AAD's Rough Guide to the Infernal Regions

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In another thread rudeboy mentioned that he was going to hell. It immediately occurred to me that here at Ask A Drunk we may have assembled the world's foremost group of subject matter experts on hell and its environs since Dante put Virgil's shade on his head and danced the shimmy at some Florentine bacchanal. If Rimbaud could wring a book out of one piffling, little season in hell, imagine what we could make of it, who have pawned our return tickets and set up housekeeping. I may not be able to afford, as de Sade, the full suite, complete with Hell's Kitchen, Library and Two-Cabriolet Garage, but one may learn much of hell from a humble bed-sitting room with a view of the dust bin in the alley and the tortured souls in the pool of burning sulpher across the way, gnawing at their own entrails.

At the very least, I propose we Ask-A-Drunkites should make the minimum effort required to jot down or sketch out some particle of our compendious knowledge of the infernal regions and offer it to the wider public. Then, if the vaster part of the population follows our advice (as I fervently hope), they can all go straight to hell in proper style. And perhaps we could make the odd bob or two peddling self-guided walking tours to them.

Aimless, Tuesday, 12 August 2003 05:20 (twenty years ago) link

The first question many a hell-bound traveler asks is, what should I pack?

To which question I can only respond with carefree, lilting laughter. By which I mean to convey this simple message: Relax! Don't give it a second thought. You are going to hell and all the petty details have been taken care of for you. All you need to do is arrive and the rest will follow as naturally as a blistering fever follows a malarial infection.

This fact highlights an important point about hell: futility. Nothing can be done about it. Oftentimes there will be no choice, but even should a choice be available, it is invariably a Hobson's choice - either alternative being equally painful and pointless. So the best advice I can give anyone is the simplest: suit yourself. It will all wind up the same in the end. That's the hell of it.

As for getting to hell, nothing could be easier! Once it has been determined that hell is your next stop (this step is usually automatic), the same rule applies as was once announced by some anonymous philosopher in the 1960s: wherever you go, there you are.

Accomodations vary quite widely in hell. Surprisingly, there are several four-star hotels in hell where one can purchase exquisite meals, bask in the latest word in luxury and be waited upon hand and foot by servile and attentive imps who will anticipate your needs almost before you are aware of them. These accomodations are fully booked, cost twenty times what you can afford, and you could not possibly fit in with that crowd anyway. They are only there to taunt you and make you disgruntled with your lot.

If you are middle class (NB: please do not trouble to ask yourself: 'Am I middle class?' If you are not, you know it in your very bones. Even asking the question is irrefutable proof of middle-classness), then where you will most likely be staying is the hotel with slow drains and an indefinable bad smell. The beds dip like spavined horses. The sheets are yellow-grey. The hotel staff provides uniformly indifferent service and your complaints will be cheerfully bandied among the staff for the purpose of their secret entertainment, but otherwise ignored.

If you are like me and are staying in hell upon the cheapest terms possible, the hotel where you stay will be pure, authentic hell, as opposed to the suburbs of hell where the middle class spend most of their time. I find the best way to put a good face on such accomodations is extensive lone drinking from bottles purchased in a package shop. Be sure to buy whatever the locals drink. This is always cheapest and the most certain to ameliorate the hardships of a life in hell. Don't mind the side effects. You are already in hell, so your health is not an issue.

Permanent residents of hell do not need a residency permit. However, one is legally required. Failure to comply with all rules and regulations of hell will result in no change in your existential status as a resident in hell, but can result in certain dismal and undesirable variations upon the general theme.

If, for example, your accomodations have peeling, festering wallpaper, festooned with the stains of a thousand crushed insects, then you are safely at home and not at present a guest elsewhere. If your accomodations have painted concrete walls of a dead grey or liverish green colour, you may look forward to further adventures of a novel, but purely unfullfilling nature. (NB: Do not rely on any change in the quality of the bed to alert you to your change of accomodations, as you may not be able to detect any.)

Aimless, Tuesday, 12 August 2003 17:17 (twenty years ago) link

and the kettle, she never boils. at least not a proper, bag-bloating, nose clearing, rolling boil.

hurley (hurley), Tuesday, 12 August 2003 22:18 (twenty years ago) link

All I can say is, bang on center, Mr. Hurley!

Which astute observation leads on naturally to the question: is there sex in hell and, if so, how does one come by it?

Good news, gents and ladies! Contrary to widespread misconceptions, there is plenty of sex in hell. Tubs full of it. Many and many a young woman has been deflowered of her virginity in hell and many more will in the years to come. The hell of it is that neither sexual partner is allowed to enjoy sexual congress, or, if pleasure is felt, it only lays the groundwork for an extra wallop of regret, humiliation and disappointment in the sequel. Not to mention dry cleaning bills.

One further word to the wise is called for on this subject. Whereas the Bible states that in heaven there is no marriage, nothing could be further from the case in hell. Marriage is almost as common there as tepid hot water for tea.

