St. Peter looks at him for a second, flicks through his book, and finds his name.
“So, you’re a politician…”
“Well, yes, is that a problem?”
“Oh no, no problem. But we’ve recently adopted a new system for people in your line of work, and unfortunately you will have to spend a day in Hell. After that however, you’re free to choose where you want to spend eternity!”
“Wait, I have to spend a day in Hell?” says the politician.
“Them’s the rules,” says St. Peter, who snaps his fingers, and WOOSH—the guy disappears.
He wakes curled up with his hands over his eyes, knowing he’s in Hell. Cautiously, he listens for the screams, sniffs the air for brimstone, but hears and smells nothing. Just the smell of fabric softener and cut grass… This can’t be right, can it?
“Open your eyes!” says a voice. “C’mon, wakey wakey, we’ve only got 24 hours!” Nervously, he uncovers his eyes, looks around, and sees he’s in a hotel room. A nice one too, a penthouse suite. Before him, there’s a smiling man in a suit, holding a martini.
“Who are you?” the politician asks.
“Well, I’m Satan!” says the man, handing him the drink and helping him to his feet. “Welcome to Hell!”
“Wait, this is Hell? But… Where’s all the pain and suffering?” he asks.
Satan throws him a wink. “Oh, we’ve been a bit mis-represented over the years, it’s a long story. Anyway, this is your room! The minibar is of course free, as is the room service… There’s extra towels next to the hot-tub, and if you need anything, just call reception. But enough of this! It’s a beautiful day, and if you’d care to look outside…”
The politician wanders over to the floor-to-ceiling windows through which the sun is glowing, looks far down, and sees a group of people cheering and waving at him from a golf course. “It’s one of 5 pro-level courses on site, and there’s another 6 just a few minutes drive out past the beach and harbour!” says Satan, answering his unasked question.
So they head down in the lift, walk out through the glittering lobby where everyone waves and welcomes the politician, as Satan signs autographs and cheerily talks shop with the laughing staff. And as he walks out, he sees the group on the golf course are made up of every one of his old friends, people he’s admired for years but never met or worked with, and people whose work he’s admired but died long before his career started. And out of the middle of this group walks his wife with a massive smile and the body she had when she was 20. She throws her arms around him and plants a delicate kiss on his cheek. He spends the day in the bright sunshine on the course, having the time of his life laughing at jokes and carrying on lively discussions, putting the world to rights with his friends while holding his delighted wife next to him as she gazes lovingly at him.
Later, they return to the hotel dining room for an extravagant five-course meal, each course cooked to perfection and better than the previous one. Afterward, his wife whispers something sensual in his ear, his cue to return to their penthouse suite, and spend the rest of the night making love like they did on their honeymoon. After 6 hours of intense, passionate sex, the politician collapses on the memory foam pillows with Egyptian cotton pillowcases, and falls into a deep and blissful sleep.
The next morning, he is woken by St. Peter. “So, that was Hell,” he says. “Wasn’t what you were expecting, I bet?”
“No sir!” says the politician.
“So then,” says St. Peter, “you can make your choice. It’s Hell, which you saw, or Heaven, which has choral singing, talking to God, white robes, etc.”
“Well… I know this sounds strange, but, to be honest, I think I’d prefer Hell!” says the politician.
“Not a problem, we totally understand. Enjoy!” says St. Peter, and clicks his fingers again.
The politician wakes up in a cold, dark place with hard, stone floors, the stench of ammonia filling the air. As he adjusts, he can see the only light is from a flame far away, illuminating the ragged remains of people who were burned with sulfur. A sudden bolt of lightning reveals Satan, wearing the same suit as before and grinning, holding a soldering iron in one hand and a coil of razor-wire in the other.
“What’s this?” the politician cries. “Where’s the hotel?! Where’s my wife?! Where’s the minibar, the golf-courses, the pool, the restaurant, the free drinks and the sunshine?!”
“Ah”, says Satan. “You see, yesterday, we were campaigning—and then you voted.”