by Jeanne Adams
So I was in Chuck E. Cheese the other day.... (Yes, now you know where the idea for this blog came from) I decided that it would be one of the worst tortures known to womankind to have to stay there for longer than the two-hour stint I survived.
Eating there? Oh, that's its own kind of hell. Cardboard pizza, wilty lettuce...yep, hell.
Yet, my sons love it. They love the noise and chaos and bings and whistles and endless, inane singing by the mechanical Chuck E Cheese. URG!!! For them, it's a kind of boy-designed-mad-rush-heaven. Games. Flashy lights. They want to go again. Tonight.
For those of you without children, I'm sure that it's even worse to have to enter one of these places.
Now my children would say that hell is Mom without coffee, sleep, or regular meals. I confess that I get a bit testy - yes, I said TESTY - if I don't have my coffee or eat regularly. (And yes, that IS me, before coffee. The hair's a lot blonder than it looks in this picture. Really.)
After a taste of heaven over the weekend - Easter! Treats! Jeweled eggs! - and a Launch Party for Christie yesterday (WOOT, WOOT!) you KNOW I had to go the other way, didn't you? Bwah-ha-ha-ha!
So, like I said, all this Chuck E Cheese business and lack of coffee got me to thinking about Hell, Circa 2010.
You see, I'm pretty sure that the whole fiery doom thing has given way to a 21st century modernization effort. I believe (a la Chuck E Cheese), that the devil has instituted a more psychological direction for the Modern Hell.
After all, individualization is probably MUCH more satisfying than mere across-the-board-flame. Truly, there are so many options in these modern times! (Wow, thinking about the devil's options really reminds me to keep on the straight and narrow, I tell ya'! )
For instance, it would be torture to me to have to watch even one episode of Hoarders. *shuddddddder* A whole season? I would simply curl up and die. There's something about it that horrifies me.... Euwwwwwww!
For others, it's having to watch endless CSI, Criminal Minds or Southland. All shows I love.
The devil would know this and plan accordingly. I would never get THAT room, the CSI/Crime show room with Nick and H and Derrick and Mac. Nope.
Another hellish prospect for me would be to have to listen to a steady diet of opera. Oh, Saints, preserve me!
I like it in small doses (Apologies, Louisa!), but to have it be my only listening "pleasure"? Hell. Pure, unadulterated hell.
(Remember, the ever-so-luscious Phantom of the Opera is musical theater, NOT opera...I could listen to musical theater allllllll day long....which would be my husband's idea of hell, btw!)
Then there's kids toys and shows. Some of them can, I know, make parents and grandparents shudder and quake at the very mention of their names.
The following give me the eye-twitch-shudder reponse:
Large quantities of Playdoh, which the kids then mix to an amorphous, color neutral mass. Arrrrrrgh! It's TORTURE to me when they mix the colors! ARRRGH!!
K-nex and/or Legos scattered everywhere, and particularly the sound of them rattling up the vaccuum cleaner hose....
As I said, it's not just the kid stuff that gives me the creeps.
I can think of a lot more things that would constitute the tortures of hell without breaking bad and going all Disney on Old Scratch.
Going to the DMV. For anything. At all.
Reliving Prom. (No, that ISN'T me, I tore those pictures up. *shudder*)
But the Crowning HELL for me is computer problems.
A Full Brazillian - which I'm convinced was a "beauty effect" dreamed up in the 9th Circle of Hell - would be preferable to a computer crash.
Did I mention that my laptop did just that - crash - in December? So I know of which I speak. Having to pray (and pay!) for the recovery of the data, was an unmitigated horror.
Thankfully, my September 2010 book, Deadly Little Secrets was turned in (Safe!), but the follow up book, Deadly Little Lies, which will come out next year, was NOT. AND....
*Shock! Horror! Agony!* it was NOT BACKED UP. (Now, before you scold me, this was because the auto backup feature was one of the things which FAILED!)
Like I said, Crowning HELL. In the middle of holidays, family crises and the general mayhem that is my life, would I have to recreate this book from scratch?
And did I mention that I had just been introduced to my new editor? For someone I'd just met, someone with her hands on my career, would THIS be her first impression? ARRRRGH!!!
May blessings rain down upon her, my GirlyGeek (that's the name of her biz, btw!) DID recover it, all but a few days of work.
That, I could live with.
I must be doing something right.
Truly, though, ANY computer problem is its own version of Hell, don't you think? We depend so much on them....scary, huh?
Beyond computers, though, there are so many other things that constitute hell, or at least hell-ish, things for me. I could go on all day.
Are you tired of this yet? Is THIS your idea of hell, me going on and on and on and on...droning....
Sorry. So, some other hellish things to me are:
Leather bikinis - Really? Who wears this, and more importantly who thought it was a good idea? I can only think they would be hot, uncomfortable, smelly after only a few wearings...the sensory isssues alone ...ewwww.
And as a corollary: Thongs. Seriously people. Instruments of torture in and of themselves.
*Drum roll* The ultimate torture devices:
Ultra-high-heeled shoes. I adore shoes in general and I love a lot of specific shoes (Don't get me or Tawny or Anna S started on the shoe thing...) But, do you NEED to have a more than 5 inch heel? Really? Who could walk in this?
Pantyhose. Purely created by some cranky imp on the 7th circle of Hell.
Car problems. Small or large, anything with the car is a pain. Sometimes in the neck, sometimes in the wallet, but ALWAYS a pain.
Okay, okay, I'll stop now. Are you writhing in agony?
That's just a taste of my extremely long list. I have a vivid imagination, as you all know. Heeeey! This could be a book:
"How Satan Tortures the Modern Writer Mom."
Now I know that some people think these are simple, easily brushed aside issues.
Hell for THEM includes such fine items as visits from relatives, speaking in public, and making dinner for (or even speaking to) the in-laws, all things which hold no fear whatsoever for me, which is why, I believe, the devil has had to change his tactics.
The whole one-size-fits-all-flame routine just won't do it anymore.
Since it's a fine, sunny spring day, and we're on an Easter high, I figure we can toss a few ideas around without attracting Old Scratch's notice, right? So what to do you say...
What's hellish for you? Let's talk torture...