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Mallory: Because boundaries take consistent effort, but murder is a one-time thing
CEO Note 402: To survive in the business world, you have to adapt, you have to be ruthless, you have to skip flossing and sleep with one leg out from under the covers. You have to go outside thinking you’re going to be attacked by a bear. EVERY. SINGLE. SECOND.
You have to hire brand managers, steal their ideas and refuse to pay unemployment. Frame them for misconduct. Say they were taking light bulbs from your fixtures, where in reality you never had any lightbulbs or fixtures. Did you know that Elon Musk works only in total darkness wearing nothing but an ice pack?
Ben: On his genitals.
Mallory: Never, ever, admit that your products transmitted disease because then you’ll be jack in the box to McDonald's, Cousin Frank’s Refurbished jacuzzi warehouse to Uncle Carlo’s secondhand jacuzzi emporium.
Ben: Which used jacuzzi place didn’t infect people with the herpes?
Mallory: You have to metaphorically and literally kill people. [excited] EEE! Which we finally did last week. I’m so excited to tell you about it. But first, let me introduce you to a little idea invented by TV pastors and netflix: Subscription pricing.
New York State hit its murder quota pretty quickly. If the program continues, and I’m betting my grandma’s retirement it does, there’s currently a waitlist until 2034. At that point, the list devolves into friends’ hypothetical children, you know, just in case. These make great baby shower gifts by the way.
If people can’t get assassinations done safely and legally, you have to wonder if they’ll take things into their own hands. Imagine how much business could be lost, how much in legal tax revenue. Um, anyway, we big CEOs went on reddit and found out that there’s a loophole. If someone pays for a subscription to a single assassination service before December 31st, they can contract as many murders as they can get approved by April.
We in the industry are having to reinvent ourselves after...having just invented ourselves. It’s like asking a pupa to switch gears and turn into a ford fiesta. That’s what my cousin who sells refurbished jacuzzis said after 3 of her warehouses became herpes testing sites. And they know A LOT about pivoting.
What will be the impact of this loophole? Well, I’m not an expert in, um, anything, really, because it’s important for CEOs to be Jacks of all trades, and not just one trade. But I think my opinion is very important. Economists are currently disagreeing with each other about the effect on unemployment, GDP, used jacuzzi sales, 401Ks, 5Ks, and the environment. Philosophers are mostly curled up in a fetal position next to their macbook airs. Many of them have already ripped off their elbow patches and are using them as tissues.
But what does it mean for us at Assassin.ly? Deck the halls because That’s right, we’re working through Christmas, Chanukah, the Winter Solstice, Festivus! The subscriptions are rolling in. It turns out, when options are limited for, what I see as an essential service, people are willing to pay a premium.
How much does a subscription cost? Short answer: more than netflix but less than Mrs Field’s Cookie of the hour club.
Ben: I love their slogan. (imitating John Goodman's voice) Hi, I’m John Goodman for Mrs. Fields.
Mallory: Ben was a founding member of that club., Assassin.ly, we charge $750 plus taxes and fees. And, well, we know this is a heavily taxed service, there are a lot of government fees, and we couldn't resist throwing in some of our own. We’re basically a rental car service.
Bet you can’t tell which are ours and which are the government’s!
Hmm, I don’t know what that last one does. Overall, it ends up being about $1200 a year. Not bad, if you can get two assassinations in. Of course, the system doesn’t allow a single person to contract more than two per year, and the government sends a crack team of a police dog, federal investigator, psychologist, and psychic to interview you once you apply for the second one. They’re determined to assess you from...every possible angle. My aunt Denise didn’t pet the police dog and they denied her request. The altar in her bathroom dedicated to the Purge films didn’t help.
Ben: They picked up pretty quickly that Uncle Herald was just Uncle Gerald
Mallory: It was worth a try!
Some people are desperate to instagram their first assassination experience, or just desperate to kill before they’re killed. It’s rough out there. For $750 plus taxes and fees, Assassinly will take care of you in style.
Now, moving on. In an effort to remain accountable and transparent, remember those others have lost, and celebrate company successes, I’m pleased to announce we had 3 semi-successful assassinations last week. Congrats, guys! I’m so proud of you.
First, I want to highlight Crystal Murderer’s first multi-murder. Technically unintentional. We started calling her Crystal and then shortened it to Chris, by the way. She had some feelings but I think she’s leaning into it now.
