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Something Wicked. . .

Head Waiter

October 30, 1998|Jeffrey Augustine | * Augustine, 41, is a sales manager. He lives in Saugus

"We have fresh human heads in season," the waiter informed Natasha and I as we sat down at our table overlooking Hell.

"Hmm, that sounds good," I said to the waiter.

"Not for me," Natasha said, "I'm on a diet and brain is fatty. I'll just have the swordfish and a glass of mineral water please."

"Would you care to pick your head from the tank?" the waiter asked, gesturing over to the large 300-gallon saline tank in which bobbed dozens of human heads. Kept at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the tank assured the gastronome of the freshest human heads possible.

"Oh, that blond head looks fine," I replied, pointing to the bodiless head of what had probably been an aspiring actor, perhaps an athlete.

A great finger of flame suddenly licked up from Hell followed by the tortured screams of a fresh batch of sinners hitting the fire. Natasha was quick to back away as the flame roared right past our table. "It's a good thing I didn't wear hair spray!" she laughed as the flame was sucked back down into the tumultuous sea of fire roiling below us. When you ate here, you could always expect the flames to leap up by your table. That's one of the things that made this place such an attraction, truly one of the finest view restaurants in the underworld.

A blood-curdling shriek nearly peeled the toupee from my scalp as the chef immersed the head I had ordered into a vat of boiling oil. "Ahh, human head," I exclaimed as I grabbed the skull-cracker and the waiter placed a head-bib over me.

"Perhaps a nice pinot to go with your head, sir?" the waiter asked.

"Pinot? That would be splendid," I answered as the steaming head was presented table-side by the tuxedoed restaurant manager, an attractive demoness in her late 20s. Better not let Natasha catch me ogling her, I thought, or it'll mean another day spent sleeping in the attic with the bats.

Yet another tongue of flame roared up past our seats accompanied by the soul-wrenching screams of the newly and eternally damned. "Sorry for the commotion, sir," the restaurant manager offered, "but it's Saturday night, and we always have an awful lot of souls going into Hell on Saturday nights."

"Tell me about it," I laughed, "I just last week retired as the chief of temptation for Los Angeles. This is the first Saturday night I've had off since 1933!"

"You? You were the chief of temptation for Los Angeles!" the manager squealed in delight, "Is it true? I mean, you're responsible for all of the stars, athletes and politicians down here?"

"Oh yeah, they're all mine, even the losers, boozers and schmoozers," I smiled.

Natasha hated it when people doted on my celebrity, hated it even more than my corny rhymes. "Dinner is on me tonight!" the manager exclaimed, "as long as I can have my picture taken with you and your wife!"

"Done!" I spoke.

The demons down at the station had warned me that I would get fat and lazy when I retired and now, well, this was just the beginning. But what would be so bad about an old devil like me enjoying life after all those years spent landing some of the biggest fish in the sea? After all, it was time for the young tempters to take over. And anyway, I'd lost my sense of the human world after "Seinfeld" went off the air last season. God, but I do miss Kramer!

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