Saturday, October 09, 2010
Life in Limbo, § 0.2
Wal-Mart's ubiquity astonishes the living, as its big box stores pop up like mushrooms across the American landscape. Likewise, in Limbo there exists big box stores at nearly every street corner where the dead souls can go shopping. Run exclusively by Hecate Enterprises Chthonic Mercantile, Inc., these stores do not include a grocery section primarily because the souls in Limbo eat no comestibles. There's no pharmacy section in Hec-Mart either, since they're already dead and medication would be an unsaleable commodity. When you're dead you don't even catch a cold. You will find nothing but polyester in the small clothing section of Hec-Mart, which is the name that flashes in glaring red neon letters on the front of each big box. Hec-Mart does have modest furniture and hardware sections, where the company does a brisk business since the soul apartments in Limbo are in a perpetual state of decay and often need repairs. The roofs leak, the walls and floors creak, and the doors hinges squeak. But nobody worries about leaky pipes because the soul apartments lack plumbing. Toilets are unnecessary in Limbo for reasons that are too obvious to state. And the dead don't need to shower or bathe. They neither sweat nor perspire.
Some dead souls, when they first arrive in Limbo, make the mistake of supposing there's free beer to be had. Limbo lacks free beer, or any other alcoholic beverage, and the place is more "dry" than some counties in Utah. There's not a drop anywhere to be found, which disappoints some newly arriving souls very greatly. However, there are no taxes, and best of all there are no taxes on tobacco. Many libertarians found this to be Limbo's most delightful aspect. Consequently, the dead can buy a carton of cigarettes at Hec-Mart for a price that barely registers above a mere formality, and a huge percentage of the the dead souls in Limbo have taken up smoking, especially since the health problems associated with this habit don't exist for reasons too obvious to bear repeating. Only one down side should be noted, and that is the lack of variety of cigarette brand selection. The only ones available are Marlboro, Camel, and Raleigh. In Limbo there are no "light" brands, nor menthol, nor filter cigarettes. Tobacco is smoked in its purest simplicity with no frills. However, many of the dead souls have developed a "smokers hack" when they speak, and many soul apartments reek of the musty odor of stale tobacco smoke. As a hobby, the smoking dead do save up Raleigh coupons, which are accepted only at Hec-Mart, and not having much else to do, some have learnt the knack of "rolling their own."