(Inspired by a dinner conversation with P R-L. Thanks, P-lie!)
A long, long time ago, there once was a group of people. Some would say they were a country. Some would attest they were merely a village. Others would swear they were simply a renegade of lost souls banded together. (Warning to our more sensitive readers—you may wanna stop reading here. This story is about. . . well. . . [whispered] black people, mostly. I know. I know.)
It was a dark and stormy night. The snow was pilling high on the ground. This was unusual, as snow normally didn’t fall so close to the equator during this time of year. However, given the nature of these people, they simply thought it was the French somehow tossing frozen powdered sugar over the land, like one big beignet.
They had been troubled for many weeks by the intrusion of the French. They had decided they had had enough! No to little bitty artistic hats! No to fancy cheeses! No arrogant foreign films! No to tiny thin mustaches—everyone knew they made you look like a child-molester!
It was the tiny mustaches that were the final straw.
Late one night, the entire country gathered in a small backroom of a Starbucks. Some say there were five people, others swear there were hundreds, maybe billions, of people gathered in that small room—either way, the whole country was in attendance. Well, except for Ralf. Everyone knew Ralf had an over-active bladder when faced with a large group of people. They made poor Ralf wait outside to warn them if he sawn anyone approaching wearing a beret.
After a couple rounds of pumpkin spiced chais, no one had yet been able to come up with a solution to the French situation. Some of the men began to cry softly, their tears freezing on their cheeks (remember, they were not used to snow—this particular Starbucks had not thought ahead to install radiant heat).
It was after his fifth venti soy latte that Francois (looking back, it does seem strange no one found his name, his ivory skin, or his tiny mustache to be a red flag) stood up and in a trembling voice suggested, “If we call the Devil, he might be able to help us with these French bastards!” No one seemed to notice the uncomfortable grimace he gave as he insulted the invading country.
The room sat in stunned silence for a few moments. Just pondering. Then, as one mind, the entire country within the room stood to riotous applause and rushed to embrace Francois in their arms and worship him as their savior. Poor Ralf, who had fallen asleep against the door frame, his over-active bladder startled by the uproar from within, had to rush home for another pair of Wranglers.
It took nearly an hour for the country in the backroom to locate Satan’s phone number. Finally, a little girl found it scribbled on a pink sheet of tissue paper under the cappuccino machine—little hearts forming the zeros.
Satan took a few moments in arriving, and when he did, he was winded and blurry eyed—he’d been at his Chippendale desk for several days planning one of his greatest weapons, which wouldn’t be release for several more generations—at this point, Jerry Falwell was just a gleam in his father’s eyes. Putting aside his irritation, he listened patiently to the country’s French problem. With a roll of his eyes at Francois, he murmured, “I can solve your problem, but I must have your soul. All of your souls. Even if one man, woman, or child refuses to sign, there shall be no salvation for you.”
As one, the people rushed forward. Their souls and the souls of their children’s children’s children flowing out with the ink form their pen.
From that day on, they were free to live in absence from the French influence.
Later, much later, a terrible Earthquake shook the land.
In another country, a descendent of Francois got in his desk, pulled out the ancient Devilish contract and reminded the people of the world that some things are a blessing in disguise and there are consequences to people’s actions.
What he didn’t realize was the contract was null and void. There was one little problem with the Devil’s deal—Not everyone had signed. Dear old Ralf never had the chance to give his consent. He had almost returned to the Starbucks when the Devil arrived, but a stray mutt barked at him from behind, startling him—causing him once again to have to return home for a change of pants.
Oh, well, back to the drawing board, Pat.
Black Coffee Tables
2 years ago