On this fearful stormy night, when the howling winds are but a banshee’s wail, a sliver of comfort and relief condescends to you, denizens of the asylum. Your reprieve is that, lifting you from the druthers of some epileptic spell, it is once again Friday night, and as all you madmen out there know, it’s time for By an Idiot. I am your Idiot, Mr. Clown.
I was reminded this afternoon of a close friend. The orderly Stanford, after tightening my restraints, said he thought my soul must have been sold to the devil for how I’m able to effect this little broadcast each week. “It makes no sense,” he said. “We lock you up, set a watch, and still you’re in that room before we know you’re gone. ‘Taint right.”
Though I’m not about to divulge the secret of my trade, I’ll say the orderly Stanford missed the mark; somewhat far afield. However, his phrase struck a chord in me. I knew a man who had sold his soul to the prince of this earth, or rather, leased it for 666 days. Phil’s name is unimportant here, so I’ll refer to the gentleman as Greg in case he would not like this story told.
Now, the devil himself invented marketing—you’ll remember he sold us on some fruit once—and it is in his interest to purchase souls wholesale. That is why you so often hear of selling your soul to him but never learn of the far more lucrative option of leasing.
Here are a few pointers Greg Phil-ed me in on:
- The crossroads is a viable meeting place, but more forward thinking devil’s will agree to meet at any number of more comfortable establishments; and they will often forego the tedium of assembling in the dead of night under a new moon: A well-lit Starbucks is really all one needs to haggle over one’s soul.
- Any devil worth its brimstone will have you sign the contract in blood. If he offers you a pen to sign with, be assured that it’s most likely a netherworld imp in disguise. Imps are far less trustworthy than devils, and will often mislead the inexperienced devil worshiper into a long convoluted contract with impractically high deductibles and laughable benefits.
- The last bit of advice Phil gave me before a squad of harpies pried his desperate grip from the doorframe they were dragging him out of was this: He regretted the timeshare aspect of his contract, and wished he had specified where in Hell he’d be staying.
After giving me those three points, I waved goodbye to him as he was pulled into a molten fissure which previously had been my front yard. Greg never reimbursed me for the cost of landscaping. Now, as regards Dr. Agonson, I’ve been meaning to—
Got to go. That’s all for tonight, this has been Mr. Clown.