Dear 100 Hour Board,
Can you make a Dante's Inferno style thing about the worst types of fellow student to have class with, and the appropriate punishments they should have to endure?
Limbo is reserved for the virtuous unbelievers. So in other words, people who were good but apparently are still going to hell, according to Dante. These are the people who sit right next to you when there are tons of open seats available. Is their crime that bad? Not really. Are they good people? Probably. But do they still deserve some sort of punishment? Undoubtedly.
Their punishment is to never get alone time ever. Every time they think they've managed to escape, they find they've wandered into a huge convention, or that one clingy person from 9th grade shows up and starts talking to them, or a film crew shows up and starts documenting their every move.
PDA-ers in class. Obviously. Personally I would place them in a deeper circle than just the second, but unfortunately I'm constrained by Dante's existing framework. This circle is filled with all the couples that took classes together and then pushed their desks together so they could sensually scratch each other's backs the whole time (especially the couples who did this while sitting in the front row so everyone was forced to watch), the couples who stare longingly into each other's eyes any time the professor mentions anything about marriage, the couples who won't stop kissing despite being in a very public place that's supposed to be dedicated to learning, the people who can't keep their hands off each other, and the dudes who won't stop hitting on the girls sitting next to them despite the fact that their advances are clearly not wanted.
Their punishment is to be locked in a series of clear rooms, just one away from the person they actually want to be with. They'll spend eternity trying desperately to reach the person they want to be with, but who will forever be just out of reach. Desperate, they'll start calling out to each other, but in a cruel trick of fate their nauseating professions of love will never reach their intended destination. Instead, each inhabitant of this circle will be bombarded with all the other inhabitant's passionate declarations, but will never be able to hear them from the one person they actually care about. The air will echo with cliche declarations of love that the inhabitants can never escape.
This level is an odd mix of people. There are the people who bring their gross-smelling foods to class (why would someone eat microwaved fish in a lecture hall?). There are the freshmen who won't stop loudly talking about how hard it is to use up all their Cougar Cash on their meal plans right in front of starving juniors and seniors who have been eating nothing but Top Ramen and the occasional free donut they get at the Wilk. And then there are the students who always went well past the word count/page count on every assignment. Why are these last people in their group? Because they don't know how to stop for their own good, and this in turn ends up punishing the poor TAs who have to read extra pages of unnecessary information.
Their punishment is to never get anything nice ever again. They overdid it on good things their whole life, so now their whole afterlife they have to overdo it on bad things. They'll be forced to eat "sandwiches" made of creamed corn rolled up in a tortilla 28 times a day.
Here lie all the people whose petty greediness made other people's lives worse--the kids who get to class super early, then sit at the end of a row so everyone is forced to climb over their backpacks (being greedy for the best seats), as well as the people who use class time to interrupt the professor and ask a million pointless or repetitive questions (being greedy for the professor's time). There are also the guys who stick their arms way out over the edges of their chair in stadium seating, so the poor people next to them are forced to run into his elbows no matter what they do (being greedy for space).
Their punishment is to spend eternity walking past cramped rows of people who are already sitting down, while the ground is littered with oversized backpacks. They never reach their destination, because every time they think they're close to an empty chair, someone else sits there and forces them to keep walking farther and farther. In fact, any time anything good seems about to happen to them, someone else manages to get the good thing, leaving them stuck with nothing but tiny, cramped rows of chairs and leftover creamed corn tortillas.
In this circle we find all the people who get irrationally defensive when the professor says something uncontroversial or normal (looking at you, kid from my Spanish class who spent the better part of an hour defending BYU students who make fun of people who aren't members of the church). And of course there are also the people who write paragraphs-long emails filled with personal attacks and complaints to send to their TAs and professors when they get a grade they don't like, the students who show up at their TA's office hours just to rail on them about policies that the TA has no control over, and especially the people who get up in a huff and storm out of class if the professor says something they don't like.
Their punishment is to have to listen to this recording of an angry cat on repeat forever, because apparently they like being angry for no reason, and should therefore get along with the cat just fine. Every once in a while they'll have to listen to a recording of themselves yelling at someone for no reason as they're shown a slideshow of all the great things that person did in their life, because A) no one likes listening to their own voice in a recording, and B) listening to themselves being really terrible to someone who they're now finding out is a great person sounds very guilt-inducing.
