The Shell sign, shown as normal and during Wednesday night's malfunction. (Chris Fama/WBZ NewsRadio; Photo courtesy @JenniferBruni)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Something was missing from an iconic landmark in Cambridge Wednesday night.
The "S" on the famous "Shell" sign was unlit, so the whole thing read "Hell."
"It doesn't matter when you go down Memorial Drive, that's the first thing you see," one area resident told WBZ NewsRadio's Chris Fama.
"To be honest, pretty hilarious to me," a woman named Danielle said.
But the owner wasn't so enthused. He said corporate called him to shut it off right away.
"It's advertising something we don't wanna advertise," he joked.
Dave, who works across the street, said he's never seen the "S" out of commission in the dozens of years he's been watching.
"I've seen them replace the bulbs many many times," he said. "On a regular basis, there's a lift truck over there, even if there's just a few bulbs out ... I think it has to be something to do with the entire 'S'."
At least one person said they thought this homage from the underworld was a sign from above.
"I think it went out for a reason," she said. "I think it tells the truth about what's going on right now—hell!"
WBZ NewsRadio's Chris Fama (@CFamaWBZ) reports