Tuesday, April 9, 2013


'H' is for Hell
Or Detroit.
    The idea of eternal punishment and torture has been with us ever since we first came down from the trees, took a look around, and bashed the other guy's brains in with a coconut.

   After early man discovered he could harness fire, drive dumbass mammoths over a cliff, and sharpen sticks so they could jump ugly with saber-tooth tigers, he then had time to ponder if there was life after this one.  
"That spear in loincloth or just happy see me?
Oh, wait.
It spear."
  And, if there was, would there be room for everyone?  Probably not, so maybe there was a place to stick those guys in the tribe who took extra helpings of bear meat, forced themselves on the funny-looking dudes with big boobs, and didn't wipe their feet before coming into the cave.

    If nothing else, there had to be someplace to put those damn Neanderthals from the other side of the valley.

    So, the slow evolution of damnation took form.

Yahweh originally wanted to cast sinners
into the front row of every concert she has ever done.
Then, decided eternal fire would be more merciful.
    Judaism:  The early Jews really didn't have a physical hell.  To them, life on Earth was bad enough;  all they really wanted was some shuteye after building the pyramids.

    But, bowing to pressure  from people such as the Assyrians, Philistines, and Rotarians, they developed the idea of Gehanna.  Gehanna wasn't exactly hell, at least of the fire and brimstone type, but it was a place where people were judged on their past life.  Later on, it became a sort of Purgatory (so, that's where the nuns got the idea!).  A sort of "Heavens Waiting Room," souls had to do a little time before they got to Paradise.

Household trash to the left,
food garbage to the right,
your eternal soul right up the center.
    Scholars believe the term "Gehenna" comes from the Valley of Hinnon.  This was a refuse dump outside Jerusalem where people quite often went to burn their garbage (when they weren't throwing it at Roman soldiers).  This may be behind the idea that "hell" involves a fire (those frikkin' nuns stole another idea!).

    Christianity:  It was with Christianity that the commonly accepted version of "Hell" really gained traction.  As with much of its doctrine, it looked to the Old Testament for guidance (but never giving credit to the Jews).  From this book, they described Hell as a form of Gehenna.

You know, a few throw pillows, some paint,
and a nice rug, this wouldn't be so bad. 
  From the Greeks, they depicted Hell as Tartarus or Hades, an underworld (always under) for those who have departed this mortal coil and have gone on to see if there's anything else.


I don't care what anyone says.

This looks like hell.
    Roman Catholics refined this idea to scare the living shit out of peasants who dared not transgress lest they suffer everlasting torment of the inferno and daily baths. 

"We've got Prince.
You'd want non-existence too, ya know."
    Jehovahs Witnesses:  Instead of a Hell (or heaven , I guess.  I didn't feel like reading anymore),  Jehovahs Witnesses believe that, after we die, we completely cease to exist.  They believe Hell is a state of non-existence.  Like North Dakota.


They even give you a sign.
Well, isn't that downright neighborly?
Islam:  Not surprisingly, Muslims believe in an afterlife that offers excruciating pain to murderers, rapists, and women who drive.  To them Jahannam is a terribly fiery place with several levels of punishment ranging from a scorching inferno to an eternity spent under a heat lamp at Wendy's.  But, surprisingly, they also have one level that is brutally cold and is filled with blizzards, ice, snow, and my first wife.  

    Buddhism/Hinduism:  I had trouble figuring out what they believe.  But, I think it had something to do with cows, ladies with a lot of arms, and being reincarnated as Honey Boo Boo.

    Jainism:  WTF is Jainism??
Hey, we got naked chicks in the woods.
Who needs Hell?

    Wiccan:  There is no such thing as Hell in the Wiccan faith since they largely don't believe in the concept of reward or punishment.  But, they DO know, if a tree falls in the woods, whether it makes a sound.

Traditional version of Hell.
Between you or me,
having some giant unclog his nose on me
for eternity would be hell.
  By now, I'm sure you've drawn your own conclusions.  While the exact specifics of hell differ from faith to faith and have evolved through the centuries, it remains that it's probably not the best place for your eternal soul.  It's a lot like New Jersey that way.
Republican Version of Hell
President Hillary Rodham Clinton
    Whether a sincerely held religious belief or figment of an overly paranoid imagination, it can't hurt to lead a good life now just so you don't suffer later on.

    Just to be on the safe side, though, you may also want to wipe your feet.


  1. I had some great laughs over my coffee and your post this morning! Love your snark & way with words. I needed this to start my day. Thanks!!!

    And can I just say - I hate Jersey. No offense to those living there of course. ;)

    Terri @ Scribbler’s Sojourn
    Facebook / Twitter

    1. Behind the scenes: I had originally planned on using "Or Camden" as a caption for that first picture.

  2. What about scientology, that doesn't get a shout? lol Any religion to be reincarnated with honey boo boo, isn't one I'd be part of. But I'll hedge by bets just in case and be nice, on the inside.

    1. Those people seriously scare me.
      Well, them and clowns.

  3. I'm so grateful for all the times my Mother sent me back to the door to wipe my feet! See you all on the other side!

    1. See? You'll zoom right past Gehanna and Purgatory right to Paradise.
      Nicely done.

  4. Good God, you've reached H already! Hell is a devilishly wicked fable to scare children into eating their greens, but the naked Wiccan ladies and Hillary could persuade me to eat my greens without any threats whatsoever. I like greens anyway.

    1. How come the nuns never told us about naked women? I would have been a Wiccan in a heartbeat.

  5. Hell is a state of non-existence. Like North Dakota? Hysterical!

    1. I sure hope I don't get hate mail from the couple of people who live there.

  6. The choking joke of the post.... "and like your first wife." I'm sure she was/is a lovely lady and I don't like to laugh at her, but that whole sentence is one funny line.

    1. She really was a lovely woman who delighted in....oh, I just can't make that stand up.
      Mrs. Penwasser #1 comes from a part of my life I prefer to call, "What the Hell Was I Thinking?"

  7. Nice job! Does this mean Bill Clinton escapes final judgement by marriage?

  8. Replies
    1. It was either Detroit or a zinger aimed at New Jersey. I live much closer to Jersey.

  9. Since I'm not as perfect as I seem (well, sadly, I am, but I just need this punchline to work), I'll cut to the chase and move to North Dakota.


    1. That'll will make the population zoom to three.

  10. When hell freezes over- winter in North Dakota. Hmmm...

  11. I once read an article that they were going to turn Detroit into a Zombie Apocalypse theme park... Or I may have written an article about it when I was drunk... I can't remember. Either way, it would be a damn good use for the place!!



    1. Wonder how they'd be able to tell the difference?

  12. I hope that I don't spend eternity "under a heat lamp at Wendy's." Through if they threw in a Frosty or two I could manage. This was great, and I have a feeling we'll be seeing it several times again before the 2025 A to Z Challenge.


    1. oops it's though not through. I've been waiting up all night for "I." ZZZzzz....

  13. I find it so interesting that each religion has a different definition of what hell is and I love your take on each of the definitions. I've been to Detroit before and that place is pretty hellacious and that's from somebody who really wants it to recover and actually be a better city again like it used to be, it's a sad story for sure.