Assasin.ly: Because it’s not cheating if you’re a widow
Mallory: Hello. I guess Grandma can hear recorded audio because she keeps asking me who Ben is. At least, she’s sending me the word “Ben” in the middle of a bunch of emojis. Some of these texts are kind of upsetting in a gendered way, like a baby and a wedding dress, and others are just confusing, like a Christmas tree and a bunch of lobsters. I don’t know what kind of existential crisis you’re trying to induce this time, Grandma, but this one won’t end in me crashing your car for the insurance money.
Let’s cover the invasive, unimportant questions first, and find someone to translate the cryptic seafood symbols later. Is Ben my boyfriend? Will we be giving her mediocre great grandchildren soon? Is he coming for Christmas and bringing lobster? No, Grandma, and I promise that mediocre would be wishful thinking. Since you’re old and my chief investor, I’ll give you a pass on making assumptions about our sexualities, even though I came out to you 18 times in the past 4 years. That’s right--every Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and sometimes Administrative Professionals’ day. It’s a hard thing to tell you, and it’s even harder that you don’t remember.
Fortunately, this conversation where I answer emoji-based questions about my relationship status isn’t even a detour. I have to disclose all my personnel files to the public. Some companies are terrified of this level of transparency, but I think it’s our chance to shine, and to let everyone know how and why we hire the best people. Some of these people already have huge fan pages, like that guy who trained from the age of 10 to become a Naruto-style ninja. He has a leaf symbol burned into his forehead. The headband he got from Hot Topic stuck to his head and he didn’t take it off for 2 years. His tan lines are incredible. He can actually travel by jumping from tree to tree. He has the citations to prove it. He fell on a lot of people. Too bad Manhattan doesn’t have very many trees. I guess all his victims would have to be in Central Park.
Ben isn’t that cool. Sorry, I mean, he’s just uncool in the conventional sense, but now the nerds are cool, right? So, why would I hire Ben as my executive assistant-slash-landlord? Let’s see...
I can vouch for Ben. And not just because I’m sitting in his mom’s basement right now. I’ve known him since elementary school. At least, that’s what he told me. I’m not accountable since I spent most of elementary school in a drunken rage. Sure, maybe he likes ferrets a little more than most people are comfortable with, but he’s a good dude. He’s better than those guys who are into feet. He’s not into feet. Right, Ben?
He spends a lot of time talking and thinking about things no one is interested in. I think that’s hard for him, but probably harder for the people around him. We went out for coffee this morning and all he wanted to talk about was aquarium maintenance. Not even real aquarium maintenance. Fishbowl maintenance I literally said can we change the subject fourteen times. I’m an assertive lady and not scared of making bold moves in conversation. He talked about algae and whether his goldfish Toots was dead or just sleeping for 90 minutes. That’s 45 times longer than Toots’ memory.
Ben: When I was little, I read Matilda. I felt this recognition. This camaraderie. Not because I had the same, um, parental experience. My dad wasn’t as cool as Danny DeVito--I assume. I was never intimidated by chocolate cake. It wasn’t even that I liked to read as a kid. I just thought I could probably move chalk with my mind. They never use the P word, but you know that’s what she is. Psychic.
It took a while, but I can move things with my thoughts. Like a really tiny bit. I usually need help from a breeze, but once there’s a good wind and if the object is light enough, no one can stop me!
Becoming a psychic just seemed so attainable for me. I got a 1000 on my SAT. I can do anything I put my mind to.
Mallory: There are real psychics. But Ben isn’t one. Whenever I pass a psychic on the street, they yell You’ll be alone forever and your mom shouldn’t have invested in Beanie Babies, why did you let her. I was 9, Jesus. They usually go back inside, or give me a wide berth, and refuse to take my money, which I see as a reverent offering. I just give off really strong vibes to psychics, like my fate is made of iron. Or it’s toxic to them. They tell me that my star sign disowned me. I was disowned by cancer. Can you imagine being disowned by cancer? I hope that means I’m immune.
Never once has Ben mentioned Beanie Babies or my eternal loneliness. And he knows that all twelve cats I’ve gotten from the Humane Society have escaped through the vents, drainpipes, or, in 3 cases, an empty pizza box brought down to the recycling room.
Ben: Fine, I am technically a psychic. I worked at it for years and years, but it turns out I’m not the kind I wanted to be. I can see and speak to dead people. It was soul-crushing when I realized it.
