} [WARNING: The following text contains graphic descriptions of a method
} for summoning the Devil. This should be attempted by trained Oracles
} I started my research at the library. I looked through their Occult
} section (pitifully small, really, considering the importance of the
} subject). I checked out every one of the books on Satanism, except the
} ones on the Reference shelf. I just snuck those out past the gate.
} I had just barely started reading those books when I realized I needed
} I went to the arcane bookstore, where eldritch and mysterious
} paperbacks can be had three for two dollars on Mondays. I found
} "Witches, Women, and Power". I found "The Cabalistic Arcana". I found
} "Augury". I found "The Devil's Dictionary". I paid two bucks and took
} the fourth one out hidden in my trousers.
} I had a good laugh over that "Devil's Dictionary", but then I
} concentrated my efforts on the others. I soon knew that I needed more.
} I sought out and joined a hedonistic, satan-worshipping commune. In
} honor of my joining, we sacrificed a goat. I ate its heart. I wore its
} untanned pelt for a week. I slept with men, with women, with goats,
} with trekkies. Let no one say that the Oracle doesn't do his homework.
} Finally, I was ready. Under the light of the harvest moon, I stripped
} naked and drew a pentagram in the sand. I lit five candles, one at each
} point of the pentagram. Behind each candle, I put an item: At the
} first, the blood of a virgin in a cup of onyx. At the second, the
} thighbone of a small boy. At the third, a first edition of "C, a
} Reference Manual". At the fourth, a chicken strangled at high noon. And
} at the fifth, I stood, holding a scroll from which I read.
} "O Satan, Master of all Evil, Beast of the Apocalypse, Destroyer of
} Good and Bringer of Light and Darkness. O Lord of Pandemonium, O Satan
} Mekratrig, O Mephisto, come to this place now." [Full details of chant
} are available at ftp.microsoft.com in directory
} /pub/satanism/summons/chant/. Downloads restricted.]
} Without warning, Satan appeared. Twenty feet tall (that's six metres,
} if you're outside the US), breathing steam, bright red skin, totally
} naked. Scariest thing _this_ incarnation's ever seen. So, the first
} thing I said was,
} "HEY! You're a woman!"
} "Yeah, well, you know, it's those feminists. They kept arguing that God
} could be a woman, and She decided, why not both of Us. It's only
} temporary, in a thousand years I'll be a guy again, but just between
} us, it's the pits."
} "What do you mean?"
} "Okay, for starters, can you imagine how hard it is for Me, now that I
} want to get into a relationship? I've tried the personals ads, and you
} wouldn't believe the losers I've run into. Only interested in one
} thing. And don't even ask about the cramps. My moods go up and down
} like you wouldn't believe. And another thing, I don't get paid anywhere
} near as much as I got for this job when I was a guy."
} "Wow, that's rough. I never realized."
} "Hey, me either. And you ever tried wearing a bra? Ugh. But what was it
} you called Me here for, anyway?"
} "Oh, yeah. That. A supplicant asked-- Wait a minute, I've got the
} question here. Here it is:"
} > Why is there EVIL in the world? Why can't we have peace and
} > goodwill toward men and all that? Why does EVIL have to exist?
} "Hmmm. A philosopher. I should send Thomas Aquinas to answer that one."
} "You've got Thomas Aquinas down in Hell?"
} "Well, don't let it out, but I have most of the great philosophers down
} there. Kant, Sartre, all the ones who made it hell for you in
} Philosophy class. But to answer the question, it's just a matter of
} "You mean, that there has to be Evil so that there can also be Good?"
} "No, no, not at all! Evil in the world has to be balanced with what
} you're trying to accomplish. Look at the evil that you have done just
} to answer this supplicant's question: Three stolen books, $25 in
} overdue book fines, Misdemeanor cruelty to animals, three counts, Theft
} of blood from the Red Cross, Theft of a child's thighbone from the
} morgue, AND summoning the Devil. You know, the penalty for that is the
} loss of your immortal soul."
} "Well, I'll let you off this time. But don't let it happen again.
} Anyway, my point is, that you did all this evil stuff just to answer a
} supplicant's question. That's what happens with everybody who does
} evil--they're not trying to be evil, they're just trying to get
} something else done. And, like you, they feel a little guilty
} afterwards. Right."
} "Ummmm. Yeah. Right."
} "So, be on your way. I've gotta get going; Dave's World is coming on in
} a couple of minutes, and I can't set the timer on my new VCR. I'll see
} you around!"
} And with that, She was gone.
} You owe the Oracle $25 and a pint of blood at the Red Cross. And do you
} know a way to get the smell of dead goat out of your hair?