Hell is For Keeps
by Billy Anderson
Reviewed by DOHD staff
DOHD gives this newest entry in relig-lit a read-it-or-else recommendation. It is a very moving yet very terrifying story of a young boy who went to the dentist for a routine checkup. But, unfortunately, he got an infection, died and went to hell before doctors revived him and brought him back to life.
Literally to Hell. That's why this story is so remarkable. Almost all the near-death stories you hear tell of someone who dies and then goes to heaven where they see God, Jesus, Gram and Gramps, some angels, and maybe even their pet dog that died years before. It's a warm and cuddly experience for everyone, and they always eagerly relate it because so many people find so much hope in these stories.
But this is the opposite: a young, innocent child suffers a horrible accident, for some reason goes to Hell and comes back with horrifying stories of smells and fires and smoke and evil dope-smoking hippies and all kinds of indecencies that we hope to rid the Homeland of. And we know young Billy Anderson's story is true, because there is no way such an innocent child could know any of these things without actually experiencing them all firsthand.
That's why there is so much we can learn from this book. What is remarkable is that here in this brief book, Billy answers so many questions that people have wondered about since time began. What is Hell? Who goes there? What do you have to do to go there? Is everyone there Christian? Where is it? Are there any nice cats and dogs in Hell? Or just mean pets?
We at the Department of Homeland Decency have long supported decency initiatives because we know they will improve the quality of life for everyone in the Homeland and make our great land a beacon of hope for people in benighted lands — which is just about everywhere else.
Those familiar with our goals are familiar with these initiatives: share a sandwich with an immigrant co-worker, because “Nothing says Homeland like a good sandwich.” Neighborhood Decency Patrols. Our studies that prove that medical marijuana weakens people and makes it easier for indecency to enter their lives, even if just for a week or two before they die..
But now young Billy proves we were right and shows that those who don't do what we tell them to do will end up in Hell. Who did he meet while there? His grandfather, for one, who warned Billy: “Billy, I was a vegetarian my whole life, so I was not strong enough to resist temptation. That's why I am in Hell. I probably recycled too much, too – that's too European.”
There's also Billy's best friend's mother, who died drunk at the wheel of her car. “I was so proud to be the boss at work. I had it all and thought I could do it all. But I'm just a woman and I shouldn't have tried to live a man's life. I ordered men about, which is unnatural and wrong. Women shouldn't do that. We need to be submissive and obedient to men. Then the world works better and we won't go to Hell. My husband will probably go to Hell, too, for letting me speak with other men and go to work.”
Hell is a terrible place for a young boy. There are no cute animals or pets, only means ones. Same with old people: they are all old and cranky and overweight – none of the sweet old people with eccentric habits most of have learned to love. No one is having fun or a nice conversation or playing games, either.
And Hell stinks, because everyone there has gas. That gas, in fact, fuels the fires of Hell. Only vegetables and bran are served, so there will always be gas in Hell and terrible smells. Never any good food. Never any good pancakes or donuts to bring joy to the morning.
Billy's story has a happy ending, however. Doctors worked furiously on him and were able to revive him and now he is healthier than ever. His grades are better, too, and his whole neighborhood has responded to his story by doing everything it can to be the most decent neighborhood in the Homeland. To honor him, all his neighbors have sprayed for dandelions and crabgrass. No one on his block listens to NPR anymore. And you won't find any NY Times being delivered in the neighborhood anymore. Nope. Everyone just is happy to listen to Fox News all day, because that's one place where decency begins.
Read Billy's book. Learn from it. And then be sure to buy “The Decency Rules and Regulations Manual.” Read it and make everyone in your home understands it. Discuss decency issues with your family and friends.
Because won't you feel bad if, on the day of judgment, you end up in Hell? For keeps? Especially for something stupid like visiting France too often and thinking their indecencies are probably OK?
Remember: we are marching proudly backwards to our future. It's never too late to choose decency.