It was a cool, crisp day early in March. We had just come back inside from recess. Our teacher, Ms. Frizzle, was busy sticking her finger into an electric socket. The topic for the day was "Death by Electrocution," and Ms. Fri zzle is a very "hands-on" type of teacher. "Ahhh!!" she screamed, as sparks flew from the wall. "Ahhh!! Ahhh!!" She kept putting her finger in the socket. It looked painful, but she seemed to be enjoying it. Eventually she noticed that we had come back from recess.
"Welcome back, class. I've got some great demonstrations for you this afternoon. But first I need a volunteer. Carlos, how about you."
"But Ms. Frizzle, I had to do the flying chainsaw demo this morning!" Carlos objected.
"Oh that's right. Best to give everyone a chance. Ralph, come up here." Ralph got up and slowly moved to the front of the room as Ms. Frizzle explained the demonstration. "In front of me I have a large bowl of water. On the floor is a 10,000 volt battery. What I'll do is stick these wires connected to the battery into the water, simulating lightning striking a swimming pool. Little Ralphie will stick his head in the bowl as I do this so we can watch the effect. Now make sure that you all take good notes, because there will be a take home lab for homework tonight."
Dorothy Ann came in late carrying something that smelled really bad. "Ms. Frizzle? I found a dead squirrel during recess. I thought you might know what I should do." She put the carcass on Ms. Frizzle's desk.
"What a wonderful question! I love dead squirrels! They have so much to teach us." We have an outstanding opportunity to learn about nature and the circle of life. Does anyone know where little squirrels go when they die?" No one seemed to know. "Well,looks like it's time for another field trip!"
This was certainly an unexpected surprise. Everyone ran outside to our favorite yellow vehicle. Ms. Frizzle followed, not forgetting to grab her new battery. "You never know when it might come in handy," she said.
Once we were on the Magic Schoolbus, Ms. Frizzle gave us the emergency landing talk. "Please look around you and locate all exits. Remember, the nearest exit may be above you." We all looked up, but there weren't any exits on the roof. "In case of a water landing, you're probably out of luck, but in case you can swim you can tape your seat cushion to your back. Do not feed the rabid camels." The rabid camels lived in cages in the back. They usually stayed out of the way, but sometimes they would bite. The rocket engines fired up and the bus started moving. As soon as we were off the ground Ms. Frizzle started laughing maniacally.
"Mu ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! You foolish mortals! Once again you have fallen for my fiendish devices. You are helpless now and no one can help you. Your parents didn't even sign any permission slips! I own you now!!!"
Wanda spoke up. "Uh...where exactly are we going, Ms. Frizzle?"
"From now on refer to me as Jklpxc3z3lzlq, Lord of the Underworld!!!" Our teacher was mutating into an evil, deformed incarnation before our very eyes.
Wanda rephrased herself. "Where exactly are we going, Jklpxc3z3lzlq, Lord of the Underworld?"
Jklpxc3z3lzlq, Lord of the Underworld, cackled wildly. "Call me Jklpx, for short. Mu ha ha! We're going to Hell in a Magic School Bus! Ha ha ha!" Ralph looked concerned. "Isn't that where bad people go when they die?"
"No, that's New Jersey," Jklpx responded. "But it is where you're going! You and your little squirrel. And when you get there, you are going to burn in Hell!!! Ha ha ha! I'll give you death by electrocution!! Pego Pego! Die! Die! In sduem zdfls sDfjdFoi 329zs #Qdaf =d#Eea KHIle2!!!!"
This was turning out to be quite a trip. Much more interesting than our visits to the moon or inside the human body. Because, honestly, who really cares about science and stuff like that? Hell seemed to be pretty exciting. Everything was getting a lot warmer, and there were lots of fires outside the windows. Fire is cool. Soon we came to a large burning gate and parked in the oversized vehicle lot. There was something written over the gate in Latin, but we couldn't read it. Carlos thought it might be "Microsoft: Where do you want to go today?" but he never got very good grades in Latin. There was also a large dog with multiple heads, kind of like a normal dog, only with extra heads. We approached the gates and the watchdog spake.
"Halt! Who goes there?"
"Jklpxc3z3lzlq, Lord of the Underworld."
"What is the password?"
"What is your favorite color?"
"Very good. You may pass."
We passed underneath the huge gate into a cauldron of fire and brimstone. Everywhere you looked tortured souls writhed in agony. Some were chained and whipped by hideous demons while the infestuous vermin gnawed at their bones.
Others were forced to do problem sets and go to lab day and night, never sleeping or resting. Still others had to listen to techno and Barney reruns. We had to pick our way through streams of molten lava and charred rocks. Jxlpx laughed maniacally and took the dead squirrel out of her purse. "I call on the power of the Horrific Hellions of the Pi'th Circle of Hell to restore the life forces to this pathetic vermin-infested rodent so that it may live out the rest of its worthless existance in the fiery furnaces of Hell!!!" As Jxlpx finished, the poor squirrel jumped from her hands and started running away as quickly as it could. It didn't get very far before it spontaneously burst into flames. You could hear its desperate squeeks of anguish as it was consumed by the scorching heat. It would have been kind of sad if it wasn't so funny.
Wanda seemed a little scared, but the rest of us were having a great time. We collected several different lava samples. Carlos wanted to collect some tortured souls, but Jxlpx told him they had to stay in Hell. "But feel free to beat them as much as you want," she assured him.
"Yay!!" We had a grand old time, smacking and beating and whipping all the destitute suffering souls we could find. They couldn't do anything to resist, but they sure could scream! Even Wanda got into the beatings. Occasionally we ran into famous dead people. There was Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer and James K. Polk and the president of Aramark food services.
We had the time of our lives, but eventually we had to leave. We passed back through the insidious gate and over the river in the big, creepy boat. We got back on the Magic Schoolbus and went home. That night my parents asked me what I did today. I just shook my head and said, "oh, nothing."