These are the people who interrupt the professor to ask weird deep doctrine questions, the students who won't get off their holier-than-thou high horse, and the students who interrupt to say, "To bring a gospel perspective into this..." and then follow it up with something out of left field like, "Dark matter is probably the souls of all the yet unborn children of God." (A real person in my astronomy class really did say that.)
Their punishment is to be forced to have the one topic that they're truly experts on be totally butchered by others. For example, if the one thing they really excelled at was Medieval folklore, they would be forced to listen to some random hillbilly from Mississippi wax eloquent about Medieval folklore, except everything the hillbilly said would be either totally wrong or so taken out of context that it was wrong. And every time the person being tortured tries to explain how wrong the other person is, they would be unable to speak, and another totally inaccurate person would show up (like a hydra--you try to shut one ignorant person up, and two more ignorant people pop up in their place. Wait, this also sounds like a Facebook comments section).
I can't think of anyone who's actually violent at BYU without getting real serious real quick, which I don't want to do, so instead I'll focus on people who make me want to be violent. People who complain that they don't understand anything in class, then spend the rest of the class playing games on their phone, and people who overuse Learning Suite messages, especially if it's to say, "I wasn't in class today, can someone send me their notes?" thus prompting 8 million other people to respond with, "Same."
Their punishment is to be forced to listen to all the people in the previous circle. It would be absolutely infuriating being forced to listen to people drone on endlessly and incorrectly about topics they don't care about, but they have to listen politely with a smile pasted on the whole time. If the smile fades, they're subjected to a traditional inferno-style punishment like walking across hot coals.
This circle is the final resting place of all the people who are fraudulent about their level of knowledge. There's the group project member who said, "Oh yeah, I totally know how to do [insert crucial part of the project here]" when they didn't actually have any idea how to do it, there are the people who BS their way through every assignment, and there are also all the students who think that one introductory level class has made it so they know more than experts in the field, and interrupt the professor to say stuff like, "Oh, but have you thought about [insert incredibly obvious argument here]?" And obviously mansplainers end up here, too.
Their punishment is to forget everything they ever learned in life. They're aware that they're only living a half-life (well, a half-afterlife), but no matter what they do they can't figure out what it is they're missing, or how to relearn what they forgot.
Group project members who don't do anything. People who remind the professor about assignments or quizzes that were probably just going to slide otherwise. And the kid who spent seven minutes loudly sniffing his armpits in the middle of class when he was sitting right next to me (it wasn't all that treacherous, but he deserves the worst punishment for what he put me through). Oh, also some website I heard about that claims to answer questions in 100 hours, but almost never answers within 100 hours.
Their crimes were the most egregious, and thus their punishment is the worst: they get all the Bad Place tortures. Butthole spiders, acid pits, arms being peeled like bananas, room temperature clam chowder, etc.
**NOTE: THIS ANSWER SHOULD BE READ AS A SHORT STORY; IT EXCEEDS THE STANDARD LENGTH OF ANSWERS AND PERHAPS WILL NOT BE READ COMPLETELY IN ONE SITTING
Yauvana wandered, lost, in the midst of a forest of homework assignments. Occasionally a paper would flutter down from some tall stack, contributing to the debris littering the ground. As she walked, she noticed a light on a hill in the distance. A hill meant escape from this dark homework forest. She hurriedly followed the light, eventually coming to the foot of the hill. Yet even as she was about to climb up, three prowling beasts leaped out, ready to consume her: a lion, leopard and she-wolf. Yauvana retreated to the gloom of the forest, feeling more directionless than ever. As she cast her gaze hopelessly around herself, a being materialized next to her.
"Uh... who are you? I have this strange feeling that you're some famous ancient poet that I should somehow be able to recognize by sight. Like, say, Virgil."
"Nope! I'm just some random guy who went to the University of Utah instead of BYU. So, although I thought BYU was great and everything, I've been consigned to hell. I'm here because some angel sent me; they're a person you met exactly once on the frontrunner. Apparently despite not having talked with you, they're a big fan. Right then. Now that introductions are over, let's mosey on over to hell."
