For nearly two months now my drive home on the freeway during the late afternoon has been considerably slower than normal, thanks to the many gawkers who have the overwhelming desire to slow down and see how the latest road construction is coming along. I feel confident that if they didn't satisfy their inner longing to know if more cement was poured since yesterday that traffic would flow along rather smoothly at about 45mph. Instead, we crawl along at about 10mph, until right after the construction zone, when it suddenly occurs to drivers that there is nothing more to stare at out the side window.
While biding my time waiting for everyone in front of me to have their eyeful of the latest accomplishments of our faithful construction workers, I've conjured up what I consider to be the perfect Hell for gawkers. Here's how it would work:
After a person dies, they wake up to find themselves in a car. They are given the keys and told that once they start driving they will enter a highway that will take them straight to Heaven. All they need to do is follow the directions on the signs. And they are warned not to gawk at any accidents on the side of the road or they may miss the directions. The person then begins driving, enters the highway, and immediately finds themselves in a traffic jam. Everyone in front of them is driving very slowly in order to see the series of horrible traffic accidents along the side of the highway. Each accident involves terribly twisted, mangled and bloodied bodies and limbs; each accident more gruesome than the one before it. If the drivers would just avert their eyes from the gory scenes for a moment, they would see the signs that point them to the exit from the highway that would take them straight to Heaven. Instead, each driver's attention is fixed on the delightful details of each crash. And so the traffic inches along throughout eternity. In my scenario, there are many exits to Heaven along the way. But since the gawkers are too busy staring at the accidents, they never notice the signs. The air conditioning in their cars doesn't work. The heat is incredibly overbearing. One would think that eventually they would tire and look for a way out. But for some reason they just can't pull their gaze away long enough to notice how close they are to Paradise.
But then, maybe for them this is Paradise.