December 16, 2010

Road Trip Memories - Hell, Michigan

On Tuesday, I told you some of my favorite road trip blogs and mentioned I have traveled before with the bloggers of The Unplanned Misadventures of MirMir and Bess. It only seems fair that I should also share one of my favorite road trip destinations and the greatest roadside attraction I have ever seen - Hell. That's right. I went to Hell.

My friend Bess was a film major and working on a documentary about Hell as a place. She interviewed some religious authorities on what Hell may be as a location and then decided that MirMir and I should accompany her on a weekend trip to a little town called Hell, Michigan. We borrowed a car from MirMir's relatives and pasted a sign on the window that said, "The Handbasket," so we could go to hell in a handbasket. We then tapped a little statute of Buddy Christ (a "Dogma" reference for those who don't know) to the compass on the dashboard so we could ask Jesus which way to Hell. And I made mix tapes combining the best songs about hell that I could think of. We were off to Hell!

After a brief stop in Indiana for a speeding ticket, we made excellent time and reached the tiny town of Hell rather quickly. Hell, for those wondering, is cold in the winter. Very cold and very drizzly (For those wondering, Hell does freeze over in the winter). The town actually consisted of three buildings - a general store, an ice cream store, and a gift shop. We went to the gift shop first for souvenirs and so Bess could interview the proprietor about it was like to work in Hell. Unfortunately, the ice "screamery" was closed so our plan of getting frozen treats in Hell was quickly foiled. But we did discover you can buy postcards in the general store and send them so the postmark will read from Hell (for an extra dollar, they will also singe the edges of the card, because what is Hell without hellfire?)

Our trip was short because it started to drizzle (apparently it rains in Hell) and I was incredibly sick. But we loaded up on local wine with devilish names (Witches Brew, for those wondering) and headed to our nearby motel. Unfortunately, you can't stay overnight in Hell but there are plenty of places nearby where you can find a cheap room. We caused a bit of a stir in our little motel as we marched up to our room carrying several bags of camera equipment. It took us about ten minutes to understand why the employees were looking at us funny. After all, what would you think a bunch of young girls were doing with a camera in a motel room? I'm guessing you wouldn't think they were making a documentary about Hell.

When we got home, Bess filmed the final credits for the film which consisted of us singing an old road trip song appropriate for the occasion. It goes a little something like this:
I don't care if it rains or freezes
Long as I got my plastic Jesus
Sitting on the dashboard of my car (of my car)
He's got style and he's got class
Got a genuine magnet on his ass
He's hollow and I use him for a flask


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