Poetic Licence: The Devil You Knew

The Devil is to lose his old image. A Vatican commission, which is reviewing its outdated exorcism procedures, will this week remould the Devil's cloven-footed image into a more mundane, bland definition, compatible with modern ideas of `psychological disturbance'.

The Devil packed his binbag

And clearing out his desk,

Said: "Frankly, I'm astonished.

It's almost Kafkaesque

You could say that I'm gutted

They've sacked me in effect

But that's the problem these days

You don't get the respect

The thing that makes me sickest?

This myth they're putting out,

That Evil somehow triumphs

If good men sit about.

That's rubbish, for a starter.

To propagate your gloom

You've got to know your product

- And how to work a room

Locate your market leaders

Like Ignorance and War

Present them to your client-base

But leave them wanting more.

It's often down to finding

The work for idle hands

Old-fashioned single-tasking

Which no one understands.

The hooves, and hairy hindparts

They're like a uniform.

And red. What does it tell you?

Professional - yet warm.

It reassures the punters

And lets them know I'm real.

The horns, the cloak, the pitchfork

Cry out: "Let's do a deal!"

But where's the Devil's work now?

I mean, for pity's sake.

There's only wheel clamping

And daily Ricki Lake.

The planting of leylandii,

The seating plans for planes,

My self-assessment tax forms

And running British trains.

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