The arrival of Philip in Hell triggered some troubling reflections on the part of the real Prince on the increasingly urgent matters of categorization & accommodation in his majestic domain.
Charlemagne had already said Philip was not welcome in the section reserved for European royalty & their associated bad bastards. ‘No-one can stand the cnut down our way either, says he, and the last 500 years we have had nothing but Philips, nothing but fellas plastered in medals & epaulettes who never saw a battle in their lives. It’s getting on the nerves of the lads & lasses who, you know, fought in actual wars & got stuck by actual swords and the like.’
Would the Irish take him? Philip was indeed very alike to the Irish in hell, who were a population of priests & nuns going back to ‘St Kevin’ the serial killer of Glendalough, politicians all the way back to ‘St Patrick’, & businesspeople & Trade Union officials going back to the very first leprechaun who sold passers by gold-painted shite from a potty-crock that had been blessed by a saint.
Cromwell was the representative of the Irish in the halls of Pandemonium City, Satan’s Capital. The Irish were not interested in Philip & would not be hosting him under any circumstances – ‘we have to draw the line somewhere’, said Cromwell, ‘& we are still getting used to Mountbatten’.
Satan, who was as fond of Cromwell as he was of Hitler, assented for the sake of good community relations down below.
He summoned Thatcher, who was one to call when hell was in need of innovative proposals, & whom he had for his own & the general amusement long ago transformed into a six-foot yoke that was half jellyfish & half gigantic wart.
Thatcher spoke by squirting elaborate diarrhea patterns out of a funnel on top of her head, a language that Satan understood well as he had invented it, tho of course Thatcher has perfected it, had become its poet laureate.
It was Thatcher who had convinced him in 2013 to sack three quarters of his Divils & make the rest work thrice as hard for half the reward. Had it improved Hell? It was too early to tell. All Satan could grant was that it hadnt made Hell any worse than it was before & sure a change is as good as a rest, ain’t it?
Thatcher painted the sulphurous atmosphere around The Dark Lord with calligraphic patterns of glowing diarrhea, formally reminiscent of the highest achievements of medieval Chinese poetry, though of course very different in content & intent – this kind of fake, borrowed, vacous artistry was why Thatcher had been placed in the ‘writers & artists’ section of hell, which was facing serious overcrowding these days, as were so many of Hell’s diverse divisions.
‘It is a matter of reorganization on principles of ruthless economy’ shat she, ‘of renewing efficiency in the deployment of limited resources, for practical ends, going forward. ‘
‘I’m listening’, belched Satan, ‘but I don’t like wordy prologues. Get to the point.’
Suddenly Thatcher’s language changed to a darker, stinkier shade of loose stool.
‘Look Prince’, she darkly shat, ‘you solve the space issue easily by antsizing everyone.’
‘I’m with you’, puked Satan, ‘go on. But how do I receive the billions that are coming in the next few years because of Climate Change & Nuclear war? Even if I antsize them, there is still the huge problem of getting them all safely & properly to the right section of Hell’
Shat she, ‘you need a Triumvirate in charge of that.’
‘Who do you nominate?’
‘Andrew Cuomo, Michael O Leary, & Dominic Cummings.’
‘Very well, I will send for them shortly. But what about Philip? Where does he go?’
Shat she, in elaborate script reminiscent of the handwriting of Lady Gregory, but nothing like it really, ‘with Philip you must open a new section entirely, a section that will be suited to a horde from among the new arrivals, & put him in charge of it.’
‘But what has that old goon to do with evil of the 21st century? In what is contained Philip’s aptness to this task?’
Shat she, ‘well Prince to me it’s obvious. We will need to accommodate many millions of Philips in the next period.’
‘Who do you mean by that? There aren’t that many nonagenarian nobles about.’
Shat she, ‘I mean those who sport medals for battles they haven’t fought in. Those whose virtue & honour is entirely a showcase. All those salespeople masquerading as saints.’
‘Haven’t we got the novelists’ section for that?’
Shat she, ‘but that’s for writers who actually wrote something. These days it’s more of a Prince Philip kind of scene. Lots & lots of medals pinned on you by your cousins, who you are also screwing, but not much in the way of battle.’
‘I see. Well I must say it makes sense & kills both of the irritating birds we are dealing with – crowding, & categorisation of the new evils.’
Shat she, ‘why thank you Lord Satan.’
‘I’ll get Beelzebub to fill your wartcolons up with a veritable mountain of Hell’s runniest runs later on. But what should I call this new section?’
Shat she, ‘Great Lord & Master of Pseuds, Hypocrites & career-building Witch-hunts, I suggest that you may call it ‘Twitter’.’
& Lord Satan, cancelled by God at the beginning of time & growing mightier & mightier ever since, could not but assent, could not but admire the rabid perspicuity of the shitespeaking column of jellywarts before him & resolved there & then to make her his Queen.