Greetings from Hell: My long overdue return to Florida.

Twenty three years after I left Florida for my career, it was time to return to my adopted hometown.

They call Florida “God’s Waiting Room” because there are a lot of old people down here test-driving caskets. But for me, Florida is more like “Satan’s Boot Camp.” And here’s why.

An introduction to the Underworld.

You’ve no doubt heard the stories about people signing a pact with the devil to achieve wealth, fame, and power. Well, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t happen like it does in the movies. The Prince of Darkness doesn’t challenge you to a fiddle-playing wager or “greatest song-in-the-world” writing contest for your eternal soul.

Delivering global torment, one soul at a time.

Considering the number of materialistic US adults amenable to unearned wealth—around 125 million, according to Gallop—Hell’s Total Addressable Market for mortal souls is far too large to pitch each person individually. Heck, the logistics of getting that many signatures in blood would be inconceivable—do you know how many contract lawyers he’d need for that?! I mean, more than the millions he already has…

Believe me, Lucifer has better things to do than constantly staging elaborate theatrics and Faustian plot-twists—after all, the damned aren’t going to torture themselves, right? That’s why he delegates the soul-signing tedium to his minions, and I don’t mean the cute kind.

Damnation is the Devil’s business, and business is good.

To handle the sheer volume of souls that humans are looking to part with, Hell has an organizational structure much like Corporate America, the Mafia, and Scientology—a hierarch-angel-y, if you will.

While Mephistopheles handles Hell’s higher profile clients personally—you didn’t think Donald Trump, Kim Kardashian, and Adam Levine succeeded without satanic help, did you?—his echelons of middle-management demons handle the people who just want to sell their soul for the occasional trip to socialist Europe or Disneyland (Hell’s long-time corporate sponsor).

How do I know all this, you may ask? Funny story…

My demon was named Mark. He was a nice guy in his sixties with a full head of shoulder-length grey hair. He was charming, often funny, and had stories for every occasion. If you didn’t know Mark was employed by Evil Incarnate, Inc, you’d probably assume he was that “cool” college professor who admitted to students that he used to smoke pot.

I sold my soul before selling your soul was cool.

Mark approached me back when I was living in the frigid northeast and highly susceptible to the promise of a better life. He took his time getting to know me and really learned what I wanted out of life. (Today, the process is much less personal, you simply agree to Instagram’s terms of use, and the deed is done.)

Mark finally made his pitch while we were drinking at a bar: “I’d sell my soul to get out of this town, wouldn’t you?” I instantly agreed, and the next thing I knew I’d embarked on a career in advertising, an industry long-known for rewarding almost anyone, irrespective of actual talent.

Over the following 35 years, I achieved a level of success that can only be explained by supernatural intervention. It seems painfully clear now that Mark kept his end of the bargain and that I’ll probably have to keep mine* (unless someone knows a really good lawyer who isn’t already in the same situation).

Training for an eternity of torment.

With my career now all but over, I’ve come down to Florida to prepare myself for the unmerciful and unending heat of Hell’s red-hot coals (though I’ve heard rumors they’re converting to solar).

In addition to unrelenting torridity, the Sunshine State offers all manner of unholy tortures such as driving behind old people in the fast lane, trying to reason with 2nd Amendment zealots, and co-existing peaceably with FOXNews’ primary demographic—it’s all great experience for what lies ahead.

I’ll see you all in hell! (Oh, don’t kid yourself…)

I don’t know exactly when I’ll be called down, but when the inevitable happens, I’ll be as prepared as any mortal could be. In the meantime, I’ll continue documenting my experiences in the mortal realm hoping that, if I can prevent even one more soul being sent to Hell, then I’ll always be able to find a parking spot down there.

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