Speak of the devil in the details

To exorcise the devil, get rid of all the details.

And he appears!

Hi, I’m the devil.  I just heard my name being called and, as you may have heard, if you speak of me, I appear.  I don’t even need to hear my name; I would have appeared even if you’d said “that handsome prince of darkness,” or “some famous fallen angel” or even just “the dark one.”  That one’s my favorite.

I know: I’m a little underwhelming at first.  It’s the distance between us!  I assure you, were we facing each other right now, you’d be adequately whelmed.  Possibly even uberwhelmed.  That’s how we say it downtown.  So, please don’t be encouraged by the lackluster presentation.  I want everyone to feel totally intimidated. 

Let’s say you’ve got a big dinner planned.  There’ll be guests, they may bring plus-ones, there are only so many good seats, etc.  How will you make accommodations for unexpected arrivals?  No matter what answer you give, I’ll be there.  Whatever measures you opt for in your effort to provide generously for all of your guests will necessitate a certain level of detail.  And that’s where I come in.  Well, actually, that’s what I am in.

Two enlisted soldiers are chosen to guard a P.O.W. who’s being held inside a makeshift cage constructed out of bamboo and clay.  They are not pleased by the assignment and so they attempt every trick in the book to squirm out of it.  Nonetheless, they are left with no choice but to accept the detail.  Poof!  And I’m in.

My bathhouse’s new policy governing the usage of flip-flops is opaque.  On the one hand, club members are permitted to wear the casual, me-may-care sandals that seem to taunt gravity on every step.  On the other, the club’s official position on flip-flops is that they are slovenly, corrupting apparel that induce the prurient urges within mortals.  I was so confused by the apparent contradiction that I leapt from the milk bath whence I read the new policy and sought out the club president so that he could take a break from trying to summon me every Walpurgisnacht and explain to me the new policy in detail (where I am).

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte is breathtaking in person.  It was even more breathtaking to witness Georges Seurat paint it.  It is so magnificent that I cannot behold it in one sitting.  When I try to accomplish such a feat, I grow dizzy and faint.  Consequently, I have grown accustomed to taking in the masterpiece in steps, allowing myself to enjoy the work only in details.  Et voilà — there I am!

So, it cannot be helped: every attempt to escape me fails.  I am practically everywhere, and that means everywhere, practically.  I couldn’t really say “ideally everywhere,” since that wouldn’t mean what I would mean for it to mean, and so it has to be practically everywhere.  Although that implies that I am not truly everywhere, a notion that I intend to quash.  How shall I effect that outcome?  Simple: by being everywhere. 

I would tell you more but I don’t want to reveal too many details.  They bore the hell outta me.