I’d have sponsored Dante.
At my job there’s always someone emailing a link to a fundraising page to all network users, or waving a paper sponsor sheet. If Dante had come in one morning and peered around the door of my cupboard-sized office and said ‘Sorry to interrupt your Post-it theft, but I’m climbing the mountain of Purgatory in aid of orphaned gerbils.’ I’d have given him a tenner. Definitely ten and not five, as five is for 10k runs and walks up hills and mini-mountains. Peaks that you need to take a sandwich and a waterproof jacket for that, but that’s about it. Purgatory, according to the diagram in the front of my book, is a rather big task. It’s going to take more than a day, and bizarrely, it is harder the climb the lower down one is, getting easier the longer the pilgrim travels.
Already with ‘Purgatorio’ the second book of ‘The Divine Comedy’, I fear it won’t be as much fun as ‘Inferno‘. There Dante was chatting with people drowning in poo, meeting monsters, and accidentally injuring people who had been turned into shrubbery. Purgatory seems to contain more in the way of vanilla sinners, the proud, the lustful, the negligent and envious. To be honest, I’m probably all of those things of an average Tuesday afternoon.
Still, I wish Dante and Virgil all the best as they begin their climb. I hope they have some Kendal Mint Cake in case of a sugar shortage emergency, and plasters for blisters.