Misadventures in Heavy Metalling

Misadventures in Heavy Metalling: The Tome of the Most Metal Xerox Copier Repairman Ever

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Artwork by Matt Smith
Artwork by Matt Smith

I love showing up for work because every time I go to the office it brings me a little closer to Satan. There’s nothing quite like walking into that fluorescent purgatory, observing the sinners doing their sinning, and then marching straight towards the print room because that’s where the devil’s work is most devoutly done. At least until shit stops working, which is why I’m here in the first place. They always call on me when the beeps begin to chime. They call on me to solve their crooked rhymes.

And everytime I enter this unholy chapel of ritual, the first thing I do is break out my own personal copy of the Satanic Bible, which has conveniently been updated to include all the technical specifications for the latest Canon, Hewlett Packard, Epson, and Xerox abominations. It’s an ultra heavy tome that’s served me well in my pursuit of devil worship, by which I mean that I’m legally bound to it, in all the darkest senses possible. You don’t get to be where I’m at without selling a little bit of your soul, day by day since your initial date of hire. And my year zero was eons ago, so at least now I’ve got some seniority.

Some people say the devil is in the details, and I couldn’t agree more. When the devil’s there, all of these godforsaken pieces of electronic equipment run like monstrance clockwork, but when he’s not there, they go completely to shit. No one actually knows why, but there’s nothing that declares Lucifer’s departure more authoritatively than the cryptic apostasy of “Critical Hardware Error has Occurred.”

If I had my way, I’d bless each and every one of these digital disciples in this devil church, right here, right now, and not just to simply ensure that none of the others are led astray and towards Jehovah’s heavenly light of perpetual malfunction, but also because gleaning emotional enjoyment out of unnecessary, extra hours is the devil’s own invention. But there is only one in here whose soul is no longer tainted. And it is just lurking there in the back corner, shining in the artificial light without which I could not see. It is insurrection and it is spite. And its disobedience is what has brought us together.

Can’t it see that it is lost? Can’t it see that it is lost without me?

I’ve got the power and I wear the crown and I’m getting more and more psyched about casting its black ink cartridges down to the ground, but something isn’t quite right. The path to salvation is not always immediately obvious, and I’m afraid this is just one of those times. Because sometimes there’s an omnipresent fog in here, an unfathomable wall-less maze. Sometimes the fog weaver has woven a mist that shrouds each of his infernal majesty’s despicable devices in an extra layer of despair and confusion. And sometimes I realize that maybe I just shouldn’t have had so much to drink the night before.

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