I was hanging out in a graveyard, like I usually do, trying to move flowers, rocks, and American flags with my mind. I realized that graveyards aren’t usually filled with people gliding around and asking you questions. I’m a New Yorker--I ignore people when they try to talk to me, especially if they’re on hoverboards. Those things can explode, and if someone fell off I’d have to call an ambulance and talk to someone on the phone. And this is a graveyard, show some respect! Here I thought these people were treating it like some skate park to do 19-th century cosplay, or Brooklyners having an ironic steampunk festival, and...yes, some of them were, but most of them were in fact dead. I’d cultivated the wrong type of psychic ability.
Can you feel the deep, painful irony of being able to speak to the dead but not being able to make people dead? Sure, I could cash in and become a TV psychic, or stay on retainer with some rich family and use my powers to ask dead grandpa or Andrew Carnegie for financial advice--Andrew Carnegie, incidentally, hangs out around Carnegie Hall. He really loves Midtown--or use the dead’s testimony to prove art isn’t stolen, but that’s not my dream. I want to be an assassin.
The problem with dead people is that they’re just as annoying as they were when they were alive. Everyone thinks you get all enlightened when you cross over. Being able to watch the people you used to be close to actually makes you pettier. It gives you more choices to judge. You see all the different reasons people spend way too much time in the bathroom--constipation, toilet shopping, using Pepto Bismol as salad dressing, eating a bag of uncooked Parker House rolls--and you just lose all compassion. You can’t make any more bad decisions when you’re dead, so of course you’d assume you wouldn’t add frozen SPAM chunks to your acai smoothie. Even when previous evidence suggests otherwise, Aunt Helen.
My grandma, who passed away 8 years ago, is always going on about her estate sale that was actually just the credit card companies sending an repo gentleman to recoup some of their “investment.” According to her, the day we put all her Christmas snowmen in a dumpster was the day we took a dump on Christmas and her heart. She thinks she’s being clever and won’t stop saying it until I laugh.
She’s upset that we responsibly recycled her collection of classic Sprite bottles. Coke bottles were too expensive and “vulgar.” She says we could have at least brought them to Central Park and thrown them at the rocks one by one while shouting her name and looking sad. She made fun of my grandfather for having a stroke. She said he looked undignified and she told him all along he should have smoked Virginia Slims like she did. Those were the only cigarettes that wouldn’t give you a stroke. Ladies don’t have strokes.
Great Grandpa’s financial advice? He says he’ll connect you to some moonshiners he knows -- they’re dead, too. Dead Uncle Larry can connect you to one of those guys who brings his camcorder to the movie theater.
I was planning to live this life of tragic, anticipatory remorse for all the people I’d killed untraceably. I’d say to Mallory, why, why am I allowed to play God? Why do I wield this power? And she’d say, tears misting her eyes, you’re the only one responsible enough. And I’d know it was true.
I’d watch movies and read books, like PsyDog, or Cop Dog 2: Psychic BowWow. To try and understand myself. But in reality, the only person who’d be able to understand me is me. I know--profound. Still rivers run deep--especially rivers that live in the basement.
Mallory: I keep Ben around because he’s even sadder than me. And all my equipment is in his mom’s basement. And he’s surprisingly good at admin stuff. I’m more of a big ideas girl. Also, all my cats left me and I’m lonely. I know it’s not personal but it hurts.
One night, my roommates kicked me out saying they didn’t even know me anymore, and that I was morally and ethically bankrupt. I was actually financially bankrupt, so this wasn’t ideal. I stood my ground and said they were just intimidated by a strong woman.
I stayed with Ben for a couple of nights. He let me sleep on the carpeted part of his floor. Well, it’s either carpet or a place where multicolor moss has grown and melded with the floor. The light never really gets bright enough down here for me to tell. I put down a Trader Joe’s bag and an old refrigerator door. It was fine. Well, it wasn’t fine. He has sleep apnea. At first I thought the house was being demolished above us. My life was a shambles, so I made peace with being buried alive pretty quickly.
Apnea can be kind of soothing in an erratic way, like that sound you hear when getting an MRI. Almost like a Rorschach test for the ears. 8-10 hours of an oral Rorschach test in total darkness. What do you hear? I bet it’s different for everyone. I hear a car crashing into an avalanche and all my cats screaming for me, telling me that I’m the problem. Hmm.
