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.
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Sam Barbaro is a writer for the Fearsome Morning Podcast and Assassin.ly.