Stupid Tuesday Questions, Eric Carle edition

There’s been a personnel change in Hell. Minos, Rhadamanthus and Aeacus have been sacked. Hades has chosen you to be the new judge of the dead, and to assign interesting and innovative punishments.

You have a new arrival in your infernal realm, and want to design a suite just perfect for an eternity of soul-sucking torment. In addition to whatever ghoulish and complicated miseries you have in mind, you must also decide on truly hellish entertainments for your conscript to while away eternity. The television will only play reruns of “Saved By the Bell.” The only movie on Cinemax is Joel Schumacher’s “Batman and Robin.” The radio plays an endless loop of “MMBop” and “Ice, Ice Baby.”

What book will you put on your victim’s shelf? Perhaps you will provide one copy, perhaps enough to fill the Library of Congress. But only just the one book.

My submission — the pop-up version of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Preferably one that has been lovingly mangled by an enthusiastic and curious toddler.

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.


  1. So many nominations, so little time!

    The collected works of Ayn Rand
    Sweet Valley High – Double Trouble (which is what I read when I was actually in Hell, aka junior high)

    • I considered suggesting “2666,” the book I’ve hated most of all I’ve read, but there was at least enough of interest in it to prevent it from being sufficiently hellish.

    • If its good enough for Calvin and Hobbes its good enough for me.

  2. The personal diaries of the Jersey Shore participants.

  3. The Nightmares on Elm Street Parts 1, 2, and 3: The Continuing Story – a Novel

  4. Battlefield Earth. Every day you don’t complete reading it, you’re flayed. And you need to start reading it on page one every time you need to restart.

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