Next time you’re having a chuckle over the sub-soap opera antics of the various Greek gods, take a second to consider the behavior of the major players in the Judeo-Christian pantheon. For an omnipotent being that created the entire universe and his former second-in-command, who still holds some rather impressive titles (like “Prince of this World,” for instance), the maturity level is way below that of most suburban junior high school student mortals. With as long as God and Satan have had to work out their relationship (a few thousand years, even by the creationists’ count), one might assume that if they haven’t figured out how to get along, then they could at least keep their petty bickering and ridiculous power games between themselves instead of using a bunch of poor, dumb humans to fight their silly battles with. All this demonic possession/exorcism nonsense—it’s like a couple going through a divorce who, instead of talking things over and eventually coming to some kind of civilized understanding, just get their pet chihuahuas all riled up and toss ‘em in a pit to bark at each other until one passes out or drops dead. And these aren’t some rinky-dink, Third World, B-list deities either—these guys represent both ends of what for some reason is considered one of the “world’s great religions.” Pathetic!
And nowadays if the demon doesn’t cause enough grief for the poor chump caught in the middle of these megalomaniacs’ ludicrous tug o’ war over—of all the things neither of these jokers needs—his soul, the exorcists might stomp him to death to save him! Still, I’ve got to admit a certain guilty pleasure in reading the sometimes vulgar, often nonsensical, but almost always witty and incisive repartee—mainly a bunch of vicious barbs and insults, occasionally mixed with a Pythonesque absurdity—that seems to be the main form of social interaction for the current, better-educated generation of parasitic imps. What demons really are is a matter that’s open for speculation: whether they are actual malefic minions of Satan or merely a manifestation of some wholly banal electrochemical brain anomaly, there is definitely something going on here, and it is undeniably real.
Unfortunately, except for some kooky names like Uncle Ponto, Girl-Fixer and “The Tortoise,” the demons in this book are not quite as fond of free association as many I’ve read about. (Some of the best demon/exorcist banter is found in the book The Demonologist by Ed and Lorraine Warren.) These guys pretty much stick to the standard “your mother sucks cocks in Hell” motif, but there’s still some great high-yield nuclear insults, delivered with an attitude from… well, you know. Try this caustic quip from “Smiler,” a demon possessing a lapsed Roman Catholic girl, next time somebody is in need of a little reality check: “You ugly sod! You smelly little animal! You helpless, yelping, puking, licking, slavering, sweating, excreting little cur. You constipated shit canister. You excuse for a being. You lump of urine and excrement and snot and mud born in a bed on bloody sheets, sticking your head out between a woman’s smelly legs and bawling them when they slapped your arse and laughed at your little red balls—you… creature!” Owee! It’s lines like this that forced the Holy See to add the phrase “I know you are but what am I?” to the Holy rite of exorcism in the Ordinatio Sacerdotalis proclamation of 1994.
Paperback: 477 pages