“Summer vacation is treating you well,” he remarked as he strode over to the couch in his impeccably tailored suit.
“What can I say?” I quipped as I grabbed a Snapple out of the cooler for him. “I work hard, so make sure I relax even harder.”
“In honor of your vacation, I shall break with protocol and loosen my tie,” he informed me with a smirk, and then actually let some space appear between the Windsor knot and the top button of his shirt.
I make sure to “Ooo!” and “Aaah!” an acceptable amount as Lucifer sat down on the other end of the couch and opened his Snapple.
“Only a true friend would do that,” I snickered and then held up my bottle in his honor.
“So what are your plans for vacation?” The Prince of Darkness asked like someone who didn’t get out of Hell often enough.
“Tell me who your travel agent is so I can make sure to never use him,” Satan countered and reached for the newspaper.
“Come on,” I implored. “You know me. I don’t like to do things on my own, and a week of sleeping in, watching baseball, and writing is all it takes to make me happy. In fact, I wrote twelve pages of a new screenplay today, and I’m looking forward to churning out new pages all week.”
“Party on, Wayne,” he said with fake excitement.
“Party on, Garth,” I replied as one must in that situation.
“I was actually just reading that staycations were all the rage,” The Devil admitted as he opened the Travel and Leisure section, probably in hopes of finding dozens of more exciting vacation options for me.
“You can’t beat the price, there’s no annoying travel involved, and it’s pretty hard to be disappointed in a vacation spent at The House on the Hill,” I assured him.
“That reminds me of a phrase that really makes me want to hurl my pitchfork,” Lucifer growled as he put down the paper. “Who ever came up with ‘The Vacation from Hell’? It’s not only offensive to me, but it also makes absolutely no sense.”
I loved it when The Prince of Darkness got all hot under his perfectly starched collar. It was always a thrill to listen to him lose it.
“What about that saying bothers you?” I egged him on.
Hey, I was on vacation, so I deserved to be entertained!
“First of all, no vacation time or sick days are offered in Hell,” Satan explained. “I wrote all the HR policies, so I can assure you that time off is never an option. The Damned are damned to punch a time clock each and every day for all eternity.”
I smiled because I could imagine the Nuns from my grammar school saying the very same thing to their students year after year.
“Secondly,” he continued, “there is no leaving Hell, so even if time off were an option, one would not be able to take a vacation from Hell. That lost soul would have to spend it somewhere in my domain, and let me tell you, nowhere down there is a potential paradise. In fact, Hell is the exact opposite of paradise.”
“Bizarro Paradise,” I offered.
He didn’t seem to understand or appreciate the reference.
“I wish there was something I could do to delete that phrase from the vernacular,” I offered not at all sincerely.
“You could start by telling Chevy Chase to stop making Vacation movies,” The Devil grumbled. “Every time he makes one, ‘Vacation from Hell’ turns up in thousands of movie reviews. The man is a menace!”
Twelve screenplay pages written and a tirade from The Devil. My vacation was off to an excellent start. Wish you were here!