Aimless, Wednesday, 13 August 2003 02:19 (twenty years ago) link

Following on from this, have no truck with those who say that hell is other people. It is not. It is a multilayered dimension consisting of various realms to torture the everlasting souls of the damned. There is, however, to my certain knowledge a hell reserved for those who spout platitudes without a moment's thought. I have visited the hell reserved for those who say "worse things happen at sea" as part of my guiided tours of the otherwordly realms for SAGA holidays (the oragnisers, ever-thoughtful decided that they needed a "taster", as it were"). What I saw there both shocked and appalled me (though secretly I was a little bit turned on). Later on on the same tour we saw that portion of hell reserved for sportsmen and sports pundits wherein they gazed in existential horror at a clock which never quite reached the end of the day....

Matt (Matt), Wednesday, 13 August 2003 12:51 (twenty years ago) link

Yeah but then they were rushing around doing things "at the last minute"

Lynskey (Lynskey), Wednesday, 13 August 2003 12:56 (twenty years ago) link

how do you recognize "the last minute" when it is upon you?? does the background music surge?? is a flattering key light suddenly snapped on?? does your life go to split screen with a huge image of an anonymous rail station clock?? do you get a FAX?? is there an ominous knock at the door?? do you start moving in slo-mo??

JR never saw it coming . . . or going.

hurley (hurley), Wednesday, 13 August 2003 19:40 (twenty years ago) link

If you look carefully at the sign at the front entrance to the Vatican, you may note the inscription "Interior Decorators of Hell, by special appointment, since 32 A.D." This infuriates the Southern Baptists and the Scottish Methodists no end.

The "last minute" is easily ascertained by reference to the "last call", which generally comes four minutes prior to the last minute.

Aimless, Wednesday, 13 August 2003 20:17 (twenty years ago) link


Let's get on with this cliché-torture thing. I like the concept, even if I suspect a website has probably been dedicated to it already..

Let's get the ball rolling with the "It's not the money..." suite, a mile square where the likes of the late Jewish globster Maxwell resides. (That's the second time in a week I've used the word globster... but I think it's a highly appealing image... although the reality is likely to be somewhat smellier.)

Of course, the "It's not the money..." suite is pigeon shit compared to the "God told me to do it..." pavillion... which, despite bookies' forecasts, is still not full. (Bookies can be found in the "Honest!" suite, two doors down, on your left.)

Still, however horrible it is in this place, getting here is quite nice actually. You can skip, trip and dance over all those deep-shag good intentions. Mmmmmmmm... good intentions.

Pooster (pooster), Wednesday, 13 August 2003 20:58 (twenty years ago) link

(Map out your own plan of Hell here)

I think I can squeeze in a little cell for "arms dealers from north London who fancy the trifling idea of exploding AF1" in the Perditionward wing. I mean, how many of them can there be???

(Exuse me.... "Sorry, Brummy gangstas: down the hall, 219,348,773rd on the left. Watch out for the falling concrete." Right, where was I?)

If anyone is still listening to this - I mean anyone who has a clue about what Hell looks like - could you post your intelligence here, so we can gen up on shit before we arrive. Obviously, we'll all pay good money. You could set up a premium-rate phone line at, say, £1.50 a minute. It's fair: you make money, we've agreed a fair rate, and we get to find out if the Daily Mail is right about what particular suburb of Greater Hell sexual deviants end up in.

Pooster (pooster), Wednesday, 13 August 2003 21:10 (twenty years ago) link

Hmmm..... bit pissed off really. I went onto Google.com (as opposed to googal.com, which disconcerted me slightly) and typed in: "draw hell".

Bearing in mind this is GOOGLE.COM, there were only 66 responses. Not a Googlewhack, but not particularly impressive either. I don't know if drawhell.com is one of those results, but if it isn't, I suggest we club together and register it. I'm willing to pay half the costs just to see Rex and Lynskey go head to head with their own personal portraits of pure evil.

Pooster (pooster), Wednesday, 13 August 2003 21:17 (twenty years ago) link

On getting out of hell-

It has come to our attention that getting out of hell appears to be notoriously difficult. We use the word 'appears' because this is based on assumption rather than hard fact, but findings clearly show that very few hell-bound passengers venture back. The confusion arises, however, as to whether the plucky tourists find it harder to get out of hell than they'd imagined, or whether they so drawn in by an eternal life of vice, sin and debauchery that they imagine the moral uproar and Daily Mail press mentions they induce by living in such a manner in their earthly lives isn't worth returning to. We do, however, have one unfortunate case scenario, based on the plight of some very, very stupid people. We would like to think of hell as a fairly exclusive destination, only attractive and welcoming to abinsthe drinking, flightful layabouts, but sadly it appears that even the dripping-eating, Trisha-dripfed pondlife of Northern England want a piece of the inferno. Note:- This is not something we want to encourage. Anyway - here is a press article highlighting the dangers of going to hell without knowing what you're in for:-


A couple recently got more than they bargained for when they booked a flight to hell and back after being influenced by ITV's 'Holidays from Hell' programme, which has since been criticised for increasing the appeal of satanism and the black arts to stupid people.

