I know there's the whole seven layers of Hell, but I can't really put these in any order of bad to baddest. So, here are my seven layers of Hell, in no particular order.
4. An eternity where "It's A Small World" and the Smurf themes are played non-stop. It's a small world. Yeah. We've all been on the ride or have at least seen some videos of the ride. My memories of going through that ride, of course, all involve that song. The first time I went on the It's A Small World ride I was ten and had the distinct pleasure of having the boat stop for a good 15 minutes in the middle of the ride while the maintenance crew fixed the roundy gizmo that connects to the wogle dohick so the ride could continue. I don't want to be over dramatic but - Worst. Fifteen minutes. Of. My. Life. (Apparently, this is not an uncommon occurrence.) When I was young, we would go to Canada's Wonderland once a year. They had Yogi Bear's cave. It was so cool! You just walked through it and it showed little animatronic characters from Yogi Bear. At the end, there was a room that was all upside down! The furniture was above you and you were walking on the ceiling! How cool is that! Then, the Smurfs became popular and they replaced Yogi's cave with a Smurf cave. That isn't so bad, really. I liked the Smurfs and the cave was still really neat, although there was no upside down room at the end but Gargamel's area was all dark with black lights and lightening and that was pretty cool*. But the Smurf theme played through the cave non-stop. When there was a lot of people, you would be forced to stop in one place for a few moments from time to time, all the while hearing the theme from the Smurfs. Either of those two songs played for an eternity would be hell enough, but both of them. I... I just don't even want to think about that.
2. An eternity where the only food options are buffets. I. Hate. Buffets. Look, if I'm going to pay for a pre-made meal, I want it brought out to me. I don't want to have to stand behind some guy who can't decide if he really wants the noodles with questionable sauce or not. And then there's the people who go the wrong way in the lineup. Then there's the kids who can't see over the side and drop a huge scoop of food on the floor. And then there's the "what exactly is this supposed to be? Meatballs? maybe?" factor. And then there's the whole ordeal of getting the food for my kids (yes, in buffet hell, my kids would be there). Go with Lilly and Madeleine and Victoria. Hold Victoria's plate and a plate for Rosemary while I try to scoop food on everyone's plate. Then Madeleine can't carry hers so add that to the pile. Then have the argument that no, Lilly, you don't like that and won't eat it so you shouldn't take it because it's wasteful. It is better now that the kids are older, but I sill hate herding two of them to the feed trough to pick up their food. By the time I get mine, they're done their first plate and want seconds. Yeah, buffets suck and would certainly have a place in my personal Hell.
7. An eternity of MMO lag. "Oh good! There's that mob I have been after for the last three hours! It finally spawned! I'll just run over there and.... wait a minute. I'm hitting it but, why am I not doing any damage? That's weird. All of the other players are standing still.... oh crap! I'm lagging again, aren't I?" And the next thing you know, you're dead and the rare spawn has been killed by another player and you have to wait for it again. I shudder at the thought of spending an eternity like that.
3. An eternity without any Joss Whedon shows. I don't mean not seeing any ever again, although that would be bad enough in and of itself. My obsession with Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog is so deep I think that only an eternity with no access to that Emmy Award winning show could cure me. And Firefly? Yeah, that special place in hell reserved for child molesters and people who talk in theatres would be a hell without Firefly. No more Buffy kicking ass, no more brooding, sorrowful Angel and no more perfectly beautiful Dolls. But, an eternity where Joss Whedon shows never even existed? Well, that is a hell I have no interest in! No Slayer Slang? No crazy random happenstance? No Shiny? Just no! Make it stop!
6. An eternity of listening to people quoting Monty Python nonstop. I love Monty Python. I watch their movies and shows. I have even quoted them myself. But, you know, there is such thing as too much of a good thing. I don't want to spend two hours sitting at a table where people constantly quote Monty Python (true story), much less an eternity of it. Don't make me fetch the comfy chair!
1. An eternity without Diet Coke. I have in the past gone on a sort of Coke cycle. I would be totally off any kind of pop and then start drinking Coke. I would then realize that all that sugar wasn't good for me and switch to Diet Coke. Then I would think about all of the caffeine and how my body shouldn't depend on it so much and wean myself off, only to start the cycle all over again a few months later. However, I have been stuck on the Diet Coke part of the cycle now for about a year and a half. I cannot imagine going a day without it, much less an eternity.
5. An eternity with nothing to read but 1980s (and early 1990s) young adult fiction. Ah, Sweet Valley High. How I loved you in my tweens. Elizabeth with her romantic boyfriend, Jessica with her crazy schemes. And Babysitter's Club. You also have a special place in my heart. Clear headed Kristy, artsy, exotic Claudia, sophisticated Stacey, shy Mary Anne and independent Dawn. All of you from both books were with me when I was suffering at the hands of my bullies. Your stories were an escape and I thought you were all just so cool. I wanted your lives. The babysitters all had it so together, the Wakefield twins were popular and beautiful, none of which I felt applied to my life at that time. But, MY. GOD! Have you revisited any of those stories? Elizabeth is a busy body know-it-all who will interfere with anyone's life 'cause she has all of the answers and knows best. Don't have a boyfriend? Elizabeth will help you! Parents headed for divorce? Elizabeth will get them back together! Your parents are racist jerks and don't want you dating someone of a different ethnicity? She can fix that too, just let her go talk to your parents. It doesn't matter if you don't want her help, she'll just barge on in and fix it all for you. No need to thank her. Just tell her how perfect you think she is and how much you wish you could have her life. And Jessica! What a skanky cock tease! Girl never put out but sure did have a long line of guys who wanted to pop that cherry. Why, I will never know. I'm not sure why any guy would want to have anything to do with a psycho who is not only unpredictable, but is likely to accuse you of date rape when you try to go for a feelskie. The whole Sweet Valley universe is just so warped. Now, I have never left my kids with a sitter other than family (I'm cheap, what can I say?), but if I ever did and that sitter decided that she knew how to parent my kid better than me, I would put that 13 year old in her place so fast she wouldn't know what hit her. Listen, BSC. You may think you know what's best for the kids you babysit, but you're 13. If you ever tell my overweight kid that it's OK to go off the diet I have made for him with the help of a doctor, I will bitch slap your face. If you ever convince my extremely shy kid that she should be part of a pageant because you're jealous of your friends who are helping other pageant kids, I will put you in a frilly dress and have you stand in front of a crowd who will yell out your faults and shortcomings while you have a fake smile plastered on your face. To run it down: Kristy - bossy, controlling bitch who really should have no friends at all: Mary Anne - shy doesn't begin to describe it, stand up for yourself and tell Cookie et el. to back off and stay away from Logan; Claudia - you need to go to a school for the learning disabled. Really. And those clothes (I love the 80s!), I hate to tell you this, they don't make you look artistic. They make you look like a clown.; Stacey - Just stop it. I don't need you to tell me how sophisticated you are. I get it. Really. You're from New York. Just shut up already!; Dawn - well, you have a special place in my heart Dawn because you were my favourite. But... relax, OK? Just because you don't want to eat foods consisting of refined sugar and ingredients I can't even pronounce, doesn't mean those of us who love Oreos are doomed to a life of cavities and weight watchers. Stop expecting your friends to jump on with your causes. Be the change, Dawn, be the change.** Don't make me read these again! I'll be good! I promise I'll do whatever it takes to aviod an eternity of these books!
I said they're in no particular order...***
* Sadly, they have gutted the cave to make room for an arcade. I weep for this generation when we tear down an imaginative ride to make way for an arcade in the middle of an amusement park. Video games at home are one thing but do we really need to put them in the middle of a park where kids should be encouraged to engage with the world instead of retreating into a video game?
** Lilly reads Babysitter's Club now. I'm not sure how to feel about this. On the one hand, she's reading. But on the other hand, those books are so formulaic that I can't even get her to look twice at the copy of The Breadwinner trilogy I bought for her. She has complained now about books that she can't remember the characters because they're not introduced like they are in Babysitter's Club at the beginning of the book. So...
***You know, I'm going to add an eighth level here. An eternity of running from zombies and not having a shotgun or a chainsaw. That's just plain frightening.