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EARTH’S CORE—After purgatory’s weekly schedule was leaked on Monday morning, Catholics reported being pleasantly surprised that the activity roster includes church. Many expressed dismay, however, upon learning that the service is all handbell choirs.

“The din of a handbell choir is worse than discomfort—it is abject misery, showing you the depth of your heinous sins against a holy God.” A spokesperson for the Vatican confirmed that the afterlife is exempt from the Geneva Convention’s ban on torture, defending the purgative qualities of the auditory abuse. “Our handbellers can really swing, so it’s pretty ear-piercing – none of that gentle ‘clink-clink-clinking’ in our rendition of ‘Carol of the Bells’!” The Vatican official went on to boast about how many handbells each choir member can hold at one time, impressing no one.

“But will these be children’s choirs?” A casual attender, Jared Moore expressed concern that the instrumentation would be amateurish. “I want to gather and worship, but I won’t deal with off-tempo clanging and banging. I’d rather be doomed to hell right from the get-go!” When pressed on how much he knows about hell, Simmons demurred, as his Priest still does the mass in Latin and he only goes on Christmas and Easter anyway.

The handbell community has expressed confusion and offense at this report. “We love the whole process, from putting on felt gloves to yelling at kids not to touch our bells with their grimy ungloved fingers!” When pressed about why handbells don’t make music that is pleasant to hear, they again claimed ignorance: “You just probably haven’t heard it with a big enough choir. Imagine hundreds of bells hitting at almost the same time, for hundreds of years. Glorious!”

At publishing time, casual church attender Jared Moore had gotten his wish to tour hell as a potential purgatory alternative, but began begging for purgatory instead after exposure to hell’s cacophony of bagpipes, recorders, and harpsichords.


Mandy is absolutely triggered by Twitter’s possible takeover by Elon Musk. She attends a Twitter-sponsored therapy session to help her cope.


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