After sending two women who mostly met the intended victim’s description to the hospital with blood poisoning and accidentally slaughtering a third, and this is reading from the official documentation, “with her tainted and magical crystals” Don’t worry-- we have insurance -- Chris posed as an uber driver outside the target’s place of business. Apparently the victim had an inkling that she was being targeted, and was taking lyfts home from work every day. Very expensive.
After accepting and rejecting countless rides and frustrating hundreds of customers, to the point where her license plate appears on some sort of anger website and Uber’s DO NOT RIDE list, Chris was able to identify her target by name on the app. According to Chris’s write-up, she had to pee really badly and didn’t have time for the cyanide to work. She screamed in a rageful vibration and slit the--correct--victim’s throat from the front seat with a very large and sharp rose quartz. She says you can only get a crystal that powerful on Etsy’s black market or in a part of Brooklyn so edgy it only appears on Tuesdays at 3:00 PM. She was in the front seat and the target was in the back, so it wasn’t quick or clean, in fact I believe she missed the first time, so it was also loud. Thank goodness for child protection locks. The cleaning fee for the car is...truly incredible.
We also found out that Chris has prosopagnosia. Congrats on your diagnosis, Chris. I hope we figure out what that means, soon. The goal is, of course, for the mark to never know that they’re the target, and I will be including that feedback on your quarterly review. She...definitely knew. Which is very clear on our Instagram story. If you are a person who needs that level of detail, which, now that I think about it, seems pretty likely if you’re listening to this, go check out our page.
She’s a crystal murderer. She stabs people with her crystals. Request Chris on the app, and be nice to her. She’s very sensitive when you give her unexpected feedback about how many people she was supposed to murder. Professionals, artists, crystal empaths, they’re touchy. It’s their way and you have to respect it. That’s what Ben keeps saying.
Ben: Dead people teach you things sometimes. Mostly about how to talk to sensitive people who want to pretend they were underappreciated vaudeville performers in the 1880s, and not water taxi getaway drivers in the 1980s.
Mallory: Ben talks to me and thousands of dead people. Should I feel special? On to murder #2, which took place in a public restroom.
Ben: Ha, number two. You are most likely to get murdered in a public restroom on a Thursday. Ghosts told me that.
Mallory: Do they mean that the most murders happen on Thursdays, or is Thursday some kind of National Restroom Murder Day?
Ben: It’s really hard to get clarification. Ghosts just kind of get mad and repeat themselves.
Mallory: Just like my alive uncles talking about why they lost custody.
Anyway, on to Kill Witch’s murder. Note to Kill Witch: mixing bleach and ammonia is not a witch’s brew, and we wish you the swiftest recovery. Being under 5 feet tall doesn’t make you impervious to vapors.
Fortunately, she was also carrying a gun. She crawled across four stalls on her elbows and shot through a giant roll of toilet paper meant as a silencer. If you were wondering, that doesn’t work. It still makes a lot of noise and causes a cloud of dust so fine that it actually cuts little holes in people’s lungs. KIll Witch was OK because she was on the floor, and very short. Between the ammonia bleach and DIY asbestos, a lot of people who went to Arby’s on Thursday are in the hospital.
Finally, someone requested Ben, who has no skills.
Mallory: And he’s the only one who didn’t land himself or someone else in the hospital by accident. Doing his best to keep our hospitals uncrowded and health insurance costs down.
So, how did he do it? Well, Ben sniped a little boy brushing his teeth in the morning.
Ben: Not brushing his teeth.
Mallory: Right, his parents wanted him assassinated for not brushing his teeth. I mean, that’s pretty disgusting. Kids do it all the time, but that doesn’t make it not gross. And I hear this one liked his tuna sandwiches. Ben shot the child from his treehouse. Wow, that’s dark. Ben, do you want to talk a little bit about that?
Ben: He was running the water and eating sweet tarts in the bathroom. If you have any objections, look at the three things this kid was doing:
Mallory: Do you think all these bathroom murders will cause people anxiety? They could get constipated.
Ben: More time in the bathroom in case we need to murder them.
Mallory: A win-win! Did the ghosts help you snipe the boy?
Ben: No. A few of them kept singing you’re gonna miss and tried to get in my way. Apparently, you still have bad breath after you die.
