gargoyle2Lent is early this year. Ash Wednesday is Feb 10.

Do you have a good book for Lent? Do your teenagers or college students? I have written The Gargoyle Code and Slubgrip Instructs to be especially good reads. They have a plot line running through them and are broken down into daily readings for Lent. You can get both books for a special offer of $24.95 here.

In Slubgrip Instructs the demon Slubgrip has been demoted to teach Popular Culture 101 at Bowelbages University. Here’s a sample:

Chamber 101

The grinding of distant machinery. Door closes. Crowd voices and movement. A bell is clanging. Voice of Slubgrip:

Come to order, slugs. Grimwort, nip down to the lounge and get me a cup of lava, will you? You know what I like best—fresh ground pusher with a dash of meth, and bring me a couple of tablets. I’ve got a splitting headache.

Now then worms, I wish to share with you today one of Our Father Below’s greatest accomplishments. It is a work of pure genius. A most delightful bit of sleight of hand called “relativism.” Relativism simply means that there is no such thing as truth. Once Our Father Below realized that anything might be good or evil depending on the circumstances or intentions, the rest was a piece of cake.

I know it is hard to grasp, but try to understand that the humans are half-ape and half-angel. They have physical bodies that are trapped in time and space and their beastly instincts. However, they also have spirits. They aspire for higher things. Because they are spiritual, they long to be good. They long to be perfect. The problem is, their physical natures are at war with their spiritual natures. Are you still with me, worms?

We hear a door opening. Footsteps.

Grimwort, you incompetent fool! I asked for a dash of meth in my lava, and you bring me this disgusting cup of ordinary sewage? Where’s my prod? (A sizzling sound, then yelp from Grimwort.) Perhaps that will teach you to be more careful, you fat toad.

Now concentrate if you can, worms. The Enemy tries to get around this clash between their spiritual and physical sides by forgiving them when they slip back into ape-like behaviors. Why he does so is beyond me. He’s soft, that’s why. What they deserve is punishment, but he lets them off the hook. There’s nothing I’d like better than getting them on the hook—the meat hook.

What you must do with your patients is show them that the ideal behaviors are unrealistic. Remind them of the Enemy’s ten commandments, and help them see that they are simply impossible. “Thou shalt not lie”? What, never? “If a man looks on a woman with lust in his heart he has committed adultery?” Surely not. You see? The standards he sets for the little cretins are far too high. Whisper in their ears that they are attempting the impossible. The goals of perfection that their spiritual side demands are incompatible with the physical world they live in.

Don’t make them think that all things are relative. Get them to feel that all things are relative. One of the best ways to do this is to use hypothetical situations. Come up with a particularly juicy, wicked action, then engage them in a game in which they invent a situation and intention that would make that action good. (Our philosophy department has come up with a whole industry along these lines called “situation ethics.”)

Let’s say your patient believes that killing an unborn child is wrong. Get him to see that the child would be born into poverty and have a terrible life and be condemned to a life of poverty and misery. Get him to see that the mother would ruin her career and be condemned to a life of poverty herself. He must see that he is not killing an unborn child; he is helping the poor woman in a crisis pregnancy. Let him hear someone shouting, “Every child should be a wanted child!”

You see how it goes. ..

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