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Washed Hands, Inc.

  Greetings, applicant. You have been selected for the next phase of Washed Hands, Inc.’s highly competitive career program. First, congratulate yourself – you’ve proven to have a good resume, reasonable people skills, and either have tremendously positive references or a network of good liars willing to pretend you aren’t a scoundrel.

  Alright, stop congratulating yourself. You look like an ass.

  This part of the application consists of two parts. First, read the transcript of one of our best officers below. You may wish to take notes. The second part will be a short quiz regarding aspects of the transaction in place. You may refer back to this transcript at any time.

• • • • •

  [Door opening]

  Hello, there, Mr. Robinson.

  [Male voice, agitated]

  Oh, there’s no need for the phone. Relax. Besides, I’ve jammed your cell phone. Well, ‘jammed’ is perhaps the wrong word. ‘Dropped into the garbage disposal’ is more accurate.

  [Male voice, agitated]

  Well, to answer your first question, so you won’t call the cops. I would have figured that you would have put that much together. Clearly I’ve put too much faith in your intelligence. Just like Abigail. And speaking of Abigail, let me answer the second question with this.

  [Male voice, confused]

  It’s your apartment key. Jesus, you’re terrible at this.

  [Male voice, yelling]

  Oh, no, don’t worry about that. Abigail is in no danger. But your hilarious attempt at machismo is pretty much the reason I’m here. Abigail, or Abby as she now prefers to be called by everyone except for you, has contacted my company to officially break up with you. Here’s my card.

For Visual Reference Only
For Visual Reference Only

  See, in this day and age, people tend to get romantically involved with a wide variety of human beings who are, if we’re being generous, a few dozen crayons short of a box of ten. And, from the information that Abby has supplied us with, you are a member of what are affectionately known in the business as “batshit crazy fuckers” or BCFs, for short.

  [Male voice, questioning]

  That means you’re fucking crazy, not that you fuck crazy people. I met Abby. She’s far from mentally unbalanced.

  [Male voice, sarcastic]

  Well, how was I supposed to know that you would understand that? You didn’t get the phone or the key thing. Look, we’re getting sidetracked and I have a date with my Guild to run a dungeon. Abby selected the premium package, so we have some information to go over.

  [Scrape of a wooden chair being occupied]

  First off, it’s not Abby, it’s you. You are, in her words, a “tremendously defective person, prone to fits of anger and stupidity so profound as to deny logic.” The company took the steps of attempting to provide materials for your defense in this matter and... well, it doesn’t look good. Evidence of your bank account and credit history alone bear her accusations out. Particularly egregious examples include your purchase of a $10,000 boat on credit, your gambling debts, and your Bradford Exchange collection.

  [Male voice, incredulous]

  Because you live in Tucson, Arizona, gambling is for people who hate having money and anyone who owns that many pewter figurines of angels is either a serial killer or eighty years old.

  Abby stated a myriad of reasons as to forcing this action. However, time and sanity dictate that the two-and-a-half reams of paper it consumed would be condensed into the four main things you should work on before you should consider dating anyone else, let alone be in the presence of another human being. Here’s your copy and a pen if you need to make any notes. I will be going over this with you to ensure that you have been made aware of these provisions. Don’t worry, it’s all part of the service. “Make ‘em understand,” that’s our motto. Well, actually our motto is “Someone has to do it,” but the understand bit is my own credo.

  Starting with the fourth and technically not as egregious but still pretty terrible facet of your personality: your general laziness. No, this is not referring to your workout routine, bro. This is referring to how you treat other people – specifically, women. It says here that after the initial phase of courtship, you became “shiftless and redoubtable in your sloth” – that’s a direct quote, mind you.

  [Derisive laughter. Male voice, snarky]

  I’m aware that you run an hour a day. For fuck’s sake, stop being so literal.

  What this means is that you’re a lazy bastard in relationships. You expect your partner to do all the work while you reap the rewards. This is hardly uncommon – our society tends to reward these kinds of bullshit stories with media and such. And it extends to both genders pretty much equally. Just last week I had to do the breaking up with one girl who didn’t know how lucky she had it. Just like you, actually. You both kind of just sat back and let the other person treat you like royalty. The worst part is that you got away with it for so long – especially considering this next issue.

  You should really work on your psychological abuse, son.

  [Male voice, confused]

  Oh, come on, you went to college. You know exactly what that means. Telling your ladyfriend she looks fat. That she’s lucky to have you and that no one else will want her.

  [Male voice, pleading]

  Joking, you say? Interesting. I do like a good joke. Here’s one: “Knock, knock.”

  Ahem.

  “Knock, motherfucking knock.”

  [Male voice, muttering]

  Thank you. Man, you are taking this like a shriveled ballsack. “Learn to change.”