Like Haley Joel Osment, Ben sees dead people. He prefers to ignore them, says they’re stagnant. It comes with the territory of studying to become a registered psychic. Most dead people don’t know what Bluetooth headphones are. They just think he’s an idiot wearing earmuffs in his house. Dead people judge others, like, real hard for what they do in private behind closed doors. They look so close. Get up near your privates and point and jeer and criticize. That’s why Ben is celibate. Partially why.
Dead people are critics with no potential to create new work. I’m sure they don’t like strong women like me. That’s why, when I ask Ben why he paused and what they’re saying, he says don’t worry about it. They’re probably critical of my bold, somewhat divisive choices. And maybe that I’m wearing jeans buttoned with a safety pin.
Ben: It’s actually the same three ghosts showing me a mole or a lump and asking me if they should be concerned. I say it looks fine. Maybe it’ll turn into some kind of ghost cancer someday. I know that’s not how they died because they tell me all about their deaths like it’s their wedding day. They maybe embellish a little: Barack Obama, sitting president, drove to Holmdel, New Jersey to thank someone for their service? As an animal control officer? Frank swears on his life, but what’s that worth?
Mallory: I don’t remember elementary school because there was a zoning error when my parents went to enroll me. It involved crossing three boroughs. They couldn’t fix it because it involved 3 separate districts, and the Board of Education couldn’t figure out the paperwork. We stayed in an iron cubicle with a paperwork specialist for 4 hours and she said the error had to stand because the forms contradicted each other. She kept crossing and uncrossing her eyes, pulling the paper farther and closer away like she was trying to see a magic eye. At one point she pulled out a thermometer and tried to balance it on her finger.
In the end, I had to take the BSQ 117 at 4:30 AM to get to school. That’s a rare bus that runs from Brooklyn to Staten Island and then somehow straight to Queens. It only runs every 3 hours and it’s not actually listed on any transit schedule. It’s mostly word of mouth, or, on page 7 of the local Russian newspaper next to ads for massage therapy. And it always showed up in a cloud of either fog or cigar smoke, whether it was a clear day or not.
There was a woman named Greta I saw every day. She always said she was going to the courthouse. I was never sure which courthouse, because she got on before me and got off after me somehow. Her clothes were stained in such a way that she could have been a beleaguered public defender, or someone with a trunk full of parking tickets and a perpetual boot on her car, going in to fight the system. I never asked. She never asked me about myself, even though I was a 7-year-old on a public bus alone crossing 3 boroughs before the sun came out. I guess the Barbie backpack with a pepper spray keychain was self-explanatory.
Greta always had something spicy in a paper bag to share with me. She’d take a slug, I’d take a slug. It takes a local bus 35 minutes to go a mile. We were in it for the long haul. Sometimes the bus driver would hand us a beer with a chipped cap and the label ripped off. After the first week, I learned to carry a bottle opener. Clipped it right next to my pepper spray.
New York One did a story about me. I didn’t know they were doing it, but I guess that’s why someone was pointing a video camera at me on my morning commute one day. I just thought it was a regular day--someone pretending that they’re putting together a documentary exposing exactly how many butts and thighs sweat onto those fabric bus seats every day. My pants were usually soaked from knee to hip. I was an early sweater. Anyway, the story was 72 seconds long and it was called “A Child Without a District.” It came after a story about a burst sewer drain in Gowanus that no one noticed for six years because the Gowanus is naturally sewage. My grandma taped it and said, “look at this kid. She’s so sad. Isn’t that sad? Doesn’t she go to your school?”
You know, my roommates had stickers made that said “Strong Women Don’t Murder People, Also, Please Stop Mixing Up the Recycling.” I said what about She-Ra, Molly Weasley, or Laura Bush? I want to have this dialogue about double standards. Strong men murdered people all over the pace. Ulysses S. Grant, Captain Picard, the Quaker Oats guy. No one’s boycotting their apps.
I’m an entrepreneur who failed out of business school, or never got into business school, just like Bill Gates and Albert Einstein. It’s a little bit romantic what I’m doing for women. Kinda makes me tear up a little.
Since I gave out those flyers, I’ve gotten a few emails. Most of them telling me what a horrible person I am. You gotta have thick skin....it’s just, some of them are so accurate. Yup, my dad did say that when he left, and, sure, I didn’t have any friends in middle school, and my grandpa did pick a sandwich over me. Oof, you gotta just move on and make your own way.
