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Synthesis - Columns

From 2008 to 2015 I wrote a weekly column for Synthesis Weekly under the name Zooey Mae. What started as an outlet to review graphic novels and comic books evolved over the years to cover everything from pop culture to whatever menial event was happening in my life. Looking back, I think I spent much too much time regaling Chico with tales of my allergies. 

Cyberbullied by Satan

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: August 2014

Ah, that smell is in the air… the smell of keys on lanyards, shower flip-flops, and the collective anxiety of both the new students and locals (albeit for different reasons). The students are back, and as they all try to figure out the one-way streets and how 1st st. and 1st ave. differ, I’ve been watching the locals regard them with a healthy mix of apprehension and resigned acceptance.

It’s a weird time here in Chico, and everywhere else, really. Scary, depressing things are happening in Missouri, people are posting self-delighted videos online of themselves being baptized in the fresh feeling of not donating to charity (aka “raising awareness”), and in Poland, demons have finally mastered the insidious art of texting. (Cue the Bernard Herrmann Twilight Zone music). Regarding that last bit, a Polish priest named Marian Rajchel has come forward to reveal that he’s begun to receive texts from a demon he tried (unsuccessfully) to exorcise.

Rajchel was attempting to exorcise the demon from a teenage Polish girl, and became aware after the ritual was finished that it didn’t take, as now he was being contacted by Satan by text. One such message read “She will not come out of this hell. She’s mine. Anyone who prays for her will die.” After the priest responded, the devil hit him back, hard. “Shut up, preacher. You cannot save yourself. Idiot. You pathetic old preacher.” Satan really doesn’t use as many obscenities as I would have thought. His insults are a little wooden, and to me they read much less like the prince of darkness, and more like a group of Polish priests who decided it would be funny to prank their fellow brethren. Maybe I’m wrong and this truly is Beelzebub, but he’s just new to the texting game, as the technology is a little behind in Hell. He’s probably texting from the same sort of flip phone I used in high school. It had an antennae and weighed about three pounds. I also had to dial a 10-15 digit number before dialing out. I think in the six months that I owned it, I made a total of one successful call on it, and it was to let my parents know that I’d figured out how to call out on my cool cell phone. I imagine that ol’ dastardly Lucifer was probably having the same issue. After waiting so long to be an antennae-pulling, flip phonin’ member of society, it was just too much pressure to dial that crazy long number and have to think of a good burn. Next he’ll probably have a bunch of pizzas sent to the priests house, throw some TP up outside, then rearrange the letters on his church marquee to read “priest Rajchel sux, devil rules!”

Anyway, before I sign off I’d just like to say a quick thank you to the people who sent letters with kind words, especially to DL Plummer, I appreciate the support and your continued readership!

Arielle Mullen