I’ve often wondered who exactly it is the devil chooses to visit with his prepackaged seven year soul swap deals. I know I’ve never been offered one explicitly. I’ve not had any mysterious strangers approach me, the kind with an unholy twinkle in their eye, and make any grand declarations as to what they could do for me if only I’d sign here, here, and here. My logic behind not having had this encounter usually revolves around the notion that before he would ever take the time to introduce himself, he’d have studied up on you to make close to ninety-nine percent sure you were willing to sign the contract. He’s probably busy, and no less pleased than any of us are when he puts too much time against something with no results.
It occurred to me recently that maybe these days he deals in smaller deals. Perhaps we are all too jaded for him to present immediate fame and fortune by just signing a piece of paper. His own anger at the endless stream of scam emails promising prizes, inheritances, and lost fortunes that bombard spam folders must leave him fuming. Those people have only helped create an even more suspicious population, and it has left him having to hustle in ways he’d rather not. On the other hand, maybe given his prowess at all things dastardly, he’s harnessed the power of the internet and is moving even more souls into the sold column by using tweets, likes, and pre-populating sign-here-forms that one finds when they are making hasty decisions related to getting the stuff they want.
There was a time–a long time–in which if a service on the internet required any information about me, I’d balk. Save for a few services like Gmail, Amazon, and maybe The Levi’s Store, if some entity on the web wanted so much as a phone number from me I’d simply leave the site and figure whatever it was I wanted could be gotten by other means. But as of late, let’s call it the past three months, I find myself plugging all manner of personal information into those little boxes. Putting my information out there bit by bit, by bit, in hopes that the promises sites claim to provide for little or nothing from me are somehow going to help me further my own agenda: getting people to read my book.
Every new social network, cheapie tweet promotion service, sponsored banner, and pay-for-blankity-blank are all a carefully crafted system by lucifer himself. All designed to slowly bilk me of my soul one tiny piece at a time. And perhaps when things like great interviews, good reviews, and incremental sales of my book occur–they are the riches that have been promised to me. The devil no longer needs to make huge deals to get you to sign, he only needs to promise an extra like on your Facebook page. It’s possible he sits back laughing maniacally each and every time some fool purchases one of his, “buy 25 likes for your page” services, because he put it there and he knows that you are making just one tiny step closer to fulfilling your end of the bargain soul swap deal. He doesn’t have to make everybody a rock star, movie star, or immediate celebrity based off of some non-existent talent–nope, he’s working a different angle these days. One where he takes a small part of my soul every time I click the yes box without having bothered to actually read the details, policies, and implications of joining another Me-Me service.
My hats off to him. And I’m sure he knows that I’ve figured him out, but isn’t really bothered buy this development, because who takes the paranoid ramblings of a part-time blogger seriously? Check the “yes, I’ve read” box below if you do.