You Can Go Straight to Heck!


Putting this on a travel brochure isn't exactly going to make Hell the new preferred Vacation Spot.

Putting this on a travel brochure isn’t exactly going to make Hell the new preferred Vacation Spot.

As a freelance writer, I sometimes get approached by companies to write unique brochures or think up clever advertising copy.  But I’ve never had a client’s conference call scare the hell outa me like this one did.   That’s because these fellows were hell bent on . . . (wait for it)  giving Hell a makeover.

The Phone Call From Hell

I answered the way I normally do when my Cell rings.

Me:  Hell–

Dante (Cutting me off) Listen to that boys, she was expecting us!

Me:  Uh, no.  HELL-O?  I was just saying Hello.

Mel:  Whatever.  This is Mel from Hell.  You know . . . Hell Enterprises.   We heard your writing is on fire.  Hot as hell.

Me:  (blushing)  Why you little devil, you.  Flattery will get you everywhere.

Harry:  Yeah, we need a new image.  We’re not profiting in the whole “AfterLife” trend.  We don’t know how to compete with Heaven.

Dante:  That’s right, we can’t hold a candle to Heaven’s slogans.  They’ve got “Heaven Sent.”  And “Thank Heaven.”  Oh, don’t forget “In Seventh Heaven” and “A Match made in Heaven.”

Me:  Kind of ironic you can have a “Helluva” good time in heaven, huh?   But haven’t you ever heard the saying, “Something stinks to high heaven?”  Their reputation’s not exactly 100% blemish free.

Mel:  See boys?  I knew Miss Menopause would go to Hell and back for us.   Got any other brilliant ideas?

Me:  Lemme see if I can work up a nice, new Public Relations campaign and I’ll get back to you.

Harry:  This better not cost too much, ya hear?

Dante:  That’s right!  Give ’em Hell, Harry!

Me: (unable to resist) As far as my rates go, if I do my best work, there could be Hell to Pay.

But Then . . . All Hell Broke Loose!

After the phone call, I froze with fear.  Indeed, if hell froze over, there wouldn’t be a snowball’s chance in hell that I could come up with something to give Hell a positive spin.  What was I thinking?  Maybe the Devil made me do it.

The first thing I noticed when I typed the word on my Smartphone, it would autocorrect “Hell” to “He’ll.”  That got me thinking that tweaking Hell’s name ever so slightly could be just the thing it needed.  Hmmm, “Who the Hill do you think you are?” might just catch on.  What a difference a vowel can make!

But then again, substituting “Hill” might remind people of a “Hill of beans” and “Finding their thrill on Blueberry Hill.”  From that kind of Hill, it would only be a Slippery Slope to marching, “Over Hill, Over Dale…”

Nah, back to the drawing board.

Hell’s Kitchen

I always feel more creative when I take my mind off the subject.  Hungry, I went into the kitchen and ate some deviled eggs.  Then I frosted a devil’s food cake for dinner.  Food wasn’t the answer.  Maybe housecleaning would help.  I ran my Dirt Devil vacuum over the carpet.  I know!  I needed entertainment.  First I danced to “Devil With the Blue Dress on,” then watched the movie, “The Devil Wears Prada.  Sheesh, could “The Devil in Miss Jones” be far behind?

But I knew I needed to keep busy – – after all, “idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”  And what in the Hell was I gonna tell Harry, Dante, & Mel?

SPEAKING OF THE DEVIL . . .

When the phone rang again, I thought I would answer it differently this time.

Me:  Hi Guys, I was just thinking of you. Were your ears Burning?

Dante:  Not funny.

Harry:  So what’s your new plan?

Me: (nervously)  Alright, open minds, right?  You wanna change public perception, yes?  So we need a new Mascot.  The Devil is too Red and Pointy. You want something Rounder, more circular, something kids like.

Some parents feel like they've been through hell after a trip to Disneyland.

Some parents feel like they’ve been through hell after a trip to Disneyland.

MelMickey Mouse ain’t exactly available.

Me:  I was thinking more like a jar of mayonnaise.  And it’s already got your name on it, too!   “Hellmann’s Mayo.”  Whadya think?

Dante:  Where did ya find this crazy broad, Mel?

Mel:  I don’t eat mayonnaise.  And what’s wrong with pointy?  We like those ears and that tail.

The Devil is in the details.

Me:  Okay, but you gotta abandon the Fiery and Forever association.  “Burning in Eternal Hell” doesn’t exactly sell like hotcakes.  Maybe it can be just a temporary thing.  Like it Fades after 10 Washes?”

Harry:  Nobody has to go straight to hell.  They can always take the Scenic Route.

Me: (encouraging)  That’s sweet.  I like it.  But let’s get back to the Sales.  What can be sold?

Dante:  You can always sell your soul.