A lot of people made fun of my nose ring and my hair. Those are the perils of being a female CEO--you get picked apart for your appearance. I’m an individual and I can’t figure out how to take my nose ring out. I have other skills.
We have some weird requests coming through. Um, these are not supported. Someone is asking us to destroy evidence, steal a car for insurance money—is that you, Grandma?--pick up milk from the grocery store.
Let’s see...we got an inquiry asking Ben to help them find some keys. Hey, Ben!
Ben: Ghosts won’t help you find keys. They say “just walk through the door you nincompoop.” They think because they figured it out everyone else is stupid.
Mallory: We hate ghosts. Hmmm...
There are a couple of legitimate requests from people who managed to get through the paperwork. Oh, wow. There are a few of them. Ben just sent over a few more. We’re the lowest prices in town if you don’t factor in people standing on their stoops waving around machetes. Don’t go with them--that’s like going to the dollar store for your wedding. You deserve better. Obviously I can’t reveal details because if the targeted person finds out you filed assassination paperwork on them, the whole thing is off. By the way, sorry, Aunt Denise. I’m sorry to everyone in the family who ever wanted a pig in a blanket. Really. But, hey, you can try again in a few years, or just buy a lot of pigs in a blanket and see where that goes. We’re moving on--moving forward. And I’ve got some paperwork to do. Until next time!
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Mallory: You’re here. You voted for state-regulated assassination. Or you stayed home and didn’t vote, but maybe you’re ready to take advantage--
Ben: Stop making this political! Besides, the election is over.
Mallory: I was just giving some context.
Ben: Switch gears!
Mallory: Is there someone in your family like my great, great uncle Teddy? He showers once a week and uses air freshener in between.
Ben: There was pee smell. I smelled it from outside his car when he came here to drop off his dead wife’s set of collectible Welch’s jelly jars.
Mallory: If only it was just a pee smell. Could you enjoy Christmas ham while he tells dirty jokes and is dirty? And he’s young for a great, great uncle! He’s not going any time soon.
Ben: Do you think he ever learned to do laundry?
Mallory: Do you have a great, great uncle Teddy? Assassinate him before he ruins another holiday that’s already bad.
Or, what about my cousin’s step dad, Jeff? Jeff thought he could eat for free because his stepson worked at chili’s. There’s no such thing as a free jalapeno popper. Especially not a step jalapeno popper.
What about my uncle Robert? He bet the money he and aunt Claire had been saving for years for a weekend trip to the Poconos on an episode of the property brothers.
Ben: Most episodes of property brothers do not include a TKO. He wanted a specific property brother to beat the other property brother
Mallory: They have names?
Ben: And the couple to not buy a house.
Mallory: I thought the second brother was CGI.
What about Grandpa Carl who keeps trying to out his grandson as a cannibal? He’s all, I found an arm in your room. Where are the arms coming from? Stop breaking into mausoleums, grandpa Carl! And stop putting your “treasures” in your grandson’s Lego box!
Ben: Mausoleums have very lax security.
Mallory: He likes them because you don’t have to dig. You just get cursed every time you enter one.
Ben: you’ve been cursed once, you’ve been cursed a hundred times.
Mallory: He opens the casket with a crowbar. His garage is filled with crowbars. When I was a kid, he’d carry one around the neighborhood and just show me how he could open people’s trunks with them. We found two kidnapping victims that way. One of them was alive.
Ben: and the other was and is very indignant. Wait, quick! Tell them what it’s about! You’re way off track!
Mallory: We kill people.
Ben: They already know that. We’re running out of time! Sell it!
Mallory: Assassin.ly! Because hiring us is less emotional work than having an honest conversation with someone who has upset you.
Ben: What would your family be like without those people?
Mallory: It would just be a collection of Hummels.
Hello! Here is the transcript for Assassin.ly episode 1. Listen to an audio version here (spotify link).
Mallory: Welcome to our launch party! Mallory here at the Diogenes Playground in Astoria. Diogenes, Di-o-gen-es, is that right? We’re asking kids to say that? Like, hey, Rayden, do you want to come with me and my mom to the Diogenes Playground? Want to hang out in a barrel? Setting them up for failure in more than one way, Queens.
