As always, my Sunday guest was well dressed in an impeccably tailored suit that cost at least a thousand times more than the newspaper he was reading.
“That’s right,” I confirmed as I grabbed a Snapple out of the cooler. “I was watching The Martian last night, and I decided that if Matt Damon could survive for almost a year, all alone on Mars, I could finally collect 30,000 steps in a day.”
Lucifer put down the paper and eyed me curiously.
“Explain how that movie inspired you to be more physically active,” he demanded.
“I tried to push myself to 30,000 steps last weekend,” I explained after a long sip of my iced tea, “but I ended up with 27,000 on Saturday and 28,000 on Sunday. I just couldn’t do it, so I abandoned my quest. Then I’m watching this flick, and he’s in a truly impossible situation, but convinces himself he can do it. He’s got this line at the end of the movie about doing the math to figure out one problem, solving it, and then moving on to the next one. If Matt Damon can get off Mars, I can get my steps.”
“I’m not really seeing the connection,” The Prince of Darkness admitted with a hint of frustration in his tone, “but if it got you where you needed to be, then so be it.”
I used my Snapple bottle to hide my smile. It wasn’t often that I got to mess with Satan’s mind, so I wanted to savor every last minute.
“The irony is that Damon is totally buff at the beginning of the flick, but after all those months stranded on Mars, far away from Boston bars and burger joints, he ends up so scrawny and pretty sickly,” I continued. “I’m all about losing weight, but I’ll never try the Martian diet, which consists of potatoes and not much else. Makes me think that Martians are the Irish of the galaxy.”
“Now I know you are just being obnoxious,” The Devil countered. “You’d never mock your Irish heritage unless it was in jest.”
This time, I smiled openly and handed him a bottle of Snapple as a peace offering.
“I did wonder, as I was watching the movie, if Matt spent any of that lonely time on Mars wishing that Ben Affleck were around to keep him company,” I mused. “Not only would he have enjoyed having someone there, but he also could’ve showed Ben that he was putting all that math he learned for Good Will Hunting to good use.”
“I think that over exertion yesterday has given you some sort of brain cramp,” Lucifer jested. “Make sure you eat something today.”
“You don’t think having Batman around would’ve been a total asset on Mars?” I questioned. “And how come the actual Martians never gave poor Matt a hand? Were they afraid to meet a celebrity? And what’s with Matt Damon always getting left behind in movies and needing rescuing?”
“I wish I were on Mars right now, light years away from this inane conversation,” The Prince of Darkness mumbled as he turned his attention back to the newspaper.
Victory was mine. It wasn’t as rewarding as collecting 30,000 steps in a day, but driving Satan crazy was a major accomplishment in my book!