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Posted at 10:49 AM ET, 02/23/2012

Satan speaks out on Rick Santorum


He has the number of the beast. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Eric Gay - AP)
It’s harder to get an interview with Satan than it used to be.

I tried all the time-honored methods. I read large swaths of Holy Writ backwards. I drew pentagrams. I opened a lot of mysterious boxes. I wrote 6-6-6 on mirrors, lit candles, sacrificed a goat.

None of it had any effect. During the goat sacrifice, as I beat the ground and splattered blood everywhere, I did manage to summon someone red-faced and unhappy-looking, but it turned out to be my landlord.

I went to bars and approached all the sketchy-looking men in hats, evincing general willingness to make a deal.

No go. I got a lot of numbers, but none of them were the number of the beast.

I had to fall back on other methods.

I called Satan’s press agent.

“This is urgent,” I said. “It’s about the GOP primaries.”

A few days later, I found myself being escorted into Hell. It bore a strange resemblance to the Olive Garden, except that instead of a friendly sign boasting that When You’re Here, You’re Family, there was a massive placard pronouncing ABANDON HOP ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE. One of the E’s was missing. I could hear muffled screams coming from the general direction of the restrooms. Actually, it was exactly like the Olive Garden.

Satan was sitting at a table, casting a bored eye over the dessert menu. Milton did a better job of describing the guy than I can, with all sorts of remarks about armor and pride and wingspan. All I could come up with was the phrase, “Definitely Not Mitt Romney” underlined several times. Come to think of it, this is how I describe most people.

“Let me guess,” he said, with no preamble whatsoever, like a faulty copy of the Constitution. “It’s about the Rick Santorum thing.”

“Yes,” I said. “I have to ask. Do you have any comments about Rick Santorum’s remarks? You know, the ones where he called you the Father of Lies and said that you were attacking American roots?”

“Oh, for Pete’s sake,” Satan said. He sighed heavily. “I wish he’d stick to being endorsed by Megadeth and stop dragging me into everything. I have enough problems as it is.”

A waitress arrived with a plate of carrot cake, and he stuck a pitchfork into it. “My prestige isn’t what it used to be. Newt Gingrich was leading the Republican field for a while. Newt Gingrich! Look up Lust and Gluttony and his picture shows up both times. But these days, people get more exorcised about smoking in public than they do about the Seven Deadlies. You know,” he pursued, eating a languid mouthful of carrot cake, “I recently showed up at the Grammys, took full possession of Nicki Minaj, and nobody even batted an eye.”

“I think some folks sent her an angry letter,” I said.

“They were more upset that Chris Brown was there.” He frowned. “Not that I can fault them, but still.”

“But is it true?” I said. “Are you attacking America?”

He sighed noisily. “I mean, not more than most places,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, America is great, but you don’t have a monopoly on virtue.”

“Yet another unfortunate consequence of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act,” I jotted in my notes.

The Lord of the Flies coughed up a small fireball. “So what is it that Rick Santorum said exactly?”

“He said that, ‘If you were Satan, who would you attack, in this day and age? There is no one else to go after, other than the United States. And that’s been the case for now almost 200 years, once America’s pre-eminence was sown by our great Founding Fathers. He didn’t have much success in the early days—our foundation was very strong, in fact, is very strong--’”

Satan sighed heavily and ran his hands through his horns. “You’re kidding, right?” he said. “Here are a few things that you used to have back at this country’s founding. Slavery. Duels. Women treated like chattels—”

“Well,” I said, “I’m not sure any of those are technically sins –”

“You people worry me,” Beelzebub said. “It’s 2012, and Rick Santorum’s biggest concern is that I’m attacking America? For many Americans, I’m a metaphor. Doesn’t anyone care about the economy?”

“Well, actually,” I said, “he said these things in 2008. He thinks it’s ridiculous that people are bringing them up. So I guess you agree.”

Satan paled visibly. “I hate it when that happens,” he muttered. He passed me the cake. “Devil’s Food?”

“That’s carrot,” I said. He gave me one of those pointed looks. “Oh,” I said. “Right.”

“Look,” Beelzebub muttered. “I’m flattered, I guess. But why is this everyone’s objection to Rick Santorum? Is he really doing so well otherwise that they are forced to go back to 2008 to find speeches where he mentions me? The man wanders around in sweater vests saying President Obama has phony theology, compares folks to the Third Reich, and for years he wrote a column in which he said that he was ‘often wrong, never in doubt.’”

“They still prefer him to Mitt Romney.”

Satan whistled appreciatively and pushed back his chair. “Look,” he said. “I have to go. I have to unleash some wild dogs and make sure Osama bin Laden is watching the 3500th GOP debate. But it’s been real. See you soon, I hope.”

By  |  10:49 AM ET, 02/23/2012

 
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