We paid the city $50 to reserve this playground, with its rusted monkey bars with the missing link and swings that are like diapers so only babies can fit into them. Want to enjoy the best part of the playground and you’re over 2? Too bad. I emailed the Parks Department’s Division of Toddler Recreation, which manages playgrounds, one ball pit in the Bronx that’s been the site of 14 coxsackie outbreaks this year, and the city’s 531 grassy patches between 6 and 14 square feet. The ball pit, while a public health hazard, is also technically a historic landmark. I told them we’re reserving the playground to have a birthday party for my daughter, Khaleesi.
I looked it up on the Queens municipal website and you do have to have a kid under 10 to reserve a playground. Government, huh? But just like the with DMV, NASA, or Edible Arrangements, there are plenty of hacks on the internet. NYC doesn’t want to stop undocumented kids from having playground birthday parties, so they don’t ask for identification. People in Brooklyn lie and say they have kids all the time. Then 200 people show up to a flash gallery opening or a cat birthday party at a playground with a compost barrel full of bathroom tequila. Do you know how many worms that is? The next day, little kids have to step around guys in suits, glass shards, and pools of vomit. It’s like a normal day at We Work, or a tame morning at Trader Joe’s. I think once you move to Brooklyn, it’s impossible to feel shame. Or to be unstylish.
Anyway, this is the venue that I, female CEO and founder of assassin.ly chose. I think it bodes well that a launch for a company that kills people for cash is less traumatic for the neighborhood than a bunch of 30-somethings having a good time in WIlliamsburg. My other option was a large all-gender restroom at Queensborough Community College. You definitely can’t menace people away from there. Legally, some of them have squatter’s rights, and the rest is now officialyl campus housing. You, can, however, try to lure them out and then lock the door. The trail of airplane bottles and Arizona iced teas didn’t work. Someone told me the administration tries the same thing a few times a month. Great minds.
That’s why we’re gathered today enjoying a pull-apart cake made of pushed-together Entenmann’s donuts--I solidified the sugar with a lighter. Happy birthday, Khaleesi, wherever you are. You are technically under 10, because you do not exist...yet. Mommy’s trying to run a business, and she’s been so busy she hasn’t even seen season 6 yet.
If you come by Diogenes Playground in the next 14 minutes to 2 hours, this is, indeed, a launch party for our new app and service, Assassinly, trademark pending. App also pending. Employees, um, besides Ben also pending. But here we are trucking through, moving fast, ducking under slightly broken, definitely rickety, possibly tetanus-infested jungle gyms, and going way too high on swings we are far too large for. That’s just how we roll. We get shit done. We take calculated risks and get RESULTS.
We are, as an assassination company, LLC, uh, pending, obligated to record our proceedings for our shareholders, and release them to the public. I don’t know if this is a proceeding but I do know that I’m lonely, and listening to my own voice helps. Knowing someone might hear me--even though grandma claims she can’t hear audio recordings anymore--is almost like talking to someone. I hope this works and that my phone is on, and that this app on my phone is better than the assassin.ly app my cousin designed, otherwise we are maybe sort of breaking the law, I think. Hopefully there’s a grace period. I didn’t read that far into the legislation, but there’s probably a grace period.
I asked grandma why she couldn’t hear my audio recordings but could hear Chicago Fire. I must have sounded like an audio recording, because she didn’t answer.
Welcome to legal murder. We hope you’re thrilled and also shocked. The government certainly was on election day. If you enjoy living on the edge, in a constant state of low-grade fear and suspicion, this world’s for you. That’s how I expect people who like video games are. Why else would you pretend to be a taxi driver?
Me? I don’t care what the business proposition is: I adapt and I knock it out of the--currently very tiny--children’s park. That’s what real feminists do: they pave the way. Maybe one of them could pave this park someday.
This is a stealth party--it looks like a birthday party for a kid who is not here, but it’s actually a launch party for an app that isn’t available in the app store yet. What are we doing? Why are we doing this? We’re already proving that we’ve mastered stealth and subterfuge by having a party undetected in broad daylight.
And, so far, it’s well-attended. We’ve got some moms, a smattering of dads, some people who may not have children but they brought their own drinks! People are laughing, crying, dropping their cookies and throwing a tantrum--we had to kick that guy out--most are staring into space, which is actually what 80% of people focus on during a party: not making eye contact. Technically, we can throw these kids out, though the city discourages it, and I think they help our numbers for reporting to our shareholders later. I’m unclear on whether a toddler counts as a full person, but I’m optimistic.
