Today is June 6, 2006 or 6/6/06 or 666. Whichever way you read it, today is clearly the scariest day EVER. It is the day of the Beast. The Apocalypse. It is also the perfect day to sit around the blogging campfire and tell terrifying stories about the Devil. So, grab the edge of your seat — all of you with hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia (fear of the number 666) — and let’s begin this devilish tale:
The Devil and Neilochka by Neil Kramer
I was feeling depressed, and even Wellbutrin didn’t help. My marriage was in shambles. My career was going nowhere. Suddenly, Satan appeared in a pillar of smoke, like Bon Jovi at a rock concert from 1990.
“Neilochka,” he said. “How would you like to have all your dreams fulfilled? Love, success, everything?
“Sounds great,” I said.
“But there’s one hitch. You have to sell me your soul.”
Satan handed me a contract. I looked at it and quickly signed it.
Years passed. My marriage with Sophia flourished. The top five best-selling novels were all written by me. The top single in America was my song, “Sophia.” Dooce quit blogging to become my typist and foot masseuse. Life was perfect.
One day, there was a knock on the door. It was Satan.
“Hello, Neilochka,” he said.
“Oh, hi, Satan. I’m sorry. You surprised me. I’m having a little dinner party tonight and I was expecting Gore Vidal, Scarlett Johannson, or Mikhail Gorbachev.”
“I’m here for my payment. You owe me your soul.”
“Oh, right. Sure. I’ll be right back.”
I left Satan at the door. In a few minutes, I returned carrying a large platter of Fillet of Sole Florentine, one of Sophia’s best dishes.
“But you know, Satan, you’re really putting me in a jam. What is Sophia going to serve for dinner now?”
“Neilochka, you must be confused. I don’t want this sole. I want your soul.”
I took out Satan’s contract and unrolled the scroll.
“Look here, Satan — it says here: ‘When I return in 5 years time, ewe must give me your sole.’ So, do you want it or not?”
Satan pounded his fist against his leg.
“Darn it! My bad spelling foiled me again!”
Satan looked pretty down on himself.
“It’s your own fault” I said. “Maybe if you had spent more time studying in school rather than doing evil deeds, you would have become a better speller.”
“This is not the only time I’ve screwed up. Just last week I couldn’t collect on a contract with this guy, because it said that June 4-th will be the last “sundae” of his life. And then I signed it “Prints of Darkness.”
I could tell his self-esteem was shot. I quietly thanked Mrs. Goldfarb, my first grade teacher, for teaching me about the importance of spelling. I looked over at Satan and felt pity. Sure he was evil, but he was only doing his job.
“You know. We have plenty of food for another guest tonight. Sophia is an excellent cook. Oh, and I also have last week’s Scripps National Spelling Bee on Tivo. I think you might enjoy it.”
Satan was surprised by the offer. I guess he doesn’t get invited over too much because of his really bad breath.
“Is Scarlett Johannson really coming to dinner? She has great knockers!”
“Tell me about it, you devil!”
We both laughed. It was good to see some color coming back into his face. I showed Satan into the living room.
“Hey, Sophia,” I yelled into the kitchen. “Add another setting. Satan’s in the house!”