Mallory: Imagine 18th century bad breath. [clears throat] Please, A moment of silence for our victims, intended and unintended. And probably the ghosts around me who will complain if they’re not mentioned.
Ben: They complain anyway.
Mallory: Now, on a positive note. Our chief investor celebrated her 87th birthday this week. Happy birthday, grandma!
Ben: Isn’t it in poor taste to talk about your octogenarian grandmother when a child is dead?
Mallory: You’re right. That kid could have collected tiny ceramic animals to fill the void, disowned 3 out of 4 children, not stopped talking about where he was during the Kennedy assassination, and confused 9-11 with the OJ trial.
Ben: Sounds like we saved that kid a lot of grief.
Mal: If he couldn't handle brushing his teeth now, what could he handle? Anyway, the subscriptions are rolling in. Overhead is low, as is Ben’s mom’s basement’s ceiling. Keep that paperwork and the investment offers coming!
Ben: What investment offers?
Mal: Until next time!
Presenting Griefbox: a subscription to go with your murder subscription. What’s in your grief box? This month’s box might have:
A frame with an old person in it
A brene brown book
A spray bottle filled with tears
A sage smudge stick...just in case
An inspirational quote inside a fortune cookie
A blanket your grandma could have knitted...but didn’t
Do you know someone who’s grieving, but don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a tacky heart made out of carnations so large it could crush your grandma?
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Do wear tasteful, muted colors.
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Don’t try to talk someone into a 2-for-1 deal on a funeral. Coffins are built for one.
Don’t ask if you can re-use their coffin. Leave that to murderclean.
Don’t bring a belated birthday gift or card for the deceased. That cardigan is yours now.
DO send griefbox!
Let’s hear from some satisfied customers
I had my coworker’s son assassinated because he was spending too much time with family, and not enough time on work. Plus, the kid pulled all the leaves off the office poinsettia. But I got him Griefbox, so it’s all fine now, well, as long as he sends me a new plant. You know who you are, Eric.
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Kill Witch: (excited) Hey, subscribers!
Ben: Not like that. You’re not doing some sort of youtube tutorial on how to open microsoft excel.
KW: Last I checked you’re not here to direct, Ben. You’re here because your phone has a microphone and your mom’s basement has asbestos insulation. Mallory is letting me do this because she thinks I have a following.
Ben: She thinks you're her best chance at a following. That’s different.
KW: She thinks I can be like that psychic assassin who can move pizza, and other Italian food. But mostly pizza.
Ben: It’s just what tends to be in the street.
KW: Is Crystal doing one of these, too?
Ben: When Mallory asked, Crystal murderer scratched her up using crystals with a little bit of everything she’s allergic to, or could be allergic to, or just raw sewage on the top. She yelled, I am cursed. Do not ask me to share my curse with others. I must wallow! We would have just let her wallow.
Mallory’s arms have scratches on them that are scabbing over with crystal. It’s getting harder for her to bend her elbow. She’d get it checked out, but she doesn’t have health insurance.
Ben: Thank God she didn’t touch me. She knows if you hurt me, an army of ghosts will boo you. They might even remember to be kind of rude to you after you die, so...
KW: (mystical) Do you think someone who has delved so deeply into the spirit world would be afraid of ghosts?
Ben: If I met anyone like that, I’d use different threats.Like, next time you get a coffee from me, don't assume it's a pleasant drinking temperature. Or, I’m going to the bakery but I might not pick you the biggest muffin with the most visible chocolate chips.
KW: (angry) You can’t go to a bakery and not pick the best muffin. That’s like throwing your money in the trash!
Ben: Don’t cross me. I’ll make your morning mildly less good, and that could affect the rest of the day in ways you don’t pick up on because they are subtle. Maybe you don’t have enough glucose. Anyway, my mom needs me to look through a box of old papers and decide to keep all of them, so let’s cut to it. What are you going to do today?
KW: A nice, accessible intro to *magical* potions that I call, potions you can pull together with just 5 ingredients, in the time it takes you to fly into a rage.
Ben: Do you think when you’re flying into a rage is a good time to throw together a potion?
KW: Oh, it’s the best time.
I call this one, lipstick of tragedy. Picture this, you’re on instagram, and one of your coven members is going live. Four of your 40 closest sisters are sitting with her, enjoying a new restaurant several boroughs away. They didn’t invite you.