"Why is everyone screaming?" Yauvana inquired. The random guy just shot her a look that said, "We're practically in hell now. Of course everyone is screaming." Soon, Yauvana saw precisely why these people in particular were screaming. The air was filled with sharp letters, which zoomed towards their hapless victims, giving paper cuts every time they made contact. Yauvana caught one of the letters; it was a catalog of different BYU majors.
"You got it! But a recurring theme of hell is that it's suddenly okay to be super vicious and cruel to others. Especially if you're righteous, because what's more righteous than reveling in another person's pain? Anyways, let's keep on moving."
The two came up to a salt water river. Pseudo-Virgil explained to Yauvana that the river was made up of the tears of people who failed their finals at BYU. All the little vials Yauvana had noticed in the past at the testing center suddenly made sense.
It was then that Yauvana noticed a looming figure rowing a boat across the river approaching the banks. Before she could ask, Pseudo-Virgil said, "That's Charon, the ferryman into hell. After all, if a figure from Greek mythology can make it into a Christian tale, he can also weasel his way into a spoof of said Christian tale." Yauvana simply shrugged. She was already living in a pretty judgy allegory, what was the occasional Greek mythological person?
As soon as they were to the other side, Pseudo-Virgil sighed and glanced back towards Yauvana, "Welcome to my home: Limbo. This is the first circle of hell, and where all the people who did not attend BYU end up. So yeah, for some reason we have people like Mother Teresa and Hitler in the same place, suffering the same fate. There's allegorical broad justice for you. Also, seems like a major oversight that people's fate after death is dependent on the type of BYU student they were, but considering we're in some weird spin off of an allegory, I wouldn't worry about it too much."
Yauvana and Pseudo-Virgil quickly passed the masses of vaguely bemused people, wondering how they got pulled into a BYU version of Dante's Inferno. Once they were almost through, Yauvana commented, "I feel like once again I should magically be recognizing people here, and then describe it as a gathering of the world's greatest writers, all while not so surreptitiously including myself as one of the world's greatest writers."
The second circle of hell was just... gross, Yauvana thought to herself. All its occupants were chained to their seats, with braces on their necks, preventing them from turning their faces away from the giant screen. Which meant they were trapped into watching every second of every clip of disgusting PDA playing on that screen. All of the people had pained expressions on their faces, while some were mumbling, "We were never that bad, were we? Like, our little games of footsie across other people's feet couldn't have been as terrible as that last clip... ".
"Yeah, buddy, you definitely deserve this," Pseudo-Virgil remarked. Yauvana couldn't help but agree. Not having realized just how terrible it was for literally everyone else to see them doing PDA in life, at least these people would finally understand the extent of their crimes in death.
Yauvana looked off into the distance--anywhere besides that giant screen. "Hey, Pseudo-Virgil, is that King Minos? Why does he have a tail? And how am I even recognizing this person who didn't ever exist in real life?"
"First, it's better if you just don't question all the Greek mythology that somehow found its way in here. Second, he has a tail to decree which circle of hell each person will go to. Here in hell we place a lot of trust in the judgement of fictional characters who only communicate via postmortem appendage."
Red ink was falling from the sky, spattering on the drifts of paper below. It took Yauvana several moments to notice the people's heads poking up above all the paper. It was another moment before she realized the paper was covered in writing--they were homework assignments.
After wading through the homework piles, the pair was soon in the fourth circle of hell. Here were all the people who had loudly proclaimed all the cool stuff they had that their parents had bought for them. They hadn't really cared about their education; their parents took care of their tuition so they never worried about having to maintain scholarships. Their punishment was to repeatedly ram each other with their super nice cars, purchased by their parents.
The fifth circle held the writers of countless angry emails to professors and TA's, explaining that they really shouldn't have to do all this dumb work, and why did they have such a terrible grade? Clearly it was completely the professor's/TA's fault.
Pseudo-Virgil looked back at Yauvana, "Their own angry emails. If you look a little to your left, you can see the super angry ones wrestling with each other." He paused for a moment. "So... is there anyone here that you recognize? Like some old enemy that you'll derive a sick amount of enjoyment out of watching them getting torn to pieces? No? Hmmm... guess we'll just be on our miserable way in that case." He proceeded to lead Yauvana to the gates of a large city. She thought she glimpsed demons guarding the gate.
