Let’s talk about Hell. Oh, I’m not interested in debating whether there actually is a Hell. If there isn’t, I wasted a lot of time of being terrified when I was young. Now that I’m older, I figure the die has been cast, and I’ll just have to see what number comes up.
We know from the writings of Dante Alighieri and John Milton that Hell is no fun. I wouldn’t suggest otherwise, despite the insistence of my favorite band AC/DC that “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be.” Oh, hell, no, unless you’re a hellion. Then it’s probably hellacious.
I say the word “Hell,” but I rarely write it. It just doesn’t usually fit in legally writing or correspondence. I’m always torn about whether to capitalize it. It’s a proper noun, I suppose. Then again, capitalizing it seems to give it more dignity than it deserves. I have elected to capitalize it when discussing the place (you know, lake of fire, brimstone, eternal torment, etc.). I don’t capitalize it when using as just a regular curse word unless the context requires it. Fortunately, I rarely write curse-filled missives. By “rarely” I, of course, mean “frequently.”
I grew up in a home where you didn’t say the word “hell,” unless you were my Dad and, even then, only when you were really mad. Until the day she died, my mother chose to spell it out–H-E-L-L–rather than ever say it. If you wanted a one-way ticket to Hell, saying it would get you to the front of the line. Needless to say, I got over all that at some point.
For Hell to be such a bad deal, we like the word “hell” or at least I do. We can have a hell of a good time. Some things hurt like hell. As bad as Hell is, you sure as hell don’t want the hell beaten out of you. I’ve raised hell. “Oh, hell!” perfectly sums up some situations. I know people who say “Holy hell!” I don’t know what the hell that means.
It’s a hell of a thing, though, how it’s used. “Hell’s bells” is a favorite. Are there bells in Hell? Maybe they ring all the time just to add to the general misery. There may be no better curse than the classic “Go to Hell!” Those three words pretty much sum up one’s feelings. You’re telling someone go to worst place there is. “Go straight to Hell!” is even worse. You’re not countenancing even the possibility of avoiding the trip by some last ditch effort at salvation. You can go to Hell in a handbasket, too, which makes no sense but sounds horribly unpleasant.
Sometimes, you have to give people hell. Of course, you’re liable to catch hell, too. Hell fire, you might end up going hell-bent for leather. There’s no way in hell to predict. Of course, we’ve all been through hell at some point in our lives. It’s a hell of a thing when you think about it.
There are people who live in Hell’s Kitchen. I’d say most of them are Hell on wheels. What exactly does that mean, anyway? I guess the idea that Hell could be mobile and roll about is pretty terrifying when you think about it. It’s easy to see how all hell could break loose under those circumstances.
There can be hell to pay. Or some things play hell with you. You can have a hell of a good time, but remember–the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, which shouldn’t be confused with the Highway to Hell, another fine AC/DC tune.
It gets hotter than Hell around here in the summer. Sometimes, it’s hotter than the hinges of Hell. Of course, it’s been cold as Hell, too, whatever that means. One day there will be a cold day in Hell. On that day, a hell of lot of things are going to happen that people didn’t count on. Same as when Hell freezes over.
I’ve been all over Hell and half of Georgia looking for my car keys some mornings. I’ve walked through Hell on few occasions, too–just for the hell of it, of course.
I’ve had bad days, and then I’ve had some days that were shot to hell. You know those days–they end up in a hell of a mess. You don’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell on those days. You better run like a bat out of Hell. The hell with all that.
I guess it’s time to get the hell out of Dodge before there’s hell to pay. See you in Hell.