Song Of The Day 10/21/2015: Ghost – “He Is”

A Dream Date With Satan: Part 4
(Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)

Satan: How’s that drink treating you?

Paul Pearson The Blog: Mmmph.

S: That good, huh?

P: Eh. I don’t know. I haven’t had any hard liquor in about two years. It’s hard to tell.

S: No kidding? What’s that you’re having now?

P: Well, it’s… it’s called a Witty Chuck.

S: From Fargo Rock City??

P: You know it?

S: Yeah! Brandy and ginger ale. Klosterman says it makes you a great conversationalist without much effort. I never tried it.

P: Used to work better. When I was young and impressionable, and believed things like a certain mix of liquids could make you a party hit. Now it’s just making me feel stern and authoritative. I have a burning need to go online and fix Sarah Palin’s grammar.

S: You’re probably doing it wrong.

P: Yeah. Fun times.

S: Mm-hmm.



P: So… nowadays…

S: Uh-huh?

P: What exactly is it that you do?

S: (Sigh)… I don’t know. I guess I’m a consultant.

P: Yeah, me too, heh heh.

S: I mean, like I said, this evil stuff runs itself now. Thanks Google. San Francisco’s not the only thing that company displaced.

P: I find it hard to believe that someone with your extensive expertise and abilities just gets thrown out to pasture.

S: Really? You really can’t understand that? Really? Shall we go over your records?

P: …Okay, I take that back. But still, we’re not talking a middle manager or anything like that. You’re kind of the founding chairman of the board, aren’t you?

S: Yeah, but I’m a craftsman. That’s the whole thing. Evil wasn’t a novelty toy that got thrown into Cracker Jack boxes. You had to cultivate it. It was a long, slow process involving layers of emotional and spiritual overwriting. We didn’t just pave everything over.

P: You make it sound like cabernet sauvignon.

S: It kinda was. It was a very meticulous science. People don’t get that now. Technology’s overruled the need for patience. And now the most popular evil – well, it’s still evil, but it’s like New Coke. It’s a simulation, and you don’t have to look too hard to see how weak it is.

P: Why don’t you go to less developed countries, then? Where there’s still enough of the old world that you can work more deliberately?

S: Nah. We don’t go off the North American continent. Believe it or not. We have to be where the need is greatest.

P: Who’s “we”?

S: Oh. Yeah. That’s habit. My associates, I guess you’d call them. Specialists. I’m the big picture guy, they’re the executors. But they’re going through the same thing. I haven’t seen them much anymore. That’s kind of my fault. (Sigh)… I mean, who cares? What are we all gonna do now, open up for Tony Orlando in Branson? Animatronic nostalgia. Ick.

P: Have you considered working on a lesser scope?

S: For example?

P: I don’t know… maybe get back to your roots, make it a small-scale operation?

S: You met get all holistic? I’d fall off the map for certain.

P: Well, I just mean… Okay, so you’re Shakey’s Pizza. Once you were the king of the pizza chains. Some other companies came along and improved your model and put most of your franchises out of business. But you still have some standalone stores on a smaller scale. Just focus on those.

S: Is there no situation for which you won’t find a way to use the downsizing of Shakey’s Pizza as a metaphor?

P: Sorry. It’s a Sacramento thing. It’s either that or Tower Records.

S: Well, whatever, I still don’t quite follow.

P: I know! How about possession? Individual possession? You still do that?

S: Ahh, man… I should’ve figured.

P: What?

S: One cute family movie about a 10-year-old girl throwing up and everybody thinks that’s the main part of the job.

P: You don’t possess people? I was always warned in church about you possessing certain people.

S: That’s like warning an astronaut about a leak in his bottle of Tang.

P: It’s not a big deal?

S: It’s no deal. There is no scalability in possessing individuals and there’s even less of a point. We do it for training purposes only now.

P: That’s too bad.

S: Or out of boredom. And I mean sheer boredom. Like watching an entire advertisement on YouTube well after it’s given you the “Skip Video” prompt. That level of boredom. “Hey Satan, what’s on TV tonight?” “Absolutely nothing.” “Okay. Hey look, there’s a troubled teen, let’s make him sound like Zardoz and puke up some minestrone.”

P: Well that takes the romance out of it. When I was a kid, the religion that I was raised in believed absolutely everything and everybody outside themselves was subject to demonic possession.

S: Every “thing”?

P: Yeah. Garage sales especially. They said to be careful what you buy at garage sales because it might be “demonized.” Which isn’t the right way of putting it, they meant “possessed.”

S: Let me get this straight. They thought I took over, like, kitchen gadgets? Furniture?

P: Yep.

S: Why in the world would I want to possess a Cuisinart? I don’t even know how to get into inanimate objects. The thought never crossed my mind.

P: Well, not necessarily you, but some – I don’t know, the junior-level demon in charge of possessing kitchen appliances.

