Yes, this week I’ve been slack with the posts. Various life things are to blame, but I imagine you’ll forgive me after you read this gem. Just know that it was written by high-school boys, which is GOLDEN. With no further ado, I present to you my treasured pilfered copy of this famed article, some “classic knowledge from the Prince of Darkness”. Credits to follow.
Satan on: Punctuation
by Lucifer “the Devil” Satan
[as dictated to Etoof, with assistance from Tioneb,
and now somewhat edited by Chloë Filson]
Hi, I’m Satan, and I’d like to talk to you about life.
But first, you may be wondering what a nice guy like me is doing writing for a publication like The Uniceptor. See, me and the Uniceptor are good friends; we play cricket every Uniceptorial period of time or so, and for the past fourteen thousand and some years, he has been talking about how was going to to start a publication someday, and he was hoping I would contribute. And I thought he would never do it, but look at where we are now… only about fourteen thousand years later.
We’re going to start this wonderful journey together with something that has been in the news a lot lately and greatly affects your daily teenaged lives: punctuation. Kids, words are neat and highly useful. But without the right combination of punctuation marks, they can be confusing, meaningless and a gateway into Hell.
Let’s start with the comma, shall we? The comma is one of the most commonly used forms of punctuation, and the most diabolical. A comma is meant to denote a pause or change in thought. It is used when a new thought is not an entire sentence on its own, as in:
I like to feast upon the tormented souls of the Damned, especially when they’re screaming.
The phrase “especially when they’re screaming” is not a complete sentence on its own and is simply attached to the previous phrase by the comma.
Commas can also be used to separate items on a list. For example:
In Hell, many people spend eternity being eaten alive by maggots, vermin, locusts, and cockroaches.
The commas in that sentence separate the items in the list from one another—much like how the charred bones of the still-conscious Damned are often separated on the eternal slab of pain, one from another.
Next, let’s talk about the question mark. Question marks are oddly-shaped hooks that denote questions. The question mark is meant to be used when you are requesting new information, and, in fact, the symbol was shaped to resemble the razor-sharp claws of my minions, who impale and vivisect any and all who dare ask for knowledge in Hell. The question mark is properly used when posing such questions as
Will my boiling eyeballs ever fully melt out of my skull?
Oh God! Can someone please make the fire ants leave my genitals alone?
What shall I wear today?
As you see, kids, the question mark can be used in many ways.
Our final lesson today involves my personal favorite punctuation mark, the semicolon. Improper use of the semicolon can be confusing and foolish, and it can lead you straight into the cursed pits of Hell. This simple punctuation mark has confounded many an individual, and most of you will be able to go through your lives without full knowledge of this Satanic symbol. The locals in Hell, however, are not so lucky, and their tormented wails of misery ring the halls as hordes of demons spend eternity slowly peeling off their skin while explaining its many uses.
Remember, kids, punctuation is important. If you screw it up, you’ll be laughed at, ridiculed, and sent straight to Hell.
I’m Satan. See ya later!
This article was originally written in 2001 for—but was never actually published in—The Uniceptor, an off-the-wall student newspaper (no longer in print) from an Ontario high school. This article remains one of the funniest things I’ve ever read in my whole life—which is why I reproduced it for you here with hardly any permission at all. While Magill Foote and my BFF Samuel Benoit have very little to do with the glorious publication that was The Uniceptor, they did step in to defend the article when it was in danger of being censored.