An Exclusive Interview With The Devil

I had the dubious honor of bumping into the devil one scorching Thursday afternoon as I was buying groceries at Walmart. He looked alright for his age, I guess, albeit a little gaunt and sporting some wrinkles here and there.

Out of courtesy, I told him maybe we can set up an interview when he’s not too busy, and to my surprise, he got all excited and told me he had a few free minutes, and would love to do it right there and then. Thinking there won’t be anything new on TV that night anyway, I agreed.

We went to a nearby Starbucks, and after getting a Venti Dark Roast Coffee for him and a Grande Caramel Macchiato for myself, we got right down to it.

So how are you these days?

Oh, never better. I’m still basking in the warm glow of the coronavirus pandemic. Honestly, it has exceeded my expectations in terms of lives claimed, livelihoods lost, and hatred sown.

What exactly is your role in this world?

You could say my main role is to provide contrast. I exist to give an alternative, another option for those who can’t or don’t want to do what their chosen deity wants them to.

I guess what I’m saying is that I give you guys a choice. God may have given you free will but I’m the one who makes it meaningful.

Do you really cause all the suffering in the world?

Not at all. Though it’s really quite flattering that you guys give me more credit than I deserve.

How am I responsible for Hurricane Katrina, when I can barely conjure a drizzle? Why would I unleash a new coronavirus upon the world when I knew it would only make people pray to God more?

I may have taken advantage of the calamities, like pushing hurricane victims to steal, or urging world leaders to cover things up and make poor decisions on the coronavirus crisis, but the cataclysms themselves, that was all God. He made all of that happen. Why? I don’t know. His followers always say He works in mysterious ways.

I must say, though. I kind of get all tingly and giggly when those kinds of things happen.

Who among your disciples do you consider your favorites?

It would probably be Adolf Hitler. I really appreciate the impact he’d made. Truly one of a kind.

I’m also a big fan of Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, and Charles Manson. But no one can truly compare with good old Adolf.

What makes something bad?

Good and bad are relative. What’s bad for you may not be bad for your friend.

Many say killing is bad, but was it bad when they killed Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein? They say stealing is bad, but was it bad when you pocketed that hundred dollar bill that dropped from an old lady’s purse?

Everything can seem arbitrary and ambivalent, and to be honest, that’s exactly how I like it. People seem to have a hard time doing something if they think it’s wrong. So they have to rationalize that it’s for the best before they can actually do it.

As for me, personally, what’s bad is everything that God stands for. Obviously.

What makes you happy?

Seeing my plans come to fruition and seeing people fall under my spell and do my bidding.

Wars, murders, backstabbing, betrayals, genocides, racism, sexism, drug addiction, massacres. These are a few of my favorite things.

How is your relationship with the man upstairs?

Pretty civil. I’d like to think that it’s a relationship built on mutual respect and honor.

I know, I know, it’s hard to hear the devil talking about honor, but I do strive to be honorable, at least most of the time.

I respect what He does, and I’d like to believe He respects what I do. But we never talk about work. Maybe because we both like to keep our thoughts to ourselves.

What do you think about religion?

I think of it as humankind’s elaborate way of sucking up to their deity of choice. I mean, you do respect and honor your biological parents, right? Do you make an altar filled with their statues and kneel before it? No. Do you gather your siblings every Sunday for an hour-long suck-up session? Of course not.

Personally, I really don’t care much whether my followers worship me or not. I’m happy as long as they abide by my principles and do my bidding. I don’t know for a fact if God feels the same way but I have a feeling he does.

Do you really buy souls?

You mean like in the Faust or Robert Johnson kind of way? No, not really. I’m not quite in the habit of showing up and surprising potential clients with tempting offers of fame and fortune in exchange for their souls.

My style is more soft sell. I just push people to make decisions the way I want them to, and before they know it, I own them-- the cumulative result of all the choices they made.

Is there really a hell?

Physically speaking, no. But for people like you, hell can be a state of mind, or an experience you’re going through.

Certain sicknesses can make you feel like you’re in hell, so can the pain you go through when somebody hurts you, intentionally or not. Hell is a feeling that, though I may sometimes be responsible for, is not really a domain of mine, despite popular belief.

All the perpetuated imagery of hell being a fiery cavern down below, with all those damned souls screaming and writhing in pain, sometimes makes me chuckle. It’s so over-the-top and ridiculously theatrical.

What can we expect from you in the future?

Expect more of the same. No rest for the wicked. I have some projects in the pipeline now that’s about to launch, and it’s all very exciting to me. Too bad I can’t reveal anything about them at the moment, but suffice to say, they’re going to rock your world.

How can I be sure you’re not lying to me right now?

You can’t. That’s part of my mystique.

Disclaimer: Needless to say, this is all a work of fiction.