Laurence Inman continues his exclusive interviews with the great, the good and the just plain bad.
Last week I interviewed God. This week, for the sake of balance, I’m interviewing The Devil.
– Excuse me mate. I’m supposed to be meeting the devil in this room.
– Yes, that’s me. Surprised?
– I am a bit. I expected…..
– A big red leering shiny face? A tail? Horns? Cloven feet?
– Something like that.
– Eight hundred years out of date my son. These days I look like everybody else. Perhaps more so.
– So, Devil, last week I had a chat with God.
– He’s a dear isn’t he? I do miss him sometimes.
– Oh of course, you two were….
– Thick as thieves at one time. Before he cast me into the outer darkness.
– He was a bit fed up.
– He works too hard, that’s his trouble.
– So, what have you been up to lately?
– Not a lot really. Well, I don’t have to.
– Why’s that then?
– It’s all done for me isn’t it? Evil largely runs itself.
– Even though most people don’t believe in it?
– It’s always amused me that has. Don’t believe in it? It’s staring them in the face, all day long. People these days! They’re such dim slobs! And proud of it! And angry if you point that out!
– How many deadly sins is that so far?
– Three at least.
– Of course, God would say…..
– That he’s given you all free choice. Free choice! If that’s true, why do you always choose what I want? Without fail? Oscar was right.
– Wilde, you idiot. ‘Most people are other people.’ I don’t think any one of you has ever said a truer thing. Those five words explain everything. If you were truly individuals, like you’ve been told you are, you wouldn’t all go trooping off to that big casino I’ve just had permission to build at the NEC. But you will! You’ll go to a job you hate, trick a bit of money your way, then throw it down a big hole, all because it comes with pretty lights and is called ‘Play.’
– I’d have thought you’d be pleased.
– I want there to be a bit of a challenge in my work, but you lot make it so easy. Tobacco was a good project, but it looks like you’ve come to your senses about that. I think I can keep cars going for a few years yet.
– And lorries. There’s plenty of human misery left in that particular delusion.
– So, Devil, any plans for our future?
– Just to keep things nicely ticking over. As I say, there’s never any shortage of whims, fads, impulses and downright lies to keep you lot in slavery and dejection. You dream up most of them yourselves. Or so you think. The mobile phone; stroke of genius!