Me:  Watch that Creep Factor,  Dante.  How about a fun board game with a pitchfork on the lid?  People love to play Devil’s Advocate.

Harry:  Not interested.

Me:  Postcards from hell?  Vacation from hell?   Ooh!  Husbands from hell!  Women seem very attracted to that.  Or a new car called, “Hell On Wheels?”  A brand of bottled H2O called, “Come Hell or High Water?”

Mel:  That all ya got, Kiddo?

Me:  (brightening)  Okay, brace yourself.  The other side uses, “A Stairway to Heaven.” Right?   So we’ll make you guys “An Escalator to Hell.”

After they slammed the phone down on me, I realized I couldn’t do this kind of thing without help.  That was it!    H-E-L-P!

HELP Is On The Way!

It wasn’t a vowel that needed replacing, it was a consonant.

I wrote an entire marketing plan, highlighting the virtues of changing “Hell” to “Help.”  Everybody needs a little Help now and then.  It’s more comfortable giving someone Help than it is to give someone Hell.   Nobody minds asking for Help.   There was a good movie out recently called, “The Help.”  The Beatles even had a hit song, “Help!”  It was a brilliant plan, but would they buy it?

I could get lucky.  This might just work.  I emailed the whole thing off to them.

Days went by and I didn’t hear anything back.  I was getting a bit angry at being ignored.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

I really tried my best and had given it my all.

The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

I didn’t want to Battle these guys anymore.

War is Hell.

Hell’s Help’s Angels

When I answered the phone, Dante was singing another Beatles song, “I get by with a little HELL from my friends.”  No, no, no!  Please don’t let this thing backfire.  But his sidekicks sounded enthusiastic. . .

Mel:  You’re a Genius!  Changing “Hell” to “Help” was exactly the push into the public eye we needed!

Harry:  That’s right.  We’ve never felt more loved and wanted.

Me:  Wow, so you like it?

Dante:  Like it??  The entire country is talking about us.  But how did you get so many businesses to put our new slogan on a sign in their window so quickly?

Me:  What new slogan?

Mel:  “Help Wanted!”

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61 thoughts on “You Can Go Straight to Heck!

  1. And now we seem to have hell covered to! LOL. You were Hell bent for leather, which really doesn’t sound right. I wonder what we’ll be up to next? ;O)

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  2. This makes me think of the one time a former work mate of mine at a software company called “Brainware solutions” picked up the phone saying “Painware Solutions, helldesk, how may I help you?” He, as you, positively cracked me up!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well that was a hell of an article. Was the Devil down in Georgia during this whole meeting?
    Clever rebranding concept. Repackaging happens all the time, interesting twist being the Devil’s advocate.

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  4. You’re on a roll! Starvation, and now two servings of you in one week!” Heaven. I’m in heaven…”

    This post is BRILLIANT! Each word, statement, item — cleverly crafted in your unique style. I’m glad when you pour your heart out like this. My eyes were rolling around so much, I got dizzy, and then I hit “the devil is in details” and my eyes rolled right out of my head.

    This was a great ride. Thanks for giving us all a little “help”.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Stephanie. I like the campaign you came up with for Help. I’ve been talking to my minions, you know the ones you worked with. They said you might jazz up my image. Ever since that incident with Job, I have had a real image issue. You know, the Devil made me do it kind of thing. And I can’t tell you how much I loathe that Church Lady on Saturday Night Live. It’s almost got me wanting to change my name. But I really like Satan. It has a real zing to it, don’t you think? If you want to take on the job, just dial 800-LUC-IFER. I’ll be waiting for your call. And, oh, thanks in advance.

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  6. Well what the hell?! 😆 Oh some funny responses to be had, take the high road… or is it low? :p In either case I’m sure I’ll be looking for another job at some point. Pick me! Pick me! Haha, love your posts Stephanie!
    Michelle

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      • Oh I actually did some modeling over the summer! Nothing big and I did it for free. My sister’s friend needed people to model for her college photo assignment and that’s how I landed that! So hey I can put “armature model” to my repertoire? A lot is going on with him actually. His trainings are about over which has allowed us more and more communication, which I am not complaining about, lol. I talk to him almost everyday now. I’ll see him at the end of next month so I’m so so so excited! You are so welcome! I always get excited to get you post notification in my email. ❤
        Michelle

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Brilliant as usual! I have to wonder if this was born of truth. I feel there is a possibility that a travel agency called asking you to tryi to make a violent 3rd world country sound attractive. Am I onto something?

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    • Haha Marissa. That’s really funny, but Nope – – I’ve just been having a hellish time of things lately and I decided that I should make a conscious effort to try and reverse that.

      But guess what? I know you and you’re ALWAYS onto something! That’s right, friends – – Anyone reading this should check out Marissa’s fantastic thoughts that she somehow manages to put into rhyme with these amazing Zinger endings!

      Like

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