Carole and Jim Boggins, of Selly Oak, Birmingham, thought they had got themselves a good deal upon seeing the plight of another Midlands couple, who they did not know, on the ITV show.

'We couldn't understand what all the fuss was about', said Carole, 21. 'These people had got themselves a really good deal, and the company even gave them money off, just for a few cockroaches. I said to Jim, I'd go on holiday for that sort of money, even if it was a cockroach infested, shit stinking hovel. I mean, you don't go on holiday and spend all your time in the hotel, do you?'

'Exactly' said Jim, 49. 'At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. We didn't have much money, and we needed a break. It seemed ideal.'

After excitedly discussing the ITV show, the couple decided to book their holiday, but discovered that in the excitement, they'd forgotten the destination. ' We had a look in the TV times', Jim admits, 'but there was no mention of where the couple had gone, so we just assumed that because the show was called "Holidays from Hell", and Carole had seen a brochure advertising trips to hell that day, that that's where they must have gone.'

The couple's plight can be shown in full on a Channel 4 documentary later this week, but they certainly didn't enjoy their time in the netherworld. 'It was bloody awful', Carole sighs. ' I thought the time away would be a chance for Jim and me to spice up our marriage, but he was so burnt by the second day that he could barely move, and he had to stay in bed. I tried going out alone, but I couldn't get a Bacardi Breezer for love nor money.'

'Exactly', Jim said. 'I can't imagine why anyone would want to go there. When I was stuck in the bed I thought it might almost have been a relief, but the ceiling of the room was made of some kind of animal innards, and occasionally they'd drip off the ceiling and onto my face. Carole came home and went mad, she thought I'd been with another woman.'

After 4 days of hell, it was time for the couple's scheduled flights back, but the airport they'd been directed to go to didn't seem to exist. 'We couldn't understand it,' Jim sighs 'there didn't seem to be any way out, and nobody seemed to want to help.' After another three nights of confusion, and with nowhere to stay, the couple found a greedy goblin who was willing to help them, by giving them black powers to transform themselves into bats. 'We were told that the only way we could escape was to become these bats, and then be gone before morning. We didn't really think it would work, but we'd tried everything, and it seemed it was the only option.' Jim exclaims.

Luckily for the couple it worked, and their nightmare came to an end. Both were slightly singed in the process, but were otherwise physically stable. 'It's caused a rift in our marriage, though.' says Carole. 'We'll never go to hell again, the wounds will take a long time to heal'.

The couple are adamant that they won't be dealing with any tour operators, holiday firms or transport companies who specialise in trips to hell and back again. 'As far as I'm concerned', Jim summarises, 'they can go to hell.'


We'd like to draw your attention to this article because we feel that ignoring it could constitute bad press on our part. But really, it is another reason why stupid people are not welcome in hell, and why any other tour operator companies dealing in hell are not to be trusted. Having said that, should you find yourselves in a similar situation to that of Jim and Carole, the bat out of hell mechanism does have a high success rate, and effective spells are widely available on the white market in hell (known as the black market everywhere from middle earth upwards)

Woodbine (Woodbine), Friday, 15 August 2003 08:37 (twenty years ago) link

seven years pass...

I thought I might have something to add to this, but then I thought, to hell with it.

Aimless, Sunday, 22 August 2010 18:40 (thirteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...

...or, rather, fuck it.

Aimless, Monday, 13 September 2010 03:58 (thirteen years ago) link

one month passes...

seems only reasonable, but I'd like you to think I was taking seven years to formulate an adequate response, which is sadly untrue. I've not been to hell, but I have been to Grimsby, and you can definitely see it from there.

matt, Thursday, 21 October 2010 22:09 (thirteen years ago) link

Lasciate ogni speranza, voi che siete a Grimsby

A Reclaimer Hewn With (Michael White), Thursday, 21 October 2010 22:26 (thirteen years ago) link

believe you me, hope is not a concept germane to your average grimbarian

matt, Thursday, 21 October 2010 22:37 (thirteen years ago) link

The Grimbarians are at the gates!

A Reclaimer Hewn With (Michael White), Thursday, 21 October 2010 22:41 (thirteen years ago) link

rather there than the drawing room

matt, Thursday, 21 October 2010 22:56 (thirteen years ago) link

Yes, as long as we disconnect the doorbell. Rather stubborn people, I take it.

A Reclaimer Hewn With (Michael White), Thursday, 21 October 2010 23:01 (thirteen years ago) link

to choose to forge an existence there one has to be of a mildly intransigent cast, yes

matt, Thursday, 21 October 2010 23:10 (thirteen years ago) link

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