A Dark Knight Rises deep within the realm of Villa Rica

Mount Hekla in Iceland. The Necromantion at Epirus. Cape Matapan in Tanaerum.  Historically, these places have represented to their local people gateways to the underworld; gates to a place where those who led lives of debauchery would spend eternity in pain; to a place where the air is laden with searing flesh and the ululations of the cursed souls; to a place of eternal suffering. If you were to pass through any of these gates, or perhaps down Bankhead Highway, you would undoubtedly find yourself in Villa Rica.

Conveniently located a few miles away from the innermost circle of the Inferno and erroneously considered by many to be a suburb of Dis, Villa Rica is described by Dante Alighieri as, “A place Vergil told me to stay away from,” and plays home to Westminster’s Adrian Cumberbatch Dingle, Lord Duke of Baron, third in line for the throne, and self described, “Lord of the Dance.”

As the sole living creature willing to address the woes of a life that oscillates interminably about a city boasting no buildings over three stories and a nonfunctioning water tower as its greatest feature, Cumberbatch is the primary source of our insight into the Villa Rican condition. “[You have to] go to Douglasville to get tea and crumpets,” said Cumberbatch in a recent interview, in response to the deplorable beverage and pastry scene.“ There are zero Starbucks [in Villa Rica].”

JG: Do you take comfort in the knowledge that you will one day die and leave Villa Rica?

AD: I Don’t think there is any leaving Villa Rica.

JG: So would you say that Villa Rica is a sort of dress rehearsal for the afterlife?

AD: Perhaps.

CF: Are the nobles just and fair?

AD: No, and they’re not supposed to be. It’s not their job to be fair and just.

JG: Are they nobles of the sword or the robe?

AD: Both.

But I digress. Villa Rica offers a unique, enjoyable experience to anyone who is unfortunate enough to pass through on the way to Alabama.  Often referred to as Hades’ little brother, Villa Rica can quench your unquenchable desire for fried foods with, according to Adrian Dingle, “millions” of restaurants that fry things.

This plethora of fried foods can easily be explained by the ever present heat and crushing humidity which make it a breeze to fry large quantities of the readily available dead animals.  These outstanding dining options can be matched only by the outgoingness of the citizens.

While meandering down the streets of Villa Rica, you will encounter friendly banter such as, “When I was in high school, English was all about spelling and punctuality.”

Unprovoked, everyday citizens will walk up to you on the street, shake your hand and amiably say, “I’m sorry you’re here, leave while you still can.”

Current sophomore and unsigned rapper, Vincent Gangemi, says, “Yeah, once I pretended to have a cardiac episode on a soccer field and, after an hour, no one came to help me, even though the place was crawling with people.  I’m confident that if I were to have actually had a heart attack, I would have been allowed to die.”

The tenderheartedness of the citizens is only equaled  by the alarmingly poor hardware store, about which Geoffrey Sudderth, undefeated duelist, said, “I was going to go there to buy a broom, but then I realized that I had already swept. ‘97, bro.”

According to Wikipedia, the library’s preferred source, the population of Villa Rica has increased by “approximately 211.34 percent,” though some would argue the real number is closer to 211.32 percent.

While debate can rage for minutes as to the true approximation of population growth, an even larger and more pressing debate looms.  What caused this explosion of population?

Theories abound like boaters at a boat show, but the most prominent and accepted theory credits the regions most vocal booster, our very own Lord Duke of Baron, Adrian Dingle, with the sudden increase.

Ever since the “lord of the dance” was banished to the recesses of Villa Rica to solemnly judge the lacing of his frothy brews, he has been inexorably drawn to the streets. What began as a way to distract himself from the realities of his town soon developed into a lifestyle.

Dingle found himself “walking around Bankhead” as a means of distancing himself as much as possible from the obscene dystopia of his town, and, with exposure to the outside, Dingle soon began to change.

In an effort to make his town more like Douglasville, “where the tall buildings are,” he learned to love, accrued a posse even though “posses are illegal in Villa Rica, except for catching wombats,” and brought the sport of Association Football to Villa Rica, which soon replaced bleeding as the official pastime.

As his campaign to better the town progressed, Dingle turned his attention to the inhabitants of Villa Rica, going so far as to give children a change of pace on Halloween by allowing them to “fall onto sharpened stakes,” and to befriend seven of the eight Pacific islanders who live in Villa Rica. Although he never caught that eighth one, Dingle had started something.

Soon, these changes began to take root, and a glimmer of hope appeared to Villa Rica with the promise that one day its inhabitants would be free from their incarcerations. Such a challenge to the integrity of the machine of fear that is Villa Rica, however, would not go unnoticed.

Dingle’s altruism fell under the scrutiny of the one man who could potentially stop him: the mayor, or joker, if you will, who immediately enacted policies cracking down on Dingle’s reforms. Initially, Dingle relented, and turned back to his brews, spending many nights alone in anguish while his town burned.

Soon, though, as hope leaked away from the town, and Dingle accumulated too many “dead homies,” he turned to the cowl. As an embodiment of hope, Dingle took to the rooftops, exhorting the inhabitants of Villa Rica to “fight for your right to partay,” but it was of no use, and he soon came to the somber conclusion that the people were powerless and that he alone could defeat the mayor. So Dingle engaged in a battle for the people of Villa Rica. Despite being the only person who can leave Villa Rica of his own volition, he remains entangled in an eternal struggle for his people.

So he stays because he can take it.  Because he’s not a hero.  He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector.  A Dark Knight.