, or are on our blogroll.  If you would like to see your blog featured in a future Hell Report, feel free to shoot me an email, and when I get to writing the next one, I’ll be more than happy to hook you up.  Until next time, take care of yourselves.

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