Monday, September 17, 2018

1996 Hitman for Hire?

FBI Studios Foto

A funny thing happened on the way to the mailroom last week. Well, more like the email room.  There on the screens were a near-record number of responses. They were directed at #s 1989 about Leonard Bernstein and 1993 about Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear,” and many called them “hit jobs.”  

The votes were about even on Bernstein: Half said this was a hit job, which it most certainly was. The other half said things like “well, I liked _____…”(fill in the blank,) but other things not-so much.

The latter was not as much a hit job as a promotion for what’s turned out to be the book we all need to read, though I probably could have been less needlesome about Woodward’s use of quotations.

But among these souvenirs was a recurring theme: Do you write hit jobs to order?  I’d thought about it.  Some of those came with deadlines and down payment checks and I don’t (yet) have a rate card.

So, against the advice of counsel, here we go into the hitman business.  No one will die, of course.  Sticks and stones can break your bones… but we use only words and never advocate violence.

Three levels of service:
1.  The Friendly Visit.  You know, like the insurance guys who visit small businesses from time to time with a smile on their faces and baseball bats in their hands and urge you to buy insurance because, well, you never know these days.
2.   The No More Nice Guys Alert.  You know, like a month later when the small business either fails to buy or misses a payment.  In real life, this is done in the dead of night.  That’s so that when he comes to work in the morning, the dry cleaner or convenience store owner has a busted front window and maybe a small, not-too-bad fire to remind him he should have paid that bill.
3.  The Full Court Press.  See the Bernstein post for an example.

Again, nothing violent. Just the simple truth to let whoever it is you want to know you’re unhappy that you’re unhappy.

And there are some categories I won’t touch.
1.  Dogs.
2.  Cats.
3.  Other small animals.
4.  Kids.
5.  Ethnic, racial or gender groups.
6.  Criminals (convicted.)
7.  Criminals (accused but un-tried.)
8.  Sexual predators, imagined or unconvicted.

But there are occasional jobs that come pro bono.

1.  Politicians with whom we share your dislike.
2.  People who run private equity funds.
3.  Real insurance companies.
4.  Owners of budding but foundering or floundering automakers.
5.  A wide variety of crazy people.

I don’t have to agree with you.  It’s just business. A little extra to boost the pension.

-Sticker in the shape of a dog’s paw print on the back of a small pickup truck: “Who Rescued Who?”

-Is it possible the car loan companies haven’t yet figured out a way yet to sublease?

--Our hearts go out to the victims of Hurricane Florence.  But what’s more important is that our bucks go out and to the right places.  Abner and Daisy Mae need a decent meal, a change of clothing and a shower more than your prayers.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them.
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© WJR 