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(Oak Brook, Ill.) In a surprising move today, Satan has struck a deal with Ronald McDonald of McDonald's. Citing rising maintenance costs in Hell, the incarceration of evil souls has been outsourced to the multinational McDonald's corporation. "You wouldn't believe the cost of keeping so much blazing fire and brimstone going all the time", the prince of darkness was quoted as saying. "So we went out looking for a firm that would suit our needs. The McLibel trial really helped confirm that McDonald's is evil enough for the task."

Many critics are disappointed with the deal, including Bill Gates of Microsoft fame. "We've been extending the Windows platform for years in an attempt to integrate it more closely with the Hell experience. Microsoft is clearly the logical choice for this market." All cashiers will, however, be forced to use Microsoft Windows on all point-of-sale equipment.

Today's youth are becoming more and more outraged at the deal, which was discussed in secret somewhere in the depths of the dark world. McDonald's franchises around the world are being fire-bombed, in what market analysts are saying is a backlash against the privatization of hell. "Clearly they want to stick with the blazing inferno style of afterlife, instead of serving low-quality food to the living", said an unidentified minion of Beelzebub.

Many believe this is simply a sign of the emerging new economy, in which traditional life and afterlife worlds are being integrated into a single, uniform mass of undead producers and consumers. Regardless, shares of the new McHell(tm) are skyrocketing, despite the lost souls of the original Hell not being previously publicly traded.

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