The Prince of Darkness dishes on his life, his home, his plans – and that Wissahickon swimming hole with his name on it.
Many millennia ago, the sparkling waters of Cresheim Creek carved a steep ridge of schist into a basin roughly 15 feet deep and 20 feet wide that the first humans here dubbed a powerful, mystical place…
Our journey to “Devil’s Pool” one cold March morning revealed a trove of shocking truths when we encountered a familiar hoofed & horned character who suggested an irresistible trade: this interview for our souls. He sweetened the deal with a golden notepad and we got down to brass tacks.
Q: First things first: you could’ve had a pool anywhere in the world – why the Wissahickon?
A: Well sure it seems random but really it’s reverse psychology. You’d never suspect a spot this naturally gorgeous would be a portal to the underworld, would you? And it’s relaxing, too. I can come out here, drink in the scenery, maybe tempt some kids into diving off the aqueduct, steal some keys… You know, make a day of it.
Q: Would you consider yourself a daredevil?
A: Ha! I’m no risk-taker, if that’s what you’re asking. The last time I gambled, I challenged that dude to the fiddle battle in Georgia. Did not go well, ooh boy.
Q: Tell me about your time as God’s favorite angel?
A: Meh. He’s kind of a bore, really – the most fun we had was populating the earth with flora and fauna. Wow we argued about goats! Told him the eyes were way too creepy but he wouldn’t budge. He did however remove their fangs and bat wings, which I think was a pretty good compromise but they still freak me out. Even though goats, as you know, are a common symbol for me in the Bible. God’s little joke, I guess.
Q: Describe your first evil gig? How did you know the path of sin was right for you?
A: Eve wasn’t my first but she was really The One, you know? After successfully tempting her – and then her dolt of a husband soon after — my career totally took off. Tough gig, though, I had to be a snake for like two hours – and not even a cool snake like a cobra or black mamba, which would’ve scared her off.
So I was a stupid garter snake slithering around an orchard while Eve would just not shut up! “But God said this, and God said that….” Yak yak yak Just eat the damn apple, lady! I guess patience is a virtue and, well, don’t look at me for virtue, right?
Q: Let’s talk about your one big failure (besides the fiddle incident): that time you tried to tempt Jesus when he was fasting. How’d that go down?
A: Man, that story is soooo exaggerated. First off, me and Jesus were buds when he was here, I don’t mind admitting. I may have a beef with his dad but the kid and I got along real well. Opposites attract, and all. He was a chill cat. Hung with my crowd, too: hookers, sinners, tax collectors. He was a little cloying with all his peace and love shit but I honestly liked him. Felt real bad about how it went down with Judas and stuff but he made it to the top, man. And the temptation thing? I never messed with him up there, I was just trying to buy weed.
Q: Did Robert Johnson really sell his soul to be the greatest guitar player ever?
A: Oh, you saw Crossroads! Steve Vai was awesome in that, wasn’t he? But no, ole Robert Lonnie was pure talent, he never made any deal with me. New Kids on the Block did, though. All of them! And Toni Basil. She summoned me with red candles one night in 1980, begging for the ultimate earworm of all time. Well she got her Hey Mickey and I got her soul. End of story.
Q: So what’s with you and Prada?
A: Oh that. Honestly, I prefer Gucci but when Prada dangled such a boatload of cash for my endorsement I couldn’t turn them down.
Q: Is it true that Halloween, Heavy Metal music and Dungeons & Dragons are paths to the Devil? Or is this a hoax by Right Wing conservatives?
Q: What happens when you buy someone’s soul (or win it in a wager)?
A: Depends. Sometimes I’ll drag them screaming to Hell before the blood dries on their contract but usually I’ll honor my bargain and give them some time to enjoy their fame or powers or whatever. I like to let people stew so long they think I’ll never come for them, and then it’s like HEEERE’S JOHNNY!!! Oh the look on their face! Never gets old.
But really, it’s not all doom and gloom. I think Hell gets a bad rap. Lakes of fire are actually pretty scenic, and pitchforks kinda tickle. Ooh! Thursdays are shrimp and steak nights, with free beer! Sure the shrimp and steak are raw with maggots and the beer is warm and flat but we try to have some fun with it.
Q: What’s next for Satan?
A: Ha! The suspense is the best part! I’ll give you a tease, though: I don’t have any stupid horsemen (I’m an SUV guy) but I have a totally “Revelations-style” apocalypse planned. I’ve got the dragon, the harlot, the beast of the sea, etc etc all lined up, plus lots of cool surprises. You should see who plays the Beast with Seven Diadems, you’ll never guess! SPOILER ALERT: Nobody in East Falls makes it out alive. Seriously, you’re all doomed. It’s gonna be great. For me.
Q: Thanks for the insightful interview, Satan. Anything else you want to add?
A: Happy to chat! Can I make a plug? I’m coming out with a new beverage, “Devil’s Dew.” My own concoction: fruit juice, caffeine, alcohol, cocaine, pheromones, opiates, and stevia. It’s as delicious as it is deadly. One sip, and you’ll see me in no time!
WWSD? Your chance to ask Old Nick for his expert advice…
Q: I’ve been with my fiancée for 5 years, but I’m going to my class reunion and secretly meeting up with my high school crush. Should I hook up with him, or be faithful? — K.D.
A: Not only should you hook up with him, you should do things with him that you would be ashamed of and/or unwilling to do with your fiancée.
Q: I found someone’s wallet on the sidewalk. It has $967 in cash and all her credit cards in it. I saw a $100 reward for returning it. What should I do? — Mark S.
A: Take $867 of the cash, jot down all the driver’s license info and credit card numbers. Return the wallet, collect the reward. Steal their identity and make some online purchases using the credit cards. Don’t get too crazy though. Not bc greed is bad, but so you don’t get caught. Sleep well.
Q: I’m really jealous of my brother’s BMW. I want to do something with my anger over it. — Green Eyed Monster
A: Diesel. If it’s a gas engine, put 3 gallons of diesel in it at midnight on the next full moon. You are welcome.
Q: I feel bad, I’m attracted to my sister’s husband. What should I do? — Annie C.
A: Steal him. Even better, seduce him at a family picnic. It’s the right thing to do. Trust me.