MICK'S FIRST VISIT to His Majesty's secret service, Gadget Division:
M: Hullo, Nix! Looking lovely today! (throws his bowler on a stunned Satyr's outcropping horn)
S'tan enters, a whirlwind of bureaucratic frenzy against Mick's ease and beauty
M: What's this lever for, S?
S: "That, triple-6, is for picking up chicks.
Mick turns it on as another of Satan's unsuspecting stenographers is sucked crotch first through its vaginal vortex into perpetual limbo
S: "Heh heh."
Mick picks up a container labelled mixed nuts
S: "O! don't touch that, triple-6!"
M (taking it in his hands): Why not, S?
S: "It's not from our lab. Christ came by the other day in an air conditioned suit for one of his boorish Florence Nightingale missions, taunting the damned about what they're missing. A repeat performance of that unendurable, unannounced weekend drop-in fresh off the cross when he put thumbtacks on my throne. He's up to something. He left this as what he, chummily chuckling but with a freaky gleam in his eye, dubbed a "housewarming gift." He patted my back before disappearing and I went on rounds for the rest of the day with minions and arch-devils snickering."
M: 'Kick me'?
S: "'Honk if you love Jesus.' Little shit."
M: Lessee here . . . filberts, cashews, Brazil nuts--I want some, S!
S: "Our technicians haven't examined it yet. There's no telling what goodies that h. t. t. p. has prepared for us."
S: "Holier than thou prick. He's been responsible for the nicest pranks and cleanest tricks ever to infect this inferno on his unexpected appearances. There could be anything inside!"
M (shakes the can--sounds tantalizingly like nuts): If you're so concerned about these uninvited drop-ins, why don't you just lock the gate.
S: "Christ kept the key after his first visit."
M: Don't you have any locksmith's down here?
S: "They all escaped!"
M: Well, I'm opening this damn can.
M: But I'm hungry.
S: "Here, have an apple instead."
M: O, no. I know better than that--'specially a bitten one. Spreads sleeping sickness, or worse.
M struggles with the cap. It's on tight, but it turns with a sound like the shifting of a slab on slate. S'tan leaps across at the disobedient agent but not in time.
A mad hissing fill's S'tan's chamber. Out of the tin rise the hideous punching bag apparitions of Peter, Paul, and Mary. And buried somewhere impossible deep in their sheath of vulcanized rubber--S'tan is forced to deflate them completely through a miniscule blow hole under Paul's armpit--there's a microcassette that churns out seventeen verses and choruses of "Kum Bay Ya."