Someone named Richard Straub emailed this gem to WC recently:
Terry Pratchett is EVIL, he’s the work of the devil, made to collect
your souls and to turn you into brainless slaves of hell.
If you like Terry Pratchett, you will lose your soul to be damned
for eternal torment in hell. Demons and devils will feast on your soul
for all eternity.
So stop reading this evil now to save your soul.
Or the holy inquisition will come for you and burn your flesh to save
your soul, because the devil must not collect more souls or nobody can
Terry Pratchettis evil, reading Terry Pratchett is BLASPHEMY, only
heretics and witches like Terry Pratchett. And heretics and witches
shall BURN !
Terry Pratchett is the ANTICHRIST !
Pretty good, eh?[^1]
But WC has always wondered about the Antichrist. The opposite of Jesus, right? Turns wine into water? WC can do that, using only his kidneys. Makes a hale man lame? WC done that to himself using nothing more than birthdays. Makes a seeing man blind? WC is still working on that, but has so far made it only to bifocal glasses. So maybe WC is the Antichrist?
WC is pretty sure that demons, devils, Hell and souls exist only in the fevered imagination of Mr. Straub. There certainly was a holy inquisition, but that was in another country and, besides, the members are all dead.[^2] Doubtlessly, they are now in their imaginary Hell, with their souls being chewed by imaginary demons and devils.
And WC regards blasphemy as the very silliest of sins. An omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Creator cares what his creations say about him? Dude, he already knows. That’s what the Omni-everythings mean.
Didn’t Bruce Willis already prevent Armageddon? Or if he didn’t, isn’t it inescapable, having been foretold?
Perhaps Mr. Straub with his vague reference to “this evil” is referring to this blog. Perhaps WC’s affection for Sir Terry, often expressed in this blog, and WC’s reading recommendations to you, means that the blog itself is evil – sorry, EVIL! – and that, as a heretic and witch, WC’s writings endanger the souls of everyone who reads Wickersham’s Conscience.
Or perhaps Mr. Straub is just another internet troll, getting his rocks off in an internet troll’s very strange way.
Anyway, you’ve been warned.[^3]
(As a treat for Pratchett fans, here’s an interview of Pratchett by his friend and co-writer, Neil Gaiman.)
[^1]: Portions of this blog post are borrowed from the ancient alt.books.pratchett newsgroup.
[^2]: Apologies to Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta, Act IV, Scene 1.
[^3]: Of course, anyone who reads Pratchett – at whatever peril to their soul – knows from the novel Good Omens that the real Antichrist is a nine year old boy in rural England named Adam Young. And also understands about footnotes.