The Devil acted like he didn’t hear me, but I refused to give him the pleasure of making me repeat what I had just said.
I was pissed as Hell at him, and I was not going to play his games. Instead, I took a sip of my Snapple and waited.
Finally, he sighed, made a big production of folding the Sunday paper, and placed it on the table. Then he adjusted his silk tie, picked a piece of imaginary lint off of his expensive, impeccably tailored suit, and cleared his throat.
“Are we referring to it as ‘The Incident‘ now?” Lucifer asked as he put air quotes around the two words that offended him.
I took another sip of my Snapple and shrugged. “If calling it that bothers you, we could choose one of the terms the nice gentleman, who told me he is a paralegal for a major Bangor law firm, used when discussing the event with me just now on the porch.”
“You want to call the Grammar Police?” I growled. “They can get in line behind the Brewer Police, who are probably already on the way. You see, paralegal guy was referring to what took place earlier as Attempted Murder, Aggravated Assault, and Criminal Threatening. Instead of The Incident.”
If my toga had a collar, I would definitely be hot under it. I was livid, mad as Hell, and had dreams of strangling my house guest dancing in my head.
“Do I even need to point out that there’s a reason why that person is a paralegal, rather than a lawyer?” Satan spoke in the direction of the hardwood floor since he still wouldn’t look at me. “It probably has to do with the fact that he doesn’t know the different between a heated conversation and a serious criminal offense.”
“Oh…I left out Assault With A Deadly Weapon,” I added as I glanced over to the corner where his pitchfork rested against the wall.
The Devil cleared his throat again, and then picked at another imaginary piece of lint that was supposedly on his right knee.
I chuckled. I didn’t want to, but it just came out. His words were so damn ludicrous.
“Requesting that you answer the door while I’m in the bathroom is not asking you to threaten bodily harm on whoever knocked on it.”
The anger in my voice was enough to get Lucifer to raise his head and look at me. Maybe he wanted to see if my eyes were red with rage, or if horns were now protruding from my forehead. Either way, I finally had his attention.
“You understand that they were Christmas Carolers, right?” he pleased his case. “The kind that dress in Victorian clothing, sing in a horrible British accent, and look at you like you’re Scrooge unless you praise their singing and shower them with cash.”
“You chased them off my porch with your pitchfork, threatened them with eternal Hell fire, and vowed to claim their souls,” I shouted back at him. “All they were trying to do was spread a little Christmas Spirit.”
“Maybe I don’t want to celebrate the birthday of my former boss’ know it all son,” The Prince of Darkness mumbled in return. “That hippie do gooder has always had it in for me, and as far as I’m concerned, his birthday is just another day of the week.”
I finished my Snapple and took a deep breath before I answered.
“They were just some nice folks who gave up their Sunday to bring a little Christmas joy to the neighborhood,” I told him as calmly as I possibly could given the circumstances. “You couldn’t just smile, forget about your personal agenda, and thank them when they were done?”
“They were singing ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ and planned to do every verse,” Satan informed me.
“Hell no!” I yelled as I slammed my Snapple bottle against the table. “I hate that damn song and I don’t have a half hour to waste listening to a bunch of strangers sing it off key on my front porch. Sunday is a day of rest, damn it!”
If I actually had horns, they would totally be shooting out of my head at this point.
The Devil smiled, reached into the cooler, and pulled out two bottles of Snapple. He handed one to me and popped open the other for himself.
“I bet those fools haven’t run that quickly in ages,” he bragged and then whistled the all familiar “And a partridge in a pear tree…” line from the song we both hated.