S: What kind of operation do they think I run here? “Hey, Satan, we’re gonna go possess some picture frames at a gypsy’s house today.” Whoever said that would be drop-kicked right out of my Rolodex.

P: It was a strange time.

S: Dumb and illogical time, it sounds like.

P: Well, it paid the bills.



S: Say, you know what? Once I taught comparative theology for a whole semester at Boston College.

P: What? How? Why?

S: Just for fun. Took over for a guy on sabbatical. Just to see if I could do it. They had no idea! Just show up in corduroys and elbow patches and they’ll practically give you tenure on the spot. I was pretty good, too. Let’s face it, I know that shit backwards and forwards, you know. The kids loved it.

P: How’d they do?

S: Good thinkers. A couple of ’em not so much. But overall it really restored my faith in the potential of man to comprehend the whole metaphysical realm. I actually really began to believe the children were our future. Well – your future, but you should still get a lifejacket.

P: Well, that’s pleasant.

S: Plus I took all the guys who failed the course out to a strip club the night after finals. Total horndogs. Watching failed theologians around scantily-clad women – it’s like watching a panda birth at a zoo. Inspiring to…

Man’s Voice: Hey Scratchy!

S:… oh, brother.

P: What?

S: Did someone just say “Hey Scratchy”?

P: I wasn’t paying…

Voice: Ah, c’mon Scratchy, I know it’s you!

S: Remember how I said I had “associates”?

P: This is one of ’em?

S: Yeah. And not one of my favorites.

(Cherubic man approaches the table.)

S: Well, if it isn’t Aquaman himself!

Man: Ha-ha-ha, Scratchy! What’s been going down, Original Pitchfork?

S: Paul, meet Leviathan Falwell. Levi, this is Paul Pearson. He does a blog.

Leviathan: Howdy, Paul!

P: Hi, Leviathan.

L: It’s “Levi,” please.

P: Hi, Levi.

S: Levi was in charge of nautical affairs a while back. Used to wreak havoc on port cities and naval bases.

L: “Havoc” is wimpy. Full-scale ruination, it was!

S: Levi invented spring break.

P: No kidding??

L: Well, it was a side project that took on a life of its own. I was working on an oil spill near Miami when I saw two nicely-dressed students reading their philosophy homework. And I thought, “Uh-uh… this won’t do at all.” Next thing you know the guy’s doing lines of coke off her navel, someone starts playing house music, someone brings out a giant inflatable Chiquita banana, and boom. Tradition is born.

S: Levi was particularly skilled on shore leave.

P: Shore leave?

L: Ah, yeah. Some of my finest work, if I do say so myself. Nothing more volatile than sailors who’ve been celibate for six months. The penicillin industry owes me a gold plaque.

S: What’s it been? About 10 years?

L: Sounds about right. Right around Hurricane Katrina.

S: How you keeping busy?

L: Well, ole pal, I don’t need to tell you this, but evil ain’t greasing the palm these days, not much compensation.

S: That’s just what I told Paul! Didn’t I just tell you that, Paul?

P: You just told me that.

S: So what’s your line now?

L: Well, I looked how I could leverage my experience with evil, just trying to diversify my portfolio. I’ve been doing fear for about eight years now.

S: Fear? That must be lucrative.

L: Nothing like phobias to make the mortgage payments, that’s for sure. But you know the crazy thing? I’m also doing – you’re never going to believe this – comfort.

S: What?? Did you just say “comfort”?

L: I know! Right?

S: You sly son of a bitch! How’re you pulling that off?

L: Man, I gotta tell you, it’s so easy! The overhead’s ridiculously low. I’ve been going on the road, hitting Sandals resorts. It’ll just about put you to sleep, but when you wake up and do the books… Damn. Unbelievable.

S: You wily bastard. Fear and comfort.

L: And sometimes they even overlap. For example I have a meeting with Fox News next Monday.

S: That’s incredible. Well, it sure was great to see you, Levi.

L: Same here! And… (leans in and whispers) …listen, if you want in on this little thing I got going, let me know. It’s self-delusion.

S: Really?

L: Yeah. Elections coming up, you know. It’s gonna be HUGE!

S: Spoken like a true Donald Trump supporter.

L: Really?

S: Well, I’m guessing. I’ve never met one.

L: Ha-ha! All right Scratchy! Paul, nice to meet you! Good luck with your log!

P: You mean my blog.

L: Yeah, that too! Well, see you!

S: Au revoir, Levi.

(Levi leaves)

S: Check your pockets, right now. You still got your wallet?

P: Uh… Yeah, and… oh… hey, what the hell..?

S: What?

P: A condom. It wasn’t in the wallet before.

S: Yup, that was Levi. Don’t use it. It’s supposed to break on contact.

P: Why would… why would he…

S: Told you, son. Hard times. Drink up, you’re only on your fourteenth Shitty Buck.

P: Witty Chuck.

S: Yeah. Sorry. AutoCorrect.

Part 5.

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