Two devils sit on a park bench, enjoying a beautiful day. The older of the pair points at child walking past, eagerly licking a towering ice cream cone. Then the younger one snaps his fingers and the child falls, face first, into the desert. They explode into laughter.
Composing himself, the younger devil turns to his mentor. “It’s been an honor learning from you, sir. ”
“You took to the suffering arts like a natural.” The older replies, nodding with approval.
“I have one question, if I might be so bold.” Timidly asks the younger one.
“Oh? What might that be?”
“What act of misery are you most proud of?”
“Malfunction Junction.” The old devil says without hesitation. “An interstate interchange in Memphis, Tennessee. I manipulated the minds of a half dozen civil engineers over the course of a decade. Every attempt they made to solve the problem, to mitigate what I’d done, just made even worse.”
“Really, sir? You’re a legend in our line of work, and you’re proudest of a traffic jam?”
“Wasn’t my grandest project. But, nothing beats the suffering a human experiences tying to merge from five lanes to two in the middle of rush hour traffic.”
Malfunction Junction is the local name for the intersection of two major interstates in south Memphis. On the surface, it looks like a simple cloverleaf interchange, but evil lurks in those sweeping curves. Trucks get stuck under the overpass. Cars burst into flames for no reason. And if there’s going to be wreck, it’s going to be on the on/off ramp, blocking everything up.