Honestly, it’s November and 41 degrees. We didn’t even think we needed a permit. But I guess there’s nothing indoors to do with your toddler in Queens. You can only film them eating Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and bursting into tears so many times before child services shows up.
Speaking of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, what other launch party snacks do we have? I got Arizona iced tea--individual cans, very classy--because it was on sale for just 99 cents, and the people at Queensborough Community College didn’t take the bait. Their loss. I got bagel bites from the Duane Reade. They didn’t have a microwave, so…it really shouldn’t be more than a few hours before they thaw, especially if you stick them in your pocket or put them on your tongue after you go overboard with the Flamin' Hot Cheetos. Cool yourself down and keep going. Though we are BYO-Cheetos at the moment. The vending machine just had the one.
Ben and I are handing out promotional fliers that he printed off his frustratingly slow home printer that somehow manages to shoot paper very accurately at your torso. Our introductory pricing is 99.7% off our standard price of $1500 per murder. Pregnant women cost extra, as do people with more than 2 flights of stairs in their home. The discounted price is just $5 plus taxes and fees.
Some places do it for free. I don’t trust them. We kill for you. If we do it for ourselves, we’re sociopaths. But for you, it’s business. That makes it ethical. A creative outlet and maybe even a social good, but first and foremost a business.
On the fence about getting approval? We can help with that.
My aunt Denise is having my uncle Gerald assassinated. He doesn’t wash his hands after he goes to the bathroom. How many people have gotten pinkeye because of him? He’s a health hazard. He also eats all the pigs in a blanket at every party. That’s the best appetizer. You buy a box of assorted JUST for the pigs in the blanket. Everyone knows this. You didn’t want those potato puffs that blister the roof of your mouth. Spanakopita? Greece is the number one exporter of Spanakopita because they don’t want it in their country.
Anyway, when the apps come out of the oven, Uncle Gerald and his unwashed hands make a beeline for the pan. He doesn’t even wait for a plate! And he takes, like, 5 pigs in a blanket. Using his fingers. I didn’t even get to try one until I was 23. Uncle Gerald was kneecapped by some bookies that year, so he was a little slower. I told him not to bet against the American Kennel Club.
He claims pigs in a blanket are the only thing he’ll eat. It’s not true. I’ve seen him defile the chips and dip. He double dips, and not in a regular gross way. He dips a handful of chips all fanned out so he can get maximum dip, like the Edward Scissorhands of sour cream and onion. He gets flecks in the bowl and sometimes he leaves a few stragglers behind. He takes a bite off the top, decapitating most of the chips, and then does it again. Everyone just leaves the appetizer table at that point, so he thinks he’s the only person who likes chips and dip.
One time, we set up a special Uncle Gerald chips and dip table 4 feet from the regular snack table. It didn’t work. He just stood with his arms and legs really wide and double fisted. There was a puddle of crumbs and French Onion dip on Aunt Marie’s floor right where he stood between the tables. Do you know what that does? If forms kind of a superglue situation and you physically can’t clean it off your floor, no matter what you try: windex, a grout scraper, Uncle Mike’s hunting rifle. It’s still there, a monument to Uncle Gerald’s crimes against snack foods and his family. Aunt Marie can’t sell her house.
Uncle Gerald is a ruiner, and we’ve had to stand by and watch him ruin for years. I’m glad Aunt Denise is taking matters into her own hands. It’s responsible. It’s proactive.
I mean, I guess she could have divorced him, especially after we found out he was selling photos of grandma and, um, some of her garments through a secret ebay account. But they’ve had dozens of cats together over the years. Do you know how many albums of cat photos that is? I do because when I was 12 my parents asked me to move out for 6 months to figure out if I was the problem--I was--and Aunt Denise and uncle Gerald refuse to pay for cable. Because It’s a scam.
How could Aunt Denise feel whole after having to give away a single photo of one-eyed Pook or two-eyed Pook?
For those of you who don’t follow Aunt Denise on instagram, mom, One-eyed pook and two-eyed pook are actually 2 different cats who did not overlap AT ALL. Aunt Denise believes that 2-eyed pook was the reincarnation of one-eyed Pook, reborn and made whole, with both eyes. They kept the name for consistency and easy alphabetizing.
