Don T’s Inferno: Cantos I & II


In mid-tweet—not just any tweet, but the best tweet ever—I’m suddenly in dark woods. Not just any dark woods, but the darkest dark woods, so dark it’s really, really hard to see. Not a place for a man of my status.

See, I fall asleep tweeting, which I do sometimes; take little power naps, like Edison did; great inventor, Edison, but history will say I’m even greater. Master of invention, they already call me.

So I wake up in a forest on a glowing hill. No signal. No signal, but finish my tweet and push SEND anyway. Must consider my public. Then start thinking like a Boy Scout . . . Never actually one. No uniform for me. Too working class.

I climb the hill for a better view. Some men would be terrified, but me, I’m brave. Nothing, literally nothing, scares me.

Reach the top, and out of nowhere—I’m very attentive, eyes like a hawk, so if anybody sees something coming, it’s me—I spot a wolf. Quick-handed guy I am (can do magic tricks, incredibly fast hands—despite their enormous size), I reach down behind her (no junk or wolf balls so a lady-wolf here). Lucky for me (just an expression; luck really plays no part in my life—though if anybody’s lucky, it’s me; have terrific luck), she’s in heat (really have a nose for the ladies). Like I said before, and it bears repeating (really, what do I say that doesn’t?), the ladies love me. That she-wolf, she bars my way—and while I’m a faithful man, true to my lovely wife, what else can I do? Only human. So I turn her ’round, give her the goods. Win-win really. Don’t know why bestiality gets such a bad rap.

After I’ve satisfied the she-wolf (and she’s utterly spent, has never—in fact—been pleasured more by any man or probably even a woman if wolves are into that), I stroll down the hill. At the bottom I meet this guy in a dress.

I’m Virgil, he tells me. (He’s white, maybe mixed—not black, like most Virgils these days, but me, I get along with everybody; hell, even Mexicans like me, which is why we won’t have to pay for that wall.)

Where the hell am I? I ask.

Yes, he says. Maybe his English isn’t so good. (Me, I speak the best English. Nobody’s English is gooder. [sic])

Hey, be straight with me, I say, because I’m a straight shooter myself. (Everyone knows: nobody straighter than me, I’m the straightest [and not talking my popularity with the ladies].)

This is Hell, he tells me.

I think about this (mind’s a super-computer, connecting the dots). Wait, I say, literally?

Yes, literally—but you’re still alive! Never seen that before, not in all my centuries.

Well, I say proudly, I’m a very unique guy. Too important to die. Say, any golf courses here? Or cable? (Must see my must-see TV, you know, because—you know—it’s must-see! Even men important as me have to live by some rules.)

No, Virgil tells me, no golf, no cable.

Holy crap, I really am in Hell! I mean, I’m been told to go to hell a million times, okay? But to be here! Literally. (What do you call that? A blind trust? Anti-Semitism? NATO?)

And sent here in mid-tweet? That’s censorship, plain and simple.

Wait! Somebody told me once: You’ll go to Hell for that tweet! And now here I am! (Why, that’s . . . a blind trust? Self-fulfilling prophecy? A social contract?)

And who the hell are you? I demand.

Turns out Virgil’s an ancient Roman ghost, from really long ago. (Before Christianity, even, when they didn’t know better. If I’d been around back then—that crucifiction [sic] stopped, and the Jews no problem—so we could come down on the world’s truly bad religions.)

Seeing my greatness (obvious, yes, but worth mentioning), Virgil compliments me, and humble guy I am (the most humble; nobody of my status is humbler), I fire some back, just to be polite (my manners are impeachable [sic]—ask anybody).

So we team up, me and Virgil—terrific team. Why, if we’d teamed up sooner, so many world problems: Solved! Life—great! And everyone—well, everyone that matters (I mean, can old spinsters ever really live a good life?)—we’d be hugely happy, like people-on-TV happy.

Because if anybody deserves a spot in Heaven, hey, you’re looking at him.

[CANTO II—censored for National Security; just a coincidence I don’t want you seeing it. But Canto? Cantos and Roman numerals. And what’s wrong with good, old-fashioned American numerals? American numerals, what this country was founded on! Yes, numerals, not these fancy Roman numbers that are actually letters—talk about twisted. Twisted and unnatural. Was it Toy Story I-I-I or Toy Story 3? Faster to say, too. I-I-I, what idiot came up with that?]