In the loosely adapted ways of Dante, I present to you the eighth canto of Formerly's Football Inferno. I promise nothing when it comes to grammar, punctuation, logical plots, or anything that normally goes into story writing.
For those of you unfamiliar, Dante walks through each region of hell to learn the sins and punishment by talking to those souls trapped. In this canto, we enter the city of
Dis Columbus to see how the souls damned to hell are sorted.
Canto I Canto II Canto III Canto IV Canto V Canto VI Canto VII
As I pass through the underworld's city of Columbus, I really think they missed on naming it. The dark streets of deserted homes and what looks like certain crime reminds me more of certain areas of Detroit than it does of Columbus.
There are dilapidated buildings set in eternal flames. Souls that are awaiting their placement in the depths of hell are kept pinned in those flames. It is a sad place.
We walked through several blocks of the city before we reached a point where the city ended. At the edge of the city was a line of souls awaiting judgment. As I pass, I try to avoid eye contact, because, I mean, how am I supposed to look at them?
In my probably obvious attempt to ignore the souls around me, my eyes wandered back to godzillatron. Things are getting worse. Last week Michigan made a white, walk-on wide receiver look like an All-American against Michigan State in Ann Arbor. This week we're in a shoot out against a hapless Purdue. They've got some wide receiver in at quarterback. He's torching us right and left. I'd feel better about drudging through hell if Michigan could at least show signs of competency.
While staring in solace at the screen above, I noticed my vision went blurry, as if I was looking through a fog and flashes of light. I had accidentally walked right through one of the spirits who was on fire. Strangely, the fire didn't affect me. The spirit was a man, large in stature, sporting a really ugly mustache.
"Hey douchebag, get outta me!" exclaimed the spirit.
"Oh, so sorry, sir. I just –" I started before Davy Crockett interrupted me.
"Don't you apologize to that piece of slime. Don't you recognize what he is? That Buckstache doesn't give him away? That's the badge of the Ohio State fan. Everyone of them is cast into hell with one of those on their face, even the women," Crockett explained as he pointed toward the ugliest piece of trailer trash I've ever seen.
"That's harsh, but it's also so so awesome," I chuckle out as I realize just how ridiculous these people in line are. Most of the Buckeye fans are either pure trailer trash or dressed like they're heading to a Nickelback concert.
We keep walking, and instead of avoiding looking at the poor souls, I'm taking in some deep pleasure in seeing some of these opposing fans waiting in line to be sent to their circle of hell. A certain schadenfreude, if you will.
When we reach the head of the line, much to my surprise, I see the great fiery whip that I once saw pluck Rudyard Kipling from the first circle of hell. I couldn't yet see the master of the whip, but he was plucking out souls from the masses one at a time, flinging them down into the lower levels of hell. His precision was insane, plucking one person from the masses without even touching another. It was masterful.
As the the origin of the whip came into sight, I was both shocked, and, well, who am I kidding, at this point, not surprised to find that this minion of hell, the wielder of the whip was Goldy Gopher. If there was ever one mascot in the BigTen that would know something about being whipped, it'd be Goldy. Apparently all those football beat downs taught him something useful.
"Davy, you think I could talk to him?" I asked.
"You'll need me to translate. If you couldn't tell from Bucky, the mascots can't speak with Sparty being the lone exception. They can mumble, so it comes out kind of like Kenny in South Park."
So we made our way up to the boulder from which Goldy operated and Davy called him down. Goldy leaped down and made his way over to Davy and myself. He started shaking his head and making a muffled squeaky noise. It was like watching the old Chip and Dale cartoons where it's a high pitch squeak that makes no sense.
Crockett laughed at whatever it was that Goldy said, smiled, and replied, "Yeah, man, still going by Davy Crockett. They'll never catch me."
Goldy mumbled some more, pointing in what seems like random directions, moving his hands around more than Bill Clinton in a speech. Goldy continued to talk for a while with Davy just humming in agreement. After a couple of minutes, Goldy turned to me and mumbled something else to Davy.
Davy translated, "Goldy tells me there's good news that you'll probably want to hear. Your fortunes are going to look good by the time you reach the 6th circle."
"Well, that's, uh, good?" I mutter.
"Yeah. So, what do you want to ask him?" Davy asked.
"What is it that you're doing?" I ask. Goldy seems to laugh, then he starts to mumble to Davy, bobbing his head.
About thirty seconds into the mumbling, Davy plainly interrupted Goldy, "Do you really have to say 'Don'cha know' after everything you say?"
Goldy seemed a bit pissed off at this, bobbing his head much quicker and sounding a bit more stern in his mumble. Just like a Minnesotan.
So when Goldy finished, Davy turned back and translated the long mumbling, saying, "He says he whips a person, grabbing them and throwing them to their final destination."
"That was like 5 minutes of rambling, and that's all he said?" I ask.
Davy replied, "There was some talk about starting an hell ice hockey club, but I didn't think you'd really care."
"Yeah, you're right."
"But yeah," started Davy. "He said his whip goes around the person the same number of times as the circle he's destined to spend the rest of time in. So say that Buckeye fan you walked through earlier, he'll get wrapped up 8 times. Hey Goldy, why don't you show him how it's done?"
Goldy mumbled, leapt back up to the top of his boulder and gave his whip a spin. The tip made it all the way back to the Buckeye fan I walked through earlier, wrapping him eight times around. The spirit was lifted and thrown back and down into the far reaches of hell. It was awesome.
After feeling the satisfaction of watching a Buckeye being thrown deep into the depths of hell, we waved adieu to Goldy. He did that weird mascot salute that they tend to do when signaling goodbye. We were off, heading from Columbus down into the 6th circle.