  [Male voice, muttering]

  “Learn to change or you’re going to die alone like the sack of shit you are.” Ba ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha, oh, man, I kill me. You see how I’m laughing and you’re not? Because it’s not a joke, you dumbass. Now shut the hell up because there’s still more to this one.

  So, psychological abuse. Like the kind where you prevent her from going out with her friends because you’re feeling insecure or whatever is going on in that little brain of yours. I mean, seriously, man, you’re just fucking awful. These complaints – all verified by independent sources, mind you – read like a laundry list of what not to do to be a decent person. The fact is that you need to learn that other human beings are just that – human beings – and they don’t deserve to be subjected to a mental decathlon every time they come home from work.

  Not that you would know anything about that last part.

  [Male voice, insulted]

  Sorry, that was a bit personal. But your whining was really getting on my nerves.

  [Chair scrapping the floor]

  Oh, you should really sit down. No, please sit. You really don’t want to...

  [Footsteps, popping electricity, hard thump, screaming, jittery crying. Male voice, questioning]

  That, Mr. Robinson, was 10,000 volts of electricity sent straight through your dong. You may be asking yourself “Why my dong?” Well, I know you’re asking that because you’re screaming it right now. But I told you not to get up. It was at face level. What did you want me to do?

  [Male voice, whimpering]

  So, number... num... number three... shut up, please. Yes, I’m aware you’re wetting yourself. You’ve been tased. No, I won’t pay for your pants because you can wash things. Believe me, they will be perfectly functional tomorrow.

  Let’s see... ah, yes, your jealousy. Now, I’m sure years of television and movies have taught you that being all macho and jealous was what a healthy relationship was made out of, but it’s not. People are allowed to have friends of different genders and not immediately have to do the horizontal mamba, ya dig? A short list of the people you have accused of wanting to sleep with Abby and/or she wanted to sleep with includes: three professors, six coworkers – two of whom are gay, mind you – her boss, sixteen classmates, Alan Rickman, and, oddly enough, her older brother.

  [Male voice, crying]

  Yes, you didn’t know he was her brother at the time. Doesn’t make it right. The point is that either you’re insecure about yourself or you’re an unbelievable waste of carbon. Both of which kind of get into this last point.

  Your obsession with being tough borders on the insane. We all grew up in this culture with pretty strict rules on how to behave and what makes someone a “man,” but seriously, it’s time to grow the fuck up. Abby doesn’t need a knight in shining armor, she needs a partner. You’re not some ennobled man strapped in a tin can protecting a statue. This is the 21st century and women are not ornaments.

  All of these factors, and many more listed alphabetically in the addendum for convenience, lead Abby to our company for a consultation. After three sessions, it was determined that you are a class one BCF and that we had to intervene to facilitate her breakup with you. Although you may feel that it was cowardly, you are precisely the kind of person who would emotionally manipulate her into giving you another chance.

  A chance that you clearly do not deserve, you pants-wetting chauvinist dipshit.

  Our company was started because breaking up is an ugly process. Most people can handle it fairly well, but there are some who are problematic. These people usually resort to intimidation to keep power over their former loved ones and that, quite frankly, is intolerable. In an effort to eliminate any loose ends for possible reconciliation, we also provide you with a list of your faults. If, for whatever reason, you were sincere about changing, we cut out the middleman.

  [Sheaf of paper hitting a table]

  As a formality, please familiarize yourself with this document outlining the “dos” and “don’ts” of your new, non-relationship with Abby. Namely, that you will make no effort to contact her at any point. She didn’t change her number, and that is not an invitation to call – she shouldn’t have to modify her life to accommodate the fact that you’re useless. Any attempts to call her friends – especially to check if she is seeing anyone – is strictly forbidden. And before you try to sleep with any of her female contacts, we’ll be spreading the rumor that you’ve contracted gonorrhea.

  If – and this is a capital ‘IF’ three miles high and thirty blocks wide – she ever wants to talk to your worthless bro ass ever again, she will call you. That is not a request, it is your new god, understood?

  On top of the strict no-call policy, we will be watching your behavior for the next several weeks to make sure you do not harass her in person at any point. Any attempt to do so will be met with a prefabricated request for a restraining order that Abby has already signed. Also, it would give me reason to reunite Mr. Sparky with your balls.

  All-in-all, Mr. Robinson, you should be thankful she didn’t choose that “slash-and-burn” package.

  I would like to thank you for making this relatively painless. For me, anyway. If you should ever need our services in the future, please don’t hesitate to stop by our office.

Purchase Project Northwoods at Amazon.com.   Purchase Washed Hands at Amazon.com   Purchase Improbables at Amazon.com.

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