Joe knew he had been a bad man all his life, so he was not surprised to meet Satan at the gates of hell when he died.
â€śHello, Joe,â€ť said Satan. â€śWelcome to your new home.â€ť
Resigned to his fate, Joe glumly replied, â€śI suppose youâ€™re going to throw me into a pit of fire or something now.â€ť
Satan shook his head. â€śOh no, Joe, Hell isnâ€™t at all like youâ€™ve heard in all those stories. In fact, your eternal torment will be of your own choosing.â€ť Satan pointed behind him to three doors. â€śHere, Iâ€™ll show you.â€ť
The pair of them strolled over to the doors. â€śSee, Joe, hereâ€™s what we offer down here. You can look inside each of these doors, see whatâ€™s behind them, and then tell me where youâ€™d prefer to be placed. And thatâ€™s where youâ€™ll spend the remainder of eternity.â€ť
Joe found that odd, and, assuming the worst, expected some sort of nasty trick from Satan. â€śCheck out Door No. 1,â€ť he said to Joe, opening it. Inside, he saw a cavernous, fiery area filled with naked people shoveling coal under the watchful eye of hideous demons snapping whips.
â€śThat doesnâ€™t look so good,â€ť said Joe.
They strolled over to the next door. â€śTake a look inside No. 2,â€ť said Satan. Behind the door, he saw a massive vat filled with snakes, spiders, and what appeared to be giant, snapping lobsters. Also in the vat were the bloodied forms of people in apparent agony, screaming, moaning and tearful.
â€śHmm, I dunno,â€ť said Joe. â€śThat looks terrible.â€ť
The pair strolled over to Door No. 3, and Satan looked sternly at Joe. â€śRemember,â€ť he said, â€śYouâ€™re going to have to choose whatâ€™s behind one of these doors.â€ť
What was behind Door No. 3 puzzled Joe at first. It appeared to be a huge cavern, flooded with brownish water, in which thousands of people stoodâ€”water up to their shinsâ€”eating coffee and donuts. Joe watched, cautiously, waiting for some curious turn of events to take place inside the cavern, but nothing happened.
â€śHey, this doesnâ€™t look so bad,â€ť Joe told Satan. â€śHereâ€™s where Iâ€™ll go.â€ť
Satan grinned, standing at the doorâ€™s entrance, and motioned for Joe to enter. When Joe entered, the door slammed behind him, and he noticed a large table stacked with cups of coffee and boxes of donuts. He grabbed a donut, poured himself a cup of coffee, and waded into the brownish muck. Upon closer examination, he noticed the muck bore the unmistakable smell of human excrement. It wasnâ€™t pleasant, but heâ€™d smelled much worse.
Suddenly, the door reopened, and Satan again stood at the entrance. â€śOK everybody,â€ť he bellowed, â€śCoffee breakâ€™s overâ€”back on your heads!â€ť
Miffed, Joe looked back at Satan. â€śYouâ€™ve got to be kidding! That would be extremely unpleasant! No way!â€ť
Satan looked puzzled. â€śWhatâ€”you mean, you donâ€™t want to do it?â€ť
Joe stared forcefully at Satan. â€śAbsolutely not!â€ť
Looking preoccupied, Satan looked down at his wristwatch. â€śUmmâ€¦OK, never mind.â€ť The door closed again.
â€śBoy,â€ť said Joe to himself. â€śThat was close!â€ť