Just because you refuse to pay for tip or anything anyone else bought, including appetizers, which you totally didn’t have any of. And because you insist on change from your five dollars. For every sweet, conscientious, boundary-enforcing, budget-conscious person who has experienced this exact scenario, this one’s for you. And you can make it with stuff you already have in your home. I just grab my stone mortar and pestle, one that has been blessed by a priest AND someone who placed in the Chicago marathon. Remember, they only have to have placed. Anyone who tells you that you need a winner is trying to rip you off.
KW: First, we have a mandrake leaf
Ben: (sniffs) that’s basil
KW: Heart of a cloud
Ben: That’s sour cream. The container says sour cream.
KW: That’s just where I keep it. If you don’t have heart of cloud, go outside and stab the nearest cloud right in its heart. True witches know where a cloud’s heart is.
KW: Fresh nutmeg. I’m going to grate it.
Ben: That’s a dog turd that’s shaped sort of like a nut. You better have a separate one for parmesan cheese.
KW: (sarcastic) Because parmesan cheese smells so good. Finally, the silent princess, straight from Hyrule. If you don’t have this, you can use a fire flower from Mario. It makes for a spicier vibration.
Ben: It’s, um, it’s nothing. She’s holding nothing.
KW: I like to throw in a little toilet water, or as the french call it, eau de toilette, just kinda mix it around until I feel good. Then I get a little rage out. Really channel your rage when you pestle. Remember the people who have wronged you. Think about times they could have been better. Think about times other people could have been better and pretend it was these people. Make up stories to tell your therapist. (crystal is full of rage now)
Ben: So, what do you do with this?
KW: You give it to the friends who betrayed you like it was nothing. It’s probably better to put it in different tins, so they don’t all have to use the same lip balm, but I only had this takeout container I got roasted red peppers in.
Ben: I see it still has a roasted red pepper in it.
KW: Let them smear the potion on their lips. It smells so good, they won’t be able to resist. It’ll probably do what cersei did to that lady in Game of Thrones.
KW: No, Brahn Stark.
Ben: Do you have any potions for making someone psychic?
KW: I have a special face mask.
Ben: Is it just pureed frozen burrito? Because I do that already.
KW: What? No! I’ll tell you what’s in it if you say you’ll try it.
Ben: I sat in a graveyard in the rain trying to move chalk that already disintegrated. You think I’d say no to a little eau de toilette?
KW: OK, everyone. Ben is going to try my special face mask. Here it is, guaranteed to enhance anyone’s psychic powers. First, we grab some Valentina hot sauce, and you mix it with sriracha, any generic is good, but I like this one that’s been blessed by the coach of the Toms River track and field team. Athletes make it better. Finally, my secret ingredient: bear spray. Bear spray is so spicy, even bears hate it.
And they put hot sauce on everything. If this doesn’t open you up to spiritual experiences, nothing will.
Ben: I don’t know about this. Maybe we should just put a little on my big toe to test.
KW: Don’t worry about it. It’s like acids and bases, the spices cancel each other out. Here we go!
Ben: (distressed) Oh, my god it burns!
KW: That’s just the psychic powers making their way into your pores.
KW: Until next time! How do I stop this thing from recording?
Ben: Pour some milk on my face. Get yogurt and sugar!
KW: How about a frozen burrito?
Ben: There are 3 in my desk drawer. Put one in my mouth..
[intro music] Assassin.ly--because not everyone was meant to be a parent. Or a grandparent.
Mallory: Hello and welcome, as always, to Ben’s mom’s basement.
Ben: It’s my basement, too.
Mallory: The smell of thawing breakfast burritos makes that abundantly clear. What exciting startup stage are we in this week?
Ben: I think denial.
Mallory: I’m using some of my investor capital and next month’s rent and some of the money my roommates gave me to buy toilet paper to hire two new employees
The landscape is crazy right now: There are currently over 40,000 incorporated assasination companies in Queens County alone.
Ben: Who calls it Queens County? What is this, Australia?
Mallory: **sighs** I’m trying to be professional. What do dead people call it?
Ben: Queens. Long Island, WIlliamsburg, the place where we wanted to put our trash because it’s convenient, airport city USA, and Not Brooklyn.
Mallory: That all sounds true. Anyway, All you need to register, according to the bill, is a minimum $15 investment capital, defined as someone to venmo you $15 without using more than 3 emoji, and 5 potential weapons. Those can be anything--drano, a large keychain, an understuffed la-z-boy, some uncooked rhubarb, or pretty much anything you can purchase at Family Dollar and hide in your shoe.
Ben: Family dollar was actually part of the legislation.
Mallory: Weapons actually make up 35% of their revenue now. The other 65% is different types of cheetos. Because there are so many start-ups, and, much like podcasts, most of them don’t have even one review, we have to be competitive with other agencies.
We need to hire qualified professionals and offer our customers unique services. That’s what my cousin who is a spokesperson for Long Island’s largest secondhand Jacuzzi warehouse says in her commercials. We can’t just employ someone the ACC won’t let adopt cats anymore and adult Haley Joel Osment. So, here’s the situation.
It’s mostly an employee’s market because so few people are qualified. The best candidates are ex-marines and anyone who got off on murder charges. For some reason you’re not allowed to hire anyone with a criminal record.
Ben: I thought you had a criminal record.
Mallory: I bypassed that by owning the company. No one said the no pants subway ride required panties. What if I’d been British and wanted to participate? Was I supposed to infer from context? Go to the store and buy underwear? Anyway, there was a class of 2nd grade students going to the natural history museum that made it sort of a mass felony. It wasn’t my best day. To be honest, It wasn’t my worst day either.
I want to talk through the image we’re going for. In this landscape, which is quickly unfolding and I will be completely honest we have not kept up. You’ve got major players already: big box MurderFi, high-tech QuickKillDeluxe, and a bunch of indie hipster-type places like saw & cedar, or the hammer poke poet--that’s one guy, he does all his murders. He’s already a legend. Then there are a bunch of companies with no reviews that don’t have an angle or anything to distinguish them, and it’s like, well how are you going to make this assasination unique and special? It costs a lot, takes a lot of paperwork and sometimes you want something special--an experience--more than you want to get it done. Sometimes you cared about the person and you want them to go out in a flash of rainbows, unicorns, and shards of la-z-boy.
So I’ve had some time to consider what we in the industry call “the brand.” For example, my cousin’s is jacuzzis that don’t give you herpes; and if you test positive, you probably had herpes already.
I didn’t have enough time or money to take the entire 6-week course on digital marketing, but I did watch a 20-minute youtube video on logo design and sign up for an email list for a “mini MBA” at CUNY. Gotta be realistic. I think that’s enough to get me started.
Based on a couple of applicants I’m hoping are really good, like, better than their resumes would indicate, we’re going for a boutique, new age, spiritual-ish vibe. I think that’s a space not really occupied in the market yet, and it’s a type of murder that makes stealth really easy. It fits in with Ben’s whole “psychic groupie” schtick.
Ben: I am a psychic.
Mallory: And you’re gonna Carrie those 13-year-olds who borrowed their parents’ car and look good doing it.
Am I spiritual? I took a yoga class once. I tried to meditate while I was stuck in a train car between 2 homeless people. Doors were locked. Airflow was limited, It didn’t work. I passed out from smell exhaustion. Official cause. That’s when your brain is overwhelmed by trying to parse two very different, very pungent smells. The World Health Organization reports 400 cases a year and 350 of them occur in New York City between the hours of 8:30 and 8:40 AM. Now, if I go into a public restroom, my blood pressure drops and I lose my vision for two, maybe two and a half hours.
but I get spirituality - I’m into it. I’m not religious, and I think that’s the first requirement for becoming “deeply spiritual.” I also like picking and choosing from different cultures without even knowing where it’s coming from. I enjoy the phrase “inspired by.”
Mallory: Yeah, I just learned a lot about myself, and so did our shareholders. Big spiritual journey for today. I am learning and growing as a leader.
Ben: My spirit pokemon is Ratichu
Mallory: That’s not...OK. So, anyway, for our shareholders. Hi, grandma. I hope the volume on your tablet that you’ve set up next to a megaphone goes high enough for you to hear this. Those neighbors making noise complaints don’t know what they’re talking about. I do talk too low, and that is a sign of poor leadership skills. In the spirit of optimism, transparency, and not being hexed, Here are the interviews with the two fabulous and accomplished women we decided to hire.
Name redacted, Registered assassin name, Kill Witch. Nice.
Mallory: Skilled in the witchy arts, including spellcasting, potions, candle magic, saging, Excel, word perfect, ooh, that’s a throwback, and romeo-and-juliet style poisons. That’s...very specific. Can you say a little bit more about these poisons and your formal training?
KW: I learned from my coven. It’s one of the good ones--it’s in Brooklyn. I can’t say the name, but I have to take the G train to get there and we meet in the spirit of an abandoned domino sugar factory.
I usually make up my own spells and potions in my kitchen, which only includes an air fryer and a set of handmade chopsticks. I’m a very intuitive potion stylist. Very creative.
Mal: My dad was that way with cooking. One time he made a meatloaf that was just ketchup and canned pineapple chunks. He served it with tiki drinks and tried to tell us it was polynesian aspic, but we knew.
KW: That’s actually a really good recipe for starting off a friendship right. Not eating a ketchup loaf is why 90% of friendships fail.
Mal: 90% of friendships fail?
KW: Your dad is a natural born witch.
Mal: That is literally the only possible way to explain why my mom stayed with him. Let’s see...got some classic questions here. Are you a good witch or a bad witch?
KW: I don’t subscribe to a good and bad binary. I feel like that’s very damaging.
Great. Fine. Moving on. What is your strength?
KW: I would say probably, hmm, improvisation.
Mallory: Can you say more about that?
Mallory: Do you mean like improv comedy, improv murder, or like making up recipes when you cook?
KW: All of those things.
OK. What is your weakness?
KW: Well my doctor says I--
Mallory: No, don’t talk about that. What’s something you’re working on?
KW: Well, my coven asks that I stop making up my own chants when we’re in the middle of a spell.
Sometimes I just feel compelled to do a little Lady Gaga-inspired dance. Usually when we’re trying to communicate with the spirit world. They love lady gaga, and so does the spirit world.
Mallory: I see.
Ben: No, they don’t. They say she’s a hack. A Lady Gaga song is actually the only way to get spirits to leave you alone. I would do it more, but I care about my reputation. And I respect myself.
KW: My coven says, Kerry, Can you do that later, or you stepped on the candle and now we have to do the spell over again and it takes 3 hours, you’re inconsiderate and if you’re not going to take this seriously and bring the donuts we asked for to the potluck please stay home we don’t like your protein bar coffee ground meatballs, or don’t dance into that open grave, your shoe’s on fire. Stuff like that. I’m too creative, so I guess I’m working on that. And maybe, like, too connected to the spirit world.
Mallory: Sounds like you might need to find a new coven.
KW [angry; offended] They’re my sisters.You can’t just get new sisters, even if they ask you to.
Mallory: Let’s move on to some practical questions. Let’s say your target lives in an apartment with two roommates. As far as we know, the window is locked, the fire escape is rusted together, and there are no trees to help you up or to hide you from view. The target is a 43-year-old female with sleep apnea, meaning she wakes up intermittently.
KW: I’d cast a spell to help her sleep deeply--classic, simple self-care spell--and let the apnea kill her.
Mallory: All right. I think we’d like to move forward with your application. [papers rustling] Can you kill this 14-year-old boy who won’t stop sticking gum everywhere? Ben can help you with the paperwork. He’s human and posthumous resources. Get it? No. OK.
Mal: Believe it or not, the conversation actually got worse after that. Not that I regret my decision, but usually after you make someone a job offer, they don’t cross-examine you. Several spiritual advisers were called in and I didn’t go home until 4 AM. I redacted most of the recording because it was long, repetitive, and also humiliating. It was also a lot of screaming and pointing at me, not easy on the ears for you, listeners. Apparently I don’t just frighten astrologists, but also numerologists, shamans, and dulas. Kill Witch doesn’t have children, but she has a doula who coaches her through small tasks, like going to CVS or making a TV dinner. Kill Witch just kept agreeing with them, “Yes, I see Beelzebub in her eyes, buuut I need a job.” A few of them got down on their knees and begged that she practice her calling elsewhere. All of them gave me a wide berth and wouldn’t look directly at me. One made a big show of shuddering and convulsing . She laid on the floor and yelled that she needed flamin’ hot cheetos and a black coffee--the way harry potter needs chocolate after a dementor attack. One of them accused Kill Witch of prostituting her god-given skills. Kill witch just said she was bringing together the oldest and second oldest profession under her star signs. Spiritual people have a lot of respect for old stuff, like age creates credibility. Anyway, I’ll be up late thinking about that maybe until I’m so old I’m credible. Here’s the second interview.
Mallory Ok, Rebecca. You go by Crystal Murderer. That seems very niche. Can you tell me about that?
Crystal Murderer: I failed my certification as a crystal healer.
Mal: I didn’t realize that was possible.
CM: Six times. That could only mean that I’m a crystal murderer. They’re very rare.
Mal: My mom took one of those exams. The first question is what is a crystal?
CM: Have you ever tried to write 200 words and answer 5 true or false questions in an hour? I’m also a vampire killer. The killing blood runs strong in me. And a notary. I didn’t fail the notary test. That one requires you to have a signature. I didn’t freeze up on the third try.
Mal: Have you ever met a vampire?
CK: Not yet, but I hope to someday. So I can kill them.
Mal: That’s how I feel about my great grandpas.
A note for all of you at home, Crystal Murderer just showed me the inside of her coat, and she is NOT getting through security at the courthouse. So, crystal murderer. That means you murder crystals?
CM:. I mean, sometimes they crumble to dust. That’s usually because someone sold me dried liquid soap again instead of a crystal. You have to be careful with etsy. But sometimes the crystals crumble because of my powers. You can’t really kill crystals because they’re pure life. My name means that I use crystals to kill.
Mal: Cool. That’s semantically confusing, but catchy. And, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think life is the only thing you can kill.
CM: You can kill someone’s spirit, joy, motivation. I could go on. I specialize in doing that, too.
Mallory: Fair point. Can you tell me, without being tedious, or calling any spiritual advisers, how being a crystal murderer works, functionally. From how far away, at what speed, any other details that can help paint a picture of your abilities?
CM: Don’t worry. No spiritual advisers will take me on because I’m a hopeless case. And my credit card always declines. [whispers] I rubbed it with crystals. [stops whispering]. For me, the crystal does the exact opposite of what it’s supposed to. Instead of finding love, someone might be celibate for years or lose the only cat who ever sat in their lap. Instead of promoting good health, they might get herpes from a used jacuzzi and die of a related infection.
Mal: That never happened!
CM: Little pustules everywhere.
Mal: (recomposes herself) and how do you distribute the crystals?
CM: I give people crystals as birthday gifts, shower gifts, engaged to my ex gifts, congrats on passing your crystal healer exam, mom gifts. They’re great gifts for so many occasions. So small, no one ever feels obligated. Here’s a thanks for interviewing me gift.
Ma: Oh, um, my pockets are already full.
CM: I also lace the crystals with cyanide or common allergens, like scorpion venom.
Mal: Should I be worried about this crystal you clipped to your application?
CM: Lemme see [lips smacking lightly] [pause]
It’s either scorpion venom or the Hudson/east river CD. You can wash your hands, but it probably won’t help you. Let me know if you have any weird dreams tonight?
I had to hire someone that stealthy. And I did have very strange dreams. I think I might still be in one now. Ben is talking to a pokemon that looks like koffing merged with my grandma? Does that make me half pokemon?
Ben: A quarter pokemon.
Mal: Is that an evolution of Evie? Ben wanted to know how I felt being the only one without a supernatural talent. I asked him how he felt about being the only one with diabetes.
As an industry, assasination companies are approaching the legal quota for the set 6-month period, and it’s only December.
Ben: The legislation passed in November.
Mallory: Yes, Ben, stop reminding me. And we moved fast. Just not as fast as big box companies with huge budgets and backers. Our home-spun murder business needs its chance, and it will get it.
Legal murder--as state representatives remind us on instragram every day--is an experiment with an expiration date.
Ben: It’s coming up fast.
Mal: Stop interrupting me. We want to get our perfectly legal, potentially bad and discountable data in before the buzzer. It’s time to move forward with some of these...incredibly dubious requests. Like this one for a priest whose homilies are too long, or a friend who instagrams her workouts, well, that’s legit, A 4-year-old who, quote, “can’t get her act together” and a bodega cashier who charges more for a half gallon of milk than a gallon.
But, hey, we’re in a dubious business. Thanks for sticking on this wild bureaucratic journey with us.
Ben: Until next time!
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