Okay, after I maneuvered down the molten lava that had become my staircase (boy, that T-Fal cookware is something else!), I was faced once again by the harpies. I told them to go piss up a rope–I’m PMSing and they did NOT want to cross me. They left.
I rapelled down the abyss. I saw a little outcroppy-thing, and the package was resting on it. I snagged it quite easily, stuck it into my daughter’s Blue’s Clues backpack (hey, I said I was PMSing–I forgot to get myself a backpack when I got the rapelling equipment), and start climbing back up.
I get to the top, and start to climb out. But there’s someone in my way. He’s big. Really freakin’ big. And he’s got cloven hooves.
“Whatcha got there?” he says, surprisingly politely, considering he’s a Demon From The Pits Of Hell. “Not sure yet,” I reply. “Care to give me a hand out of this abyss?”
“Sure,” he says, and he helps me up.
“I know what it is you’ve got,” he says, a bit more sternly, but not really evil. “It’s your great-grandfather’s copy of ‘The Manly Man Handbook.’”
“Really?” I reply. “Saaaaweeeeet! A vintage copy!”
“Uh, you know you can’t read that, don’t you?” he says, a little hesitantly.
“Why not?” I say. “I’ve got a husband and a son. Shouldn’t I know what makes them weird?”
“Listen, have a heart,” he pleads. “I can’t actually take that copy from you–each book has it’s own owner. And although sometimes your husband thinks that you and I are related, I can state with certainty that we’re not. Why don’t you give it to your husband for safekeeping until your son gets old enough?” Tears start to form in his eyes.
That made me change my mind right there. I mean, how could I read this thing, when Beelzebub himself was begging me not to?
I sighed. “Okay, okay, I’ll give it to my husband,” I said. “But can I ask you a question?”
He dabbed his eyes with his pointed tail. “Anything, ma’am.”
“Why do you care?” I asked. “You of all people, who thrives on chaos and discord?”
He shrugged and smiled. “Hey, I’m a guy too.”
I laughed. He started to disappear in a puff of smoke, but stopped. “Oh, and since you’ve been so kind, be sure to tell that Totoro wanker that I said I’ve got his beer right here.” He grabbed his crotch, then he vanished.
The lava had cooled somewhat, making it much easier for me to climb the stairs. When I got to the top, I turned to survey the damage. Aw, shit, I thought to myself. I won’t have any trouble convincing Tim that this all happened, but there’s just no way I’m gonna be able to get this past the insurance company.