What did I do over the weekend? Well, Chip, I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.
I know a lot of people say that as sort of a weak attempt at humor, but I’m being serious: I would really have to kill you. I’d have to make you disappear—permanently. You might think of me as Les, the good-natured new guy in data processing, but I am a deadly killer, indoctrinated in the ways of the assassin, a cunning student of the 834 Fatal Ways. You need an example? I could come silently at night. Your wife and your children wouldn’t hear a sound. Your dog wouldn’t even stir. You would just be gone—as if you never existed. No trace, no clues. The local authorities would scratch their heads in puzzlement. “We don’t even know where to start!” they would exclaim. “It’s as if he disappeared into thin air!”
I am not joking.
Unlike the “hilarious” IT guy who says, “I could tell you how to turn your Out of Office Assistant on, but then I’d have to kill you,” I’ve actually watched the life fade from a man’s eyes. Not once, but many, many times. Your IT friend thinks he knows what this is like, but the 1,000-plus hours he has invested in Halo don’t even compare.
Also, after that IT guy ends up telling you how to operate your Out of Office Assistant, you probably exchange pleasantries and then go your separate ways. This is not how it will go down if I tell you how I spent my weekend. Because, as I mentioned before: if I were to do that, I would have to kill you. For real. And forever.
It wouldn’t be a choice. It would be an automatic reaction, like pulling your hand back from a hot stove. It could be that quick, too. It might involve something as ordinary as a shoehorn.
That’s funny, is it? It makes you giggle?
There are 95 things even more mundane than a shoehorn, things you might find even more hilarious. I won’t bore you with the complete list, but they include a cereal box, a ladybug, a single strand of uncooked spaghetti, a child’s tear, and the June 2004 issue of Runner’s World magazine. And the more we talk about this, the closer I get to telling you about my weekend activities, and then, my friend, this game we’re playing, this little dance, will be over.
Once you hear about my weekend, you’d better make sure you are never alone, that you always stay within the safety of a crowd. Make sure to keep your back to the wall and your eyes on the doors and windows at all times, and never enter a room without knowing where the exits are. Make sure someone walks you to your car, or, better yet, don’t use your car at all. Make sure to test your food for poison before you eat it. Don’t trust your mailman, your neighbors, your clergyman, your pet. What? You don’t think I can disguise myself as a Mexican hairless? You don’t know the half of it. I’ve convincingly disguised myself as 11 different breeds of dog, a half-dozen domestic cats, and two different songbirds. But do your best, Chip. Put yourself on guard 24 hours a day and seven days a week. It still won’t be enough. Because it will slip your mind, and when it does, the very moment you let your guard down, I’ll be there. And it will be over.
So, before you ask me about my weekend again, Chip, think long and hard. Maybe take a moment to go to the conference room to have a slice of Debbie’s “Happy Monday” chocolate cake and another Diet Coke. Weigh your words carefully. And then tell me.
Do you really want to know?