“You went to Dairy Queen?” I asked with surprise as I enthusiastically took the blue cup from him and smiled at my unexpected treat.
“It was the least I could do,” Satan explained as he walked around to the other side of the couch, careful not to get ice cream on his impeccably tailored suit. “I’m always drinking your Snapple and eating your chips, so I thought I’d supply the ice cream on this important national holiday.”
We both smiled at his referring to National Ice Cream Day as an important national holiday, but we were too intent on eating our Blizzards to discus it any further.
Silence fell upon The House on the Hill as Lucifer and I enjoyed our Dairy Queen creations. Mine was chocolate ice cream with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and hot fudge. I was impressed that he had remembered what I liked.
“It was getting late, and I thought maybe you weren’t coming,” I said when I finally came up for air to battle the brain freeze that was beginning to take hold.
“Sorry about that,” he apologized as he used a napkin to dab at a little dot of vanilla ice cream on his lip. “Busy day in Hell with it being National Ice Cream Day.”
Once again, The Prince of Darkness had managed to catch me completely by surprise. I might have dropped my Blizzard in shock had I not had a total stranglehold on it like it was the last bit of food left in a post apocalyptic world.
“You celebrate National Ice Cream Day in Hell?” I asked in utter befuddlement.
“Of course,” he replied after he had finished savoring his latest spoonful of Blizzard. “I might be the Prince of Darkness and High Lord of Hellfire, but I’m no barbarian. I believe in giving the damned what they want. On occasion. When I can use their needs to amuse me and further punish them.”
He flashed me a most Devilish grin, and I dutifully rolled my eyes like a good Catholic.
“What did you do to them this time?” I questioned because I simply had to know.
He put his Blizzard on the table to give me his full attention. “First, I spent an entire week announcing the upcoming National Ice Cream Day celebration,” The Devil explained as he could barely contain his glee. “As anticipation grew, I gradually cranked up the Hellfire each day to make it hot as Hell. Sorry, I just had to use that line.”
I nodded that the cheesy joke was okay, and continued to eat my ice cream as I listened with rapt attention.
“Then I set up one table in the middle of the hottest ring of Hell, and told everyone that if they wanted ice cream, they’d better get in line.”
“One table for every soul banished to Hell?” I asked with a sigh.
Satan winked. “And I assigned three of my oldest, clumsiest, slowest moving Demons to man the table. Needless to say, by the time the damned finally got to the front of the line, the ice cream had turned to mush. In fact, it was so hot, that most of it had simply evaporated.”
He cackled with delight and took a big spoonful of his Blizzard as if to reward himself.
I just shook my head and said nothing because what could I really say to that?
“You should’ve seen the looks on their faces, Austin. It was priceless,” Lucifer assured me. “That was why I was so late. I just couldn’t stop watching their reactions when they got to the front of the line.”
“You can be incredibly evil at times,” I softly scolded the Prince of Darkness, who had been thoughtful enough to buy me my favorite DQ Blizzard on National Ice Cream Day.
“As I’ve told you many times before,” The Devil answered as he often did, “everyone who is in Hell is there for a reason. They aren’t there to enjoy themselves, and it’s my job to make sure they are perpetually suffering for their sins.”
“I know,” I replied with a shrug. “Melted ice cream on a hot day just seems like cruel and unusual punishment.
I sighed. I hadn’t meant that as a compliment, but looking back on it now, I can see how he might take it as one.
I just focused on enjoying my Blizzard and counting my blessings that I have lived the kind of life that should earn my an afterlife far from my house guest’s cruel and unusual ways.