Road To Hell

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Road To Hell[1]
Work In Progress
Original Broadcast Date
Joe Frank
Absurd Monologue, 58 minutes
Preceded by: The More I Know You
Followed by: Nausea

Oh Midnight Special, I ride the rods a hobo, not homeless...

Road To Hell is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series Work In Progress. It was originally broadcast in 1989.


Train sounds.

0:50: A paean to the hobo, the first few seconds of Country Joe McDonald's 'Hold On It's Coming' repeating in the background - 'Oh midnight special, I ride the rods a hobo...'

7:30: 'I jump off the train in Wildermere.(sp?)' Joe describes the small town where he jumps off the train.

10:00: Joe describes a scene in a ski lodge. He inscribes an attractive woman's cast, 'Regret not the momentary impulse.'

11:50: He describes how he likes to sleep in a cold room. A woman comes in. He speculates about what she's wearing. He compares the shape of her body to the architecture of our nation's governance, including the 'Articles of Confabulation' and other parody documents.

15:00: He recommends things to do, including replacing that broken pane of glass... and flossing.

18:00: Christmas in New York, 'Carolers standing beneath the street lamp', the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, midnight mass at St Pat's...

22:10: Joe describes a New Year's Eve party, which gets wild. Miracles happen. Someone smothers to death underneath the jackets thrown on the bed.

28:50: A class, run by a fellow named Rottweiler. Joe gets so bored he carves his initials in the shoulder blades of the person sitting in front of him. The class turns out to be a meeting of people who perpetrate disruptive acts upon the public: subliminal messages in movies, on blimps, banners, 'radical wandering yodelers', hallucinogens in room fresheners, napalm in fire extinguishers, shaving creams that cause hair to grow uncontrollably, powerful emetics, diuretics, and laxatives in coffee-cart coffee, paranoia-inducing substances in public-toilet paper dispensers. Joe describes how people react to these, especially the hallucinogens.

39:50: Joe unwinds a long list: 'lite beer, lite cheese, lite meat, lite baked goods... a bank of television monitors enabling you to see who is approaching along the driveway... the seaplane that takes you to Southampton... the ex-Vietnam veteran karate-expert chauffeur who lives in the apartment above the garage... cigar-smoking, brandy-quaffing men in the library discuss the humor of high finance around a great crackling blaze in the Southern California night... henless eggs, decaffeinated cocaine'

47:30 Joe tells us how much he likes the life he's leading, repeatedly, for about a minute.

49:40: Joe describes an enormous mall that sells everything. It has apartments beneath it, in which one can experience foreign environments, including contracting malaria and parasitic infestations from the Brazilian rainforest.

Legacy Synopsis
  • Train sounds; a poetic celebration of the hobo.
  • A ski lodge, writing "regret not the momentary impulse" on a cast.
  • Founding fathers, the Articles of Confabulation and the bill of human bondage.
  • General Deities Incorporated. Christmas in New York.
  • Throwing a New Year's Eve party - a guest suffocated beneath coats.
  • Revolutionary political group promulgates messages and performs actions.
  • Conventional life disrupted by sabotage - fire extinguishers filled with napalm; shaving cream replaced with hair growth substance; emetics, diuretics, and laxatives added to office coffee
  • List of everyday items: lite beer, lite cheese, lite meat, lite baked goods...
  • List of security services: a bank of television monitors enabling you to observe who is approaching along the driveway...
  • List of upper class amenities: the Alpine ski lodge in wintertime Palm Desert Club timeshares...
  • List of beverages: ... noca-cola, joka-cola, bloka-cola, smoka-cola, croka-cola, loca-cola, broka-cola.
  • Joe hums and raps "it's the sweet life I'm leading" to music.
  • The triumph of the suburban mall.
  • Music

    This is an incomplete record of the music in this program. If you can add more information, please do.

    Additional credits

    The original broadcast credits state: "Performed by Joe Frank, and created in collaboration with David Rapkin. Recorded and mixed by Jeff Sykes."