Friday, November 26, 2004

Satan's a Nerd

That's the bumper sticker I saw today when I came out of the gym.

I would normally have no comment about Satan. I have no anonymous source closely associated with the evil overlord. I don't know if he's a cross-dresser or in a bowling league or building a deck. Although I do assume that if he is building a deck, he's going to have a premium grill.

I also have very little information about hell, although I would urge you to be cautious if you doubt its viability. The mere existence of the knowledge that J. Edgar Hoover liked to dress in women's clothes proves otherwise, as well as giving an entirely new dimension to the phrase "coyote ugly."

I realized, though, as I saw the bumper sticker that I do have inside knowledge of Satan. Clearly, Satan is not a nerd, and I know this because Satan was my ninth-grade Algebra teacher.

Obviously, this creates some logistical as well as epistemological issues. It means that the identity of Satan, if not the character, must change over time, as my Algebra teacher was not officially Satan when I was her student. I say this because I assume that retirement from the sport of human evil must precede being named its commissioner, so to speak. However, it was common knowledge that she was Satan-in-training, and would be elected by acclamation upon her death.

She was dead and working at her new job as Beelzebub when Mother Teresa passed away, and I've obtained a transcript of their encounter. Don't ask me how--you can't handle the truth.

MOTHER TERESA: I devoted my life to helping the poor and downtrodden. I was beloved around the world as a symbol of faith and charity. I won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. I am devoted to Our Father and it is a joyous day for me to be in his presence.
MY ALGEBRA TEACHER: Fine. Add these two columns of numbers together. Here is a pencil. MOTHER TERESA: Whatever you wish. I will humbly add these figures together in service of The Lord.
(Mother Teresa writes down the sum)
MOTHER TERESA: I believe this is correct.
MY ALGEBRA TEACHER: The answer cannot be correct because you have not precisely lined up the columns. You have failed the exam. Welcome to Hell.

For your own possible future use, other hell-worthy offenses include calling a 'straight edge' a 'ruler' and referring to 'zero' as 'nothing.' I say to thee, fear the wrath of the Algebra teacher, now known simply as Satan.

And if you're already in Hell, don't try chewing gum unless you're ready to hold it over your head for the next 5,000 years. Just trust me on this.

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