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Topic: Graduation (08/30/04)
TITLE: Diabolica’s Toast
By Corinne Smelker
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First of all, thank you Principal Strumpet for giving me this opportunity to address these fine graduates. Who would ever thought that my young niece, to whom I taught everything I know about tempting, would one day be the principal of the finest college of the entire Underworld!
And so, I address you tonight, as the elite of hell. You who sit here have overcome great odds to graduate from this fine institute of learning. I well remember the trepidation I felt when I sat where you now sit.
Your career is before you. Our Father Below expects and demands that it should be one of unbroken success. If it is not, you know what’s coming!
Your task is clear, your path is straight — you are to bring as many people down here to Our Father Below, and keep them from the clutches of The Enemy. We have many weapons on our side — deceit, greed, power, pride, and self-fulfillment. Use them wisely.
When I was still a tempter, lo so many years ago, we had our work cut out for us! You fellows have it a lot easier with the advent of radio, television and now that new-fangled Internet. Causing a human to fall has never been easier. Repetition and defense are the keys to effective tempting. The road to Our Father’s fire is paved with the epitaph’s of humans who, once caught say, “But it’s not hurting anyone.” Keep it from them that the ripple effect is just as true for them, as it is for water, or anything else they see in nature. Let them suppose they truly are an island unto themselves. As you know, we have quite a number of those island people residing here in the halls of hell now! And no one was more surprised than they when they first arrived here too.
Do not fall into the trap of trying to make your human into a great sinner. Great sinners are only one step away from great saints. Remember Paul? We had him in our clutches, until his temptor got a little too clever. Well, enough said, we all know where he landed up, don’t we? No, keep your human on the wide path, the one everyone walks. If you can, make her think that she is just as good as her neighbour, or even better. More people populate the corridors of hell through that method than any other. Creating a Hitler, a Mussolini, a Jack the Ripper is harder than you think, because the balance of the scale can tip so easily, and then they are forever lost to us. Instead, let your human think she or he is balanced, never once suspecting the scale is tipping steadily and inexorably to our side. Oh, the look of dismay when they realize all their “goodness” has been for naught!
Let us raise our glasses in a toast — May your road always be straight, may your goal always be clear, and may Our Father Below grant you every success as you embark on a venture, a new chapter in your lives — to the graduates of Temptor’s Training Technical College, and to the population explosion of Hell!
In tribute to C.S. Lewis’ “Screwtape Proposes a Toast”