Tuesday, March 29, 2005

He's Happy!

I didn’t really expect to see him again. It hasn’t been that long and most people never get the chance at all. It was on my daily walk this morning, on the usual route which takes me by the giant Baptist church, when I was surprised to notice someone in the parking lot apparently waxing a Humvee. As I came closer I thought the person looked familiar and closer still the recognition kind of washed over me like a bad chill. Sure, I knew him, but it wasn’t from this lifetime but from the last and again another a few cycles further back.
But I was committed -- Nothing to do now though—too close to ignore—and frankly to dangerous to be rude.
“Morning” I said. “Morning” he responded pleasantly enough.
Curiosity wouldn’t let me keep walking though. There had to be a pretty good reason why the Devil himself was standing in a dark parking lot in an Atlanta suburb. I had to ask.
”Pardon me, but what brings you here this morning? From our last two meetings, that I remember, it doesn’t bode well for me.”
He chuckled and shook his head. “No trouble for you this time…besides… I kind of owe you a favor or two for your help those times.”
See-- the first time we had crossed paths was a good 400 years ago or so when I got burned at the stake for witchcraft and more recently was when I was hung from an oak tree in South Georgia for being black and in the wrong place.
“Owe me?”
“Oh Yeah…you helped me lead quite a few souls to Hell on both occasions and they were especially good ones…I always like hypocrites best.”
“Oh well, my pleasure I guess. Not looking for my help again?”
“No, I have more than enough help right now…this compassionate conservatism was a really good idea. Matter of fact, I’ve had to put on an extra shift these last few years and the way it’s going I might have to add staff again. It’s not that I need help recruiting, mind you, it's the damned processing that’s causing the bottleneck. You know…I thought I had lost a major battle when people began to accept the death with dignity idea but thank “You Know Who” that’s all going down the tubes. There is nothing better for me than a lot of people suffering needlessly…causes all kinds of desperation and desperation is my game.”
“Then I guess you are kind of keen for the wars in the Middle East?” I asked.
“They’re OK as far as they go.” He said. “There is some pretty good torture and innocent suffering going on and that’s good for me but the balance is all wrong, for all its worth. There are just too many innocent souls dying, especially children, and that is hurting the numbers. You know it takes torturing several hundred innocent people to offset one child killed needlessly...but you take what you can get.”
“I see, well I really have to go and I know you must have some important business as well.” I said, well realizing that I was really pushing my luck standing here with Scratch himself.
“Right” he said. “The “Don’t Starve Terri” bus from Florida is just coming up the road and I have to count heads.”

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