"Tis certain that fine women eat/a crazy salad with their meat/whereby the Horn of Plenty is undone," said William Butler Yeats.
Ava had one kind of salad; I'll take mine with a light dressing of temperance and humility. This week in crazy salad classroom, we finished Romeo and Juliet in freshman and Paradise Lost in senior English. Is is indeed better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven? Heaven is the place where I can stand on a table and sing like Tammy Wynette, Alberta is making mixed media art and leaving little scraps of paper all over the room, Zinedine Zidane is about to take a penalty kick, my grandfather is playing poker with his buddies, Mother is plotting crimes she'll never commit, the twins are coming down the chutes in a cross country race, and Josh Hartnett is dialing my number on his cell phone. I'll get down from the table and mark my place in the new Shirley Jackson novel before I answer.
Hell, on the other hand, is Wal-Mart with Nascar and rap music. John Wayne Gacy rings up your groceries and Pennywise bags them at the checkout. In the pharmacy Laurence Olivier asks, "Is it safe?" to determine whether you can have the oil of cloves. As you leave the parking lot, someone pulls out in front of you, gets in the left lane, and drives 15 mph, until you MAKE them sorry. Oh, wait; this is hell, so you just have to tailgate for the next 50 miles, or eternity.
But to bed--"Night's candles are burnt out, and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountaintops. I must be gone and live, or stay and die." John Milton, I do believe that not only would I rather serve in Heaven, I'd make good tips.