Pseudo-Virgil looked up at the gates. "Hey, would you guys mind letting us through? We have heavenly approval and everything."
The demons peered down at him and Yauvana. The biggest one held up a magnifying glass to her eye. "Did you really think you'd get through our gates with that shadow of a beard on your face?"
Pseudo-Virgil sighed. "Seriously? I just shaved this morning! It's not my fault my facial hair grows so fast."
"No persons beyond this gate with any facial hair."
Grumbling angrily to himself, Pseudo-Virgil found a nearby rock to mope on. Yauvana just nervously shifted her weight from foot to foot. Just as she was about to ask Pseudo-Virgil what they were going to do next, a glowing white figure materialized at the top of the gate. He exchanged some very pointed words with the demon while brandishing his very pointed sword.
Looking extremely disgruntled, the demon waved Pseudo-Virgil and Yauvana through the gate.
They had just arrived to the next level of hell.
"And here be all the mansplainers," Psuedo-Virgil announced. He had to shout to be heard over the constant blaring horns. Even then, Yauvana had a hard time making out what he was saying. Evidently the punishment here was to be forced to listen to loud annoying noises for all eternity.
Thankfully, the pair soon traveled beyond the horns. And arrived at a very pathetic football game. No matter which team anyone cheered for, they always lost. Sometimes both teams managed to lose. Such was the just desserts of violent football fans.
After passing the dejected fans, Yauvana and Pseudo-Virgil found themselves at the eighth circle. All the people here were just milling around... with their mouths duct-taped shut, and hands tied together.
"They're the ones who pretended they were looking for a committed relationship, but were really just looking for a NCMO. Let's hurry now, Yauvana. We're almost to the final circle... Which we're going to get to by jumping through this giant well!"
"Don't worry about it--this is hell, what's the worst that could happen?" Pseudo-Virgil exclaimed, and then paused, "Yeah, on second thought, don't answer that. Just implicitly trust me like you've been doing this entire trip."
Pseudo-Virgil spat on the ground in disgust before answering, "These people gained other people's confidences and then used those secrets against them. Some of them tried to get people thrown out of BYU for breaking the honor code based on some trumped up charge based only on a kernel of truth. Others live tweeted personal secrets people told them. I think you get the picture."
"Uh, Pseudo-Virgil, where are we going now?"
"Sshh, we're almost there." It was then that Yauvana saw it--the biggest tunnel worm she had ever seen, or imagined.
"I thought we were going to avoid the tunnel worms!" she hissed at Pseudo-Virgil. He simply held up a hand to indicate for her to be quiet in response. Then he gestured forward. They were going to get out of hell by climbing down this tunnel worm's body.
It was now several slimy hours later, but Yauvana finally stood blinking in the fresh morning's light. She had done it. She had traveled all the way through hell. She turned around to say goodbye, to say thank you to her guide, but Pseudo-Virgil was already gone.
Looking through the other writers’ answers I realized that I am on at least all of the other writers’ lists in some form or another. It has been a harsh realization and a call to repentance.
Personally I think that the best way to torture annoying classmates (best as in most cruel) is by torturing them in ways related to how they torture us. The cruel irony of returning the favor or turning the tables would make them realize how terrible they were, and provide justice in the most poetic and sadistic way. Here are a few examples:
- Person that asks too many questions: They are followed around by a flock of 4 year old children who barrage them with questions 24/7 for the rest of all eternity.
- Person that asks pointless questions that they should clearly know from the syllabus: They will be stuck in a room with nothing to read but the syllabus.
- Person that tries annoyingly hard to kiss up to the professor and be the teacher’s pet: They will literally become the teacher's pet with leash, dog food, sleeping outside, and everything else that comes with that.
- Person that sits on the end seat and makes everyone walk over them: They will spend all eternity climbing over people to get to their seat. In the MARB. This is probably the worst thing thing that a person could ever be forced to endure but hey that's karma.
Anyways, I think you get the idea. There are plenty of wonderful creative ways to exact revenge on your classmates. This question truly brought out the creative worst in all of us.
