Chapter 2

I had fantasized about the moment of my rebellion for days. There hadn’t been a bag over my head since Manila Man had become my escort to the Blogging Chamber and I just knew, eventually, I’d be led down that hallway for the last time. I had imagined myself muttering something under my breath like “It’s payback time,” before exploding into a fit of vengeful violence:

We’re walking away from my cage, a gun to my back, when I stop dead in my tracks and slam my elbow backward into my kidnapper’s gut (he drops the gun). I turn and whale on his doubled-over body before sprinting to the exit and safety.


There’s a gun in my face. I steady my gaze, careful not to telegraph anything, ensuring the person looking down the barrel doesn’t see what’s coming for him before I smack his hand away with my left (he drops the gun) as my right gouges out his eyes. I leave him behind, screaming, bloody hands pressed to his face. I sprint to the exit and to safety.


Resting against the back of my head is that familiar pistol. I chat casually over my shoulder about whatever is on the screen, turn as though intending to explain further and then SNATCH!–I have my enemy’s crotch in a vice-grip. He drops the gun because I yank him into a backflip by the balls. While he’s flipping in the air I kick him in the back, sending his still-flipping body into the brick wall. He groans in pain among shattered bits of wall and what remains of his reproductive organs as I sprint to the exit and safety.

The list goes on. One of my imagined scenarios was going to play out any day now. I just had to wait for the right moment, and pick a better one-liner to deliver when the shit went down.

So there I sat, explaining to my gun-wielding kidnapper what had become a facet of comedy so painfully meta I would never again explore it, and for reasons I still don’t fully understand, I could not wait any longer. No plans, nothing thought-out, no surveying of the surroundings or first moves guaranteed to capture the element of surprise. Nothing at all like that in fact. One second I was describing how telling the same joke for hours at a time made it funnier. The next second:

I was on my feet. The gun fired LOUD. Never heard anything so loud, and after the explosion there was no sound in the tiny room at all. The left side of my torso was warm and wet. Both my hands on the gun. Fingers groped, wrists and elbows angled in attempts at rending the pistol from the other’s grip. We danced, our swaying arms and shuffling feet making no sound I could hear at all.  My gaze met his and there was no fear in Manila’s eyes–it was the grim look of a man determined not to lose his life. “It’s… payback time,” I grunted. He head-butted me, forehead-to-nose. My eyes welled up. I staggered. Deafened silence gave way to ringing. My grip must have loosened. He shot me in the face.

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