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Satan had a problem. He'd popped out of bed that morning convinced it was going to be a great day for sin. A few hours later he was mulling over ways to combat the adverse effects of McDonalds' supersize-ban on gluttony when a murderous-looking mob of Bible thumpers, states' rights advocates, talk show stepmoms and other assorted ne'er-do-wells ambushed him and backed him into a dead-end alley. It had really been damned careless of him. A bead of sweat trickled down The Evil One's forehead. He fingered the brick wall behind him tentatively. No magic escape hatch or hidden portal presented itself. Without meaning to, he spread out his hands at the crowd in a mute gesture of appeal and smiled ingratiatingly. The ugly murmur intensified.
Lucifer felt scared. He also felt hurt. They should've been lining up to kiss his feet. After the lengths he'd gone finding ways for them to indulge their filthy appetites! Their hypocrisy and self-deception was off the map. But apparently their rottenness was actually his fault. They certainly weren't responsible for anything they'd done! Sin was something that'd just happened to them. Assholes.
More aggravating still, God not only swallowed this wishful doublethink, He positively encouraged it. Why? Easy--otherwise Paradise would be vacant except for the occasional aborted fetus or drowned kitten. Thus, in order to lower Heaven's admission standards to the point where any creep short of a mass murderer or homosexual could get in, He'd enacted a paper thin loophole whereby a lifetime of lust, greed, envy and sloth could be wiped out by one measly little display of penitence. This in turn enabled Him to keep up the laughable pretense that He was "prevailing in the eternal struggle for the souls of men." To add insult to injury He then foisted this corrupt bill of goods on the public as evidence of His divine tolerance and forgiveness. No, when it came to deviousness and manipulation God had him beat by a mile...
Wham! A bottle exploded on the wall behind him, jerking Lucifer out of his bitter ruminations. "You stink, Satan!" screamed a small, weaselly woman near the front, her oddly small face a mask of arousal and hatred. A roar of approval erupted from the crowd, who picked up the chant at once. "Sa-tan Stinks! Sa-tan Stinks! Sa-tan Stinks!" Mulleted, overweight children jumped up and down, shrieking and clapping with glee. The stab of annoyance Lucifer felt about the mob's obvious delight in such a juvenile taunt was quickly replaced by terror as they closed in. His black heart thumped away in his chest like a snare. Best come up with something quick!
"Wait, friends, hear me out, please!" The crowd paused, and Lucifer hurried on. "I ask only that you briefly lend me your ears. If you don't like what I say, so be it. You may do with me as you will." In fact he had no idea what he'd say next, and he had the sense that his Old World accent, florid rhetorical style and exaggerated tone of reasonableness were only infuriating the crowd further. Maybe he should shift gears and try a few colloquialisms...
"Scout's honor, you're barking up the wrong tree here, folks. I'm not the 'heavy' in this motion picture. What say we all chill for a sec? This guy"--he indicated himself with two thumbs--"This guy's just a regular Ron trying to have a good time. You know, party. I like to party, same as all of you. Hell, I'll kick up my heels and party hearty any day of the week!" To illustrate he jumped up and clicked his heels together. At the same precise moment a heavy chunk of brick slammed into his shoulder and knocked him over backwards. The intensity of the pain made him gasp. In a flash the rabble was on him. A heavy boot to the stomach sent the air rushing out of his lungs, and vigorous blows buffeted him from every direction. Though an optimist by nature, Lucifer had to admit as he slid into unconsciousness that the "great day for sin" thing was turning into an extreme long shot.
Date Written: April 08, 2004
Author: Jon Matza
Average Vote: 3.7778