My Nine Circles of Hell (aka the testing center) are as follows:
1) Limbo: Here the Learning Suite mass-messagers reside. They are well-intentioned, but gosh... they could be doing a lot better. You don't have to "reply all" with "Thanks, you're a life saver" when someone sends out a Quizlet. It's just annoying.
Punishment- Forced to clean out the emails of large business CEOs as an unpaid intern for the rest of their afterlife day-job.
2) Lust: Obviously the class PDA-ers go here. Y'all need to take control of your hormones.
Punishment- The two lovers are forcibly separated to opposite ends of the room in every class and must listen to Law of Chastity lessons every Sunday. It's only the second circle, so I guess they can have weekends together. I'm not heartless.
3) Gluttony: The kids who bring breakfast that smells really good to your 8 am class and eat it loudly to ensure everyone's jealous.
Punishment- They must wake up each morning smelling their favorite food. The rest of the day, people are eating that food all around them, but they can never eat it. Have to settle for mediocre meals the rest of their afterlife.
4) Greed: The people who get to class extra early and sit on the outsides of the row and make everyone else climb over them.
Punishment- Every day they wake up and it's a Black Friday sale and they're the employees of a department store and they have to open the doors to hordes of screaming people and deal with them crawling over each other.
5) Anger: The extremely loud note-taker. No one else can think straight when your typing sounds like 6,000 tap-dancing elephants. Why are you so angry???
Punishment- These people must spend their afterlife trying to finish some unnamed huge important project, but their roommate is a studying stenographer. A loud stenographer. Also, that stenographer has a dog. A very yappy dog. And birds! And a cranky sugar glider.
6) Heresy: Relationship gossippers. Actual snippet from two days ago: "So they're serious, but if they get married the reception will be so awkward because he used to date her roommate's best friend, and nobody wants to deal with that, you know?" ... Don't you have something better to do than talk about other people's drama behind their back? I bet you watch the Bachelor religiously too. I just rolled my eyes so hard...
Punishment- I've found people who gossip are always really conscious about their self-image. So for them, the afterlife involves them constantly hearing other people talking about them behind their back in hushed whispers. Also, the person they want to win the Bachelor/Bachelorette never wins. Ever. I've seen the kind of sad agony this can bring.
7) Violence: The person who hears you commiserating about your workload and has to chime in with "Oh, you only have 3 midterms? Well, I went to bed at 4 am because I was finishing a 10-page paper and I have 4 tests this week!" We're all in pain. You're not better just because you have more to do. These people aren't violent, but sometimes I want to punch them.
Punishment- Since clearly this person's life is already miserable, I figure they have to continue their crappy workload for the rest of time. Always having too much to do, having to stay up late. Except they can't ever complain about it, and every time they go to talk about how tired they are or how much they have to do, they get more pages added to their papers and more midterms.
8) Fraud: The Provo Bros. The greatest form of fraud is pretending to be nice and normal when really all you want to do is talk about yourself and your business classes and your gym membership and your mission and how you're better than everyone. Soooo original.
Punishment- Two words: eternal friend-zone. That's like, their worst nightmare! And the girl always goes for their slightly less toned, less attractive, nerdier, shy roommate! And it happens every day! They wake up and it's like watching Groundhog Day, except they never get the girl and their flirting attempts forever go rejected!
9) Treachery: The unassigned-assigned seat stealer. I sit in the same seat every day and sure, I'm 2 minutes later than usual, but I ALWAYS SIT HERE! I THOUGHT WE ALL HAD A TACIT AGREEMENT. WHY HAVE YOU BETRAYED ME?
Punishment- Everywhere they go, every time they want to buy something... that thing is always out of stock. Want a bacon burger from your favorite burger place? Sorry, they're out of buns AND bacon. Want to buy tickets to your favorite concert? Ah darn, all sold out.
Not gonna lie, I'm probably at least one of these... And I don't actually hate any of these people, but their behavior definitely irks me. So just don't be that person, unless you want to spend this false version of the afterlife being constantly inconvenienced and annoyed, as a punishment for all the inconvenience and annoyance you caused me during my years as an undergrad.