Watkins: There's hell to pay


It’s time to read that old Faustian play, Damn Yankees, again. Everyone has forgotten. In the show, Joe Hardy agrees to give his soul to the devil if the devil helps him and his favorite team (Washington Senators) beat those damn Yankees. The devil agrees. Joe is happy when the devil gives him youth, athletic ability and stardom. He’s especially happy when his Senators beat the Yankees. Joe is not pleased, however, when the devil comes to get him.

Unfortunately, fantasy tales are sometimes true. Without knowing, baseball players today are making contracts with a real devil. They take steroids that make them strong and famous and help them win championships. In high spirits for a while, they have a change of heart when the devil returns with health problems and early death. Tragically, they have to pay the devil’s price. If Ken Caminiti had known the devil was coming for him at age 41, he might not have enjoyed those 40 home runs he hit for the San Diego Padres in 1996. He might not have celebrated so much when they won the division.

Sorry to say, the devil isn’t only interested in baseball players. He’ll make a pact with anyone who doesn’t have vision. He particularly likes the, “I’ll hate myself tomorrow but I’m going to love you tonight” ladies. Smokers enjoy good nicotine feelings and doing things with their hands while lighting up but, when the devil comes with emphysema and lung cancer, they have a change of heart.

Trying to be secular, parents and teachers don’t tell kids about Joe Hardy and the devil anymore. Too many are easy prey for the actual devil and make deals they regret. They get pleasure now and don’t know there’s going to be hell to pay later.

Darrell Watkins lives in Kelseyville.