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Limbo Lost: End of a Spiritual Era

Posted January 3, 2006

A celestial barge packed with several hundred million souls floats over the Long Island Sound, with no port to call home. A locked gate with a For Sale sign marks the end of an era. It is the tenth day of the Limbo crisis. The forlorn, yet nondescript home to the spiritually ambiguous is closed, shuttered for good.

Longtime Limbo residents have evacuated, following an eviction notice from the Roman Catholic Church. "I've been here for five hundred years," said a tearful Pliny the Neutral. "It's not like I have any other place to go." Like other residents, Pliny inhabits the Soul Barge, a temporary vessel that waits on an international decision to move to its next destination. The better connected have relocated to the Happy Hunting Grounds or connived space in the Elysian Fields. Others have settled to wait for new quarters in Purgatory, which has been described as the spiritual equivalent of the DMV.

The large group of spirits wishes to be categorized as refugees, which would accord them special treatment of the UN Charter For the Dead, but the Vatican has balked. A terse statement from the pontiff stated as much: "They aren't refugees. They are unclassified personas."

Originally created as a theoretical resting placed for unbaptized infants, Limbo has welcomed many categories of souls, including lovers of soft rock and agnostics, ferret owners and Montreal Expos fans. They were promised an eternal life of drab confusion, but this was much better than haunting the Earth in torment, or other, hotter destinations.

The Holy See has denied that it is selling off this vast holding of the afterlife to pay off legal bills stemming from sex scandals. Father Giuseppe DelToro, Guardian of the Doctrine of Holy Real Estate, explains the issues. "Limbo has no legal protection, since it isn't part of any official doctrine or scripture. It was decided that we should close the resting place, since it has been increasingly expensive to maintain."

Vatican plans for a quick sale have been scuttled. Lucifer expressed interest in the celestial parcel. "We're always looking to expand," he explained in an interview, his forked tongue greedily licking his lips. "Plus we'd love a casino." Unfortunately for the Prince of Darkness, his potential purchase of the real estate has become embroiled in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, and is on hold indefinitely.

Stuck in between Connecticut and Long Island, the Soul Barge strains under the heavy weight of lost souls. "I'd really like to go someplace as spiritually neutral as Limbo," said Pliny the Neutral, as he scanned the ethereal horizon for signs of new quarters. "But I guess I'll have to go wherever they send me."



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