The teacher who said you would never amount to anything. For the sake of argument let us assume that she was right and you did turn out to be a worthless, pathetic loser. She would still be a bitch, not to mention an incompetent teacher. Teachers arenâ€™t just supposed to drill lessons into your skull, theyâ€™re supposed to inspire you to make something of yourself. No matter how crummy the raw material. Itâ€™s part of their job description, and the fact that teachers are horrendously underpaid, overworked, and unappreciated is beside the point. If youâ€™re a loser, itâ€™s partly her fault.
For being a rotten teacher, she is doomed to write â€œI was an incompetent teacher who ruined the lives of my studentsâ€ 100 times on the blackboard, and then erase everything and start all over again. For all eternity. With no bathroom breaks.
The class bully who tormented you in high school. High school was a preview of Hell, due largely to the sadistic tendencies of your personal demon, (PUT NAME HERE). He put gum in your hair, pulled your chair out from under you, called you names, vandalized your locker, and drew funny pictures of you on the blackboard. And being a real bully, he infected everyone around him so you had to deal with a school full of bullies making fun of you. Why he picked on you in particular, you have no idea. Maybe he secretly liked you (EEUWW, GROSS) or he was miserable at home or his parents beat the crap out of him.
It is comforting to thing that such bullies will get their comeuppance and become failures, but empirical evidence shows that cruelty and obnoxiousness are not obstacles to success; they may even be assets. Fortunately there is a Hell, and in it the bully is condemned to spend the next quinzillion years of so in a high school locker room, naked, drenched in the sweat of fear, running from nine-foot-tall bullies who kick him, snap wet towels at his ass, force him to clean the toilets with his tongue, and point and laugh hysterically at his shrunken bits.
The yaya who hit you then said that if you didnâ€™t stop crying the aswang/ bumbay/ inchik would eat you. Thatâ€™s great: smack a child, then pass your ignorance on to the next generation. Bring up racists and bigots. In Hell this yaya is condemned to run without stopping as she is pursued by creatures from lower Philippine mythology: manananggal, winged half-women who suck the viscera out of the living; tiyanak, demon imps disguised as small children; tikbalang, creatures that are half-men and half-horse; and mangkukulam, witches who cause live animals to grow in peopleâ€™s stomachs and eat them up from inside out.
The gym teacher who called you fat and encouraged everyone to foul you at games. She grows fatter and fatter until her enormous mass causes her to implode and become a black hole.
The cousin who broke all your toys then ran crying to her mother. There is some justice in this world, so this destructive little liar probably grew up friendless. Now in Hell, she is forever eight years old and walking down the endless aisle of the most wonderful, spectacular, supercalifragilistic toy store in the universe. The shelves are lined with every single toy ever invented, and some that havenâ€™t been invented yet. Each time she tries to pick up a toy from a shelf, the toy moves just out of her reach. She can never play with any of these fantastic toys. Occasionally a bunch of 8-year-old kids run into the store and grab toys from the shelves. When she tries to play with them, they break the toys on her head.
The teacher who ruined math/literature for you. His perpetual punishment is to recite from memory the complete value of Pi, down to the last decimal place, or the entire text of James Joyceâ€™s Finneganâ€™s Wake to a room full of cranky scholars. Every time he makes a mistake, he gets pelted from all corners with balled-up pieces of paper that weigh like boulders. Then he has to start at the very beginning. In the extremely unlikely event that he ever gets to the end of Pi or Finneganâ€™s Wake, he moves on the next assignment: mathematical proof of Fermatâ€™s Theorem, or Marcel Proustâ€™s In Search of Lost Time in the original French.
The neighbors who havenâ€™t stopped yowling since they got their karaoke machine. They are condemned to an eternity without sleep, trapped inside a smoky, reeking karaoke bar where the music is so loud it causes their brains to melt and run out of their ears. There they must sing without stopping while they are clubbed and poked with giant microphones by putrid demons requesting â€œMy Wayâ€.
The rich people across the street who detonate their New Yearâ€™s Eve firecrackers on your driveway for fear of accidentally blowing up their environment-raping SUVs. They are tied up, then barrels of petroleum are poured down their throats until petroleum gushes out of their noses and ears. Then when they are completely bloated, they are made to lie on the floor while devils jump up and down on their bellies. Meanwhile frisky little imps throw lit firecrackers at them, and if the pyrotechnics get into their mouths they explode.
The friend of the family who always noted how not pretty you were, and suggested you were adopted. Why would an adult take pleasure in making a child feel ugly and freakish, unless he was tormented by the knowledge of his own hideousness? In Hell he is perpetually pregnant. Every three months he gives birth to a monster who looks at him, laughs hysterically, and slithers away.
The girl/guy your high school crush asked to the prom instead of you. They marry each other and live unhappily ever after, alone with each other in a desert in Hell. Both of them wish heâ€™d asked you to the prom instead. They never speak to each other. Sometimes they attempt to murder each other, but they never succeed.
The 500 People You Meet In Hell, designed and illustrated by Ige Ramos, is now available at Powerbooks and National Bookstores everywhere.