Screwtape III: Damn Patriots


“Y-y-y-yes, Master Screwtape?”

“Get your fetlocks in here! I need you to tell me how I’m going to pull off this latest directive!”

“A L-L-L-L-Lucifer Directive, sir?!?”

“Number 20q90r7q4r054666 … um, damn! 20q90r7q4r054616! Who else around here gets to issue directives?”

“Um … yourself, sir?”

“I’ve got a bunch of daffodils here that says you lie, Wormsap. Especially if word of any of that gets to the Nether Palace. Got it?”

“P-p-p-p-p-perhaps y-you can tell me w-what the directive is about, sir?”

“About giving the New England Patriots football gridiron team some actual competition during the 2019 season.”

“B-b-b-but how? When the owner, coach, and quarterback are already our agents? And, in the name of all darkness, why?!? When support for the team, in the heartland of sanctimoniousness, proves to anybody paying attention that their critiques of the President we installed, and their bleats about social justice, are all so much hypocritical noise? Those idiots meant anything they’ve been spouting, the team would be gone, and the stadium they built for it transformed into gardens for the homeless. Hah! The contracts we’re getting from that region are a flood that makes the Noah thing look like a leaky kitchen faucet! What do we stand to gain?

“The exquisite agony of the double cross? As you are so fond of saying, my dear demon, this is H.E.L.L. Besides, maybe the Boss is using us to set up his bookies for the biggest fall of all time. The furnaces need the money to burn, for all I know. Enough stalling. How am I going to accomplish this?”

“There’s always the Joe Boyd trick.”

“And just who do you think this Jared Goff person was, huh? Lucifer commissioned your good buddy Printphubar to try that, and a clumsy effort it was. Never really credible, and the Boss didn’t get close to having to show his hand by reverting the phenom back to the middle-aged fat slob from which he was created. You are going to have to figure out how I am going to do better.”

“The Lance Armstrong stratagem? Surel … um, [ahem] of course, people are going to start asking questions about that diet of Brady’s.”

“Nice save. But the idea’s a non-starter. Brady and his team have already survived being caught spying on other teams, deflating footballs, and otherwise egregiously bending the rules, all to greater fame and fortune. Especially fortune, Wormsap. Never forget that, topside, fortune is all that really matters. You out Brady, the New Englanders will probably vote to legalize steroids with the same alacrity that they’re pushing to legalize ganga.”

“We could try linking the steroids with tobacco instead.”

“That’s gambling that tobacco won’t make the same kind of comeback that cannabis is now. Too risky, and won’t happen in time for Super Bowl LIV. Lucifer wants the plan thought up and executed starting now.”

“Setting you up to fail. I don’t see any way around it, short of intervention by the [ptui!] Adversary. Which would really be sticking it to you. But be depressed, sir. It will be an exquisite torture. And, as you quoted me just now, this is H.E.L.L.”

Daffodils, Wormsap!”


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