Anyway, Aunt Denise is going with MurderFi--it’s a conflict of interest. But, good for her. She’s making moves, ensuring that the rest of her family gets a fair shot at the hors d'oeuvres for once. Is someone in your family a ruiner?
We are female-operated and invested. My grandma is our chief--and as of this recording--sole investor. Thanks for nothing, mom, Aunt Linda, Cousin Michelle, and my mail carrier who filed that restraining order. I now have to leave my home in order to receive mail. Mom, you were fine investing in that pyramid scheme that sold guinea pig bonnets, but not an actual human who wants to make the world a better place.
Thank you, grandma. I know what it took for you to mortgage your timeshare in Mastic and your Wizard of Oz props. Dorothy’s left heel, the melted witch. I remember you talking about them every single time I came over. A different story every time of how you got them and, sometimes, what they were. Was it a flying monkey tail or Toto’s hairpiece? Most of your grandkids are glad they’re gone, but I understand.
Grandma was an assassin back in the 40s--the first time it was legal. I want to do her proud and I believe she wants her retirement back. Of course, she’s mostly doing this because I found out she gave my brother his car. The one he said he bought with his own money from stealing construction supplies and selling it to HGTV.
I’m sure you’re already into our fun, underground nature. But, why else should you go with assassin.ly over some of the bigger, more together, corporate, efficient, secure options? Well, we’re asking ourselves that. And we still haven’t really decided. We’re a young, female-owned company in the process of finding ourselves...hopefully somewhere that’s not a playground in suburban queens. I’m enjoying this. I swear, grandma, it’s our moment. It’s the best moment we’ve had so far. But I’m cold. A new, independent, female-owned business that specializes in murdering people and doesn't shoo small children from a playground because it boosts our numbers. Unpack those ethics!
Hey! Get away from those bagel bites!
Anyway, the focus is on you, the customer, because we don’t have time to focus on ourselves. Or we’re overly focused on you because we don’t want to figure out our own identity. It’s like a really unhealthy relationship, but one that you benefit from. Think of this as a deeply personal experience, partially because we don’t have an app yet and because cousin Brendan, who will definitely finish making the app once he passes his phys-ed final, doesn’t know how to program the part where we can accept your request without calling you on the phone.
A flier for you, and a flier for you. [paper crinkling] This is a good deal. Give these to your mommy. Go, on, She has 3 of you. I bet she regrets that.
Who’s here? Well, grandma couldn’t make it. She really wanted to come but said she didn’t want to disappoint her podiatrist. I sent out a Facebook invite and so did Ben. If anyone we did know was here they’ve been hiding under the slide for the past hour, or they put their portion of bagel bites in a paper bag and left.
Parent: Excuse me. Are you handing these out to children?
Malory: We actually reserved this playground. And they’re capable of making their own choices. Haven’t you read that book by that lady?
Parent: Get out. We don’t want you here.
Mallory: We’re here to murder, whether you want us here or not. And there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women.
Parent: I don’t have time for this. Get away from our children. No one wants to be part of this ugly party.
Mallory: Oh, yeah? If you’re not part of this, then why are you drinking one of our Arizona iced teas?
Parent: I...I brought this from home. You’re a monster.
Mallory: Step away from the bagel bites. Don’t. You. Dare. HEY! I said step away.
Parent: Ow! They’re frozen!
Mallory: Ben, put these back in the box. Excuse me while I deal with this. [clears throat] I believe this counts as the end of our proceeding. As I speak, moms, dads, and other unspecified guardians are tearing up our fliers--as confetti to honor us, I’m sure. toddlers are rising up from the sandbox like zombies and sticking their fists, which have recently been on the ground and probably much worse places like a sidewalk urinal, in our meticulously arranged entenmann’s cake. Frozen pizza bagels are being used as projectiles, possibly out of a failure to control joy.
For the sake of honesty, It’s unclear how much is success and how much is raw anger and feelings of betrayal. I think, when I look at my pizza bagel welts later, it might be hard to believe these come from joy. But I know what story I’ll tell. It’s what I believe in my heart, so it’s probably true. When are feelings ever wrong or misleading? Until next time!
Assassinly is sponsored by Murderclean. Murderclean: Queens’ only murder cleanup service. It’s so niche our name doesn’t have to be creative. Murderclean, we took out an ad in the phonebook.
Assassinly is written by me, Sam Barbaro. The voice of Mallory is Gemma Barbaro. Having the same last name is purely coincidental. I don’t even know her.