Pros and Cons of Selling Your Soul to the Devil4
By Thomas Chandler
Let’s be honest. You have, at one time or another, wanted something so badly you were willing to sell your soul to get it. For me, it would be another chance to take a crack at that Top Eleven Boat Shows article. For Hamilton Carver, the hardboiled detective from the series Hamilton Carver, Zombie P.I., it’s a chance to find his girlfriend’s killer. Although Carver is dead and in hell, the devil lets him return to the land of the living (in zombie form) to tie up some loose ends – for a price.
Taking a look at Carver’s situation, both a godsend and a curse, got me thinking. Could I make that kind of decision if the circumstances were right? What would the consequences be and could I live with them?
Hamilton Carver, Zombie P.I. – Old Friends
At first glance, turning down this offer seems like a no-brainer. The devil is as cunning as he is powerful. What are the odds of outsmarting such an ancient evil? Then again, there are tales of the devil being bested at his own game. Constantine did it. So did Daniel Webster. Even fiddle-playing Johnny beat him. Perhaps you should ready yourself for this kind of opportunity, should it present itself. Lord knows you wouldn’t want to be caught unprepared.
One obvious benefit to working with the devil is that he is really good at getting you what you want. Rarely is there a situation when the devil is like, “Hmm. That might be tough. Let me get back to you.” No matter how strange the request, the devil’s going to figure out how to get it for you. That’s because the devil is a supernatural being and not the clerk at Best Buy. He can warp the laws of the universe to please himself, as long as he doesn’t have to warp the minds of men. It seems like that’s the bargain he’s made with the Almighty. So as long as you’re asking for something tangible (a sunny wedding day) and not something emotional (like recouping your ex-girlfriend’s adoration) the devil is sure to comply. You really can’t beat that kind of customer service.
Of course, the devil isn’t really going to give you what you want. And that’s the con. The devil is like one of those companies that make cheap Apple knockoffs. You see the fake iPods in the store and you think, “This looks exactly like the original but at half the price. How could I lose?” The minute you get it home and try to use it, you inevitably see the difference. That’s the kind of deal the devil likes to make. In a way, the devil is like a genie. We’re not sure which came first, Lucifer or djinns, but they’re certainly both playing from the same playbook. Just don’t ever call the devil a genie. I bet he hates that.
So you might get what you want, you might not. Maybe it doesn’t matter. If you’re so desperate that you’re willing to sell your soul for seven years of happiness, maybe it’s not such a bad move. Not to get too depressing, but some people never get seven years of happiness, ever. Yeah. I said it. I’m dropping truth bombs on the Internet.
There will be always be people in the world that will have a truly miserable life. I won’t go into the details of why that is, but you can logically assume that’s the case. Earth is a cold, emotionless rock that doesn’t care if you have a good time or not, but the devil does. So you have to look at it from that perspective. You could live a miserable life, die, and have no guarantee of getting into heaven. Or you could sell your soul, which guarantees at least some sort of happiness and prosperity, and be doomed to damnation once your done here. The first one is optimistic, but the second is far more practical. Any betting man would tell you to put your money on the sure thing.
Then again, perhaps prosperity is overrated. Maybe the greatest trick the devil ever pulled is making it seem like happiness and prosperity is the goal, and that our lives are supposed to be the endless thrill ride we see when we turn on the television. That way, when he gets the chance to make his case, his victims think they’re missing out on a life that doesn’t actually exist. Perhaps owning your soul is the only thing we’ve got in this world that matters. So what if it’s not a blast. Live out a quiet little existence interspersed with moments of clarity and humble reflection – you and your soul hanging out by the lake, you and your soul making breakfast for the grandchildren.
Then again, maybe the quiet, reflective, simple life isn’t enough no matter how much you love your soul. I know some people would give their left arm to meet the Dalai Lama, literally. So who’s to say there aren’t people who wouldn’t give up their chance at everlasting salvation to meet the devil – Satan himself. You can ask him every question you’ve ever wanted answered. He’s like a walking millennium-old Wikipedia with a lisp. Perhaps that knowledge alone is worth it. Why should he and the man upstairs be the only ones that really know what’s going on?
On the flip side, you might meet him anyway. Not that we’re saying you’re doomed to damnation. But you just might be doomed to damnation. Still, if you repent the crap out of the next thirty years or so, St. Peter might be able to make it work for you. Then again, Heaven isn’t necessarily the bee’s knees. There are a lot of great people in history that probably didn’t end up there. With such tight security, you know people like Lady Gaga and Richard Branson are going to have a tough time getting in.
We hope this was somewhat useful to those of you who are thinking of conjuring the greatest evil the universe has ever known into your living room. Good luck with that.
Hamilton Carver, Zombie P.I. – Exposited
Hamilton Carver, Zombie P.I. – The Devil and the Details
Tom Chandler was born and raised in a small town outside Seattle. He’s currently writing a screenplay about two robots striving to reform the American educational system.