Satan insisted on meeting us at the local Starbucks. We had scored this exclusive interview, so we didn’t want to object, even though Starbucks is not a union shop. It turns out he’s a sizable minority shareholder. He looked like a young, hirsute Dick Vitale with perfect teeth, but without the enthusiasm or the grating voice. He was wearing an old Ron Artest Indiana Pacers jersey. We were a little surprised to see that he didn’t sport any tattoos. We’ve always pictured Old Nick with tattoos. “I’ve thought about it,” he said, “but what could I get, really? I’m already the Prince of Darkness.”Colorado Confidential: As you may know, you’ve been injected into the public education funding debate here in Colorado. So tell us: Is there actually “a special place in Hell for these Privatizers, Charterizers and Voucherizers?”
Satan: Could be. I’d have to ask my people. Hell is a big place. I can’t be everywhere at once, unlike Some People I could name. Just last year we had to add a large wing for people who yell into their cell phones at the airport. I mean, we can barely keep up. The demand is tremendous. I’d like to franchise the operation. Eventually we’d be as big as Wal-Mart.
CoCo: In his email, Rep. Merrifield said that the Privatizers, Charterizers and Voucherziers deserve this special place. Do they?
Satan: (laughs) In Hell, everybody’s innocent. I’ve never met a single one of them who thinks he ought to be there. You could probably say the same for Wal-Mart.
CoCo: One of Rep. Merrifield’s opponents said, “It shows there’s absolutely no good faith on the Rep. Merrifield’s part, who is clearly more concerned with defending a crippled and ineffective status-quo public education system then creating opportunities for all kids.”
Satan: Well, I’ll tell you, we couldn’t build rooms in Hell fast enough to accommodate “bad faith.” We’re already thinking of paroling a lot of folks who are in for lesser stuff.
CoCo: We didn’t think you could go to Hell for “lesser stuff.”
Satan: We’ve got a lot of folks left over from the no-meat-on-Friday era. I always thought Hell was a little harsh for that particular sin, but there is just no convincing Some People. They’re in line to move up to plusher accommodations. Maybe we could put your … what are they again?
CoCo: Charterizers and such.
Satan: Right, charterizers. We could maybe put your charterizers in the space they clear out. If you really think it’s necessary. You know what Milton said: “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell, and a Hell of Heaven.”