Fixing the 'Ferno, yo

THE INFERNO, by Dante Alighieri

Canto XXXV, Circle Ten: Boring People

My Guide, before we left, spoke once again
      And said, "There is one more abode of damned,
      The last of the rings, the circle of ten."
And so he showed me down some darkened stairs
      Down Satan's ass, I think he had the runs
      I smelléd his hellish colonic airs.
My eyes had not adjusted to the light
      For much did shine, quite oddly, from the roof,
      So then my Master spoke of these men's plight
"These souls, in contrast to the rest you've seen
      Have different karmic debts to pay,
      And boredom plagues their nasty souls unclean."
When last my eyes could focus on the place
      I saw the sins that earned this as their home.
      My blood ran cold and left a pallored face.
A meeting room this was, of light-ish beige,
      Which housed a meeting table of sorts,
      And it proved a most befitting stage.
"In life these miscreants would talk a score
      On subjects that ranged from mundane to dull,
      Pontificating soporific bore."
I could not speak, and Virgil carried on,
      "They wasted time and air and their resources
      To make the shortest phrases so deadly long.
They managed boards, and groups, and clubs, and teams
      Reporting on their fiscal revenue,
      With charts and graphs and paper by the reams.
Because of these, their deadly sins, they must
      Be audience to palling books on tape
      So they might see why they were unjust."
As if on cue, right as he stopped, began
      A voice I'd heard somewhere before.
      It was Ben Stein, whose voice could kill a man.

"When I wrote the following pages,"
      Began that weary voice of mundane doom,
      Lashing the minds of those Tedium Sages.
It was the timeless work by old Thoreau,
      Entitled Walden, my ignorant friends.
      I envy those of you who do not know.
To add to this unending, Hellish pain
      The victims had to wear those business suits
      They made US wear when hearing their stain.
"I should'nt obtrude my affairs so much," he spoke
      Continuing this torture of the damned.
      I yearned for that record player I broke.
I looked at the souls and identified
      A few you might expect to see.
      But one I saw and nearly myself died.
"Oh, Plato, what have you done to earn
      This worst of punishments to face?
      You wrote, and made so many people learn!"

He turned his head, and looked, and smiled.
      "You must have never read my work,
      The book Republic sealed my fate, young child.
But, as with Cocytus, you know
      How souls will go there premortem?" he asked.
      "Young Dante, no further will you go."
I nearly believed this trite of he
      And turned to Virgil, Reasoner of Man.
      Alas, his presence ceased to side with me.
I heard his voice, and so he said
      "Dante, you grub, this is your fate!
      This was all a ruse, for you are dead!"
I should have noticed this before, I think,
      Since the meter's been off for quite a while,
      And that usually signals that something is wrong.
And there at the table I sat,
Wearing a suit and a hat
      They were made of cotton
      I felt itchy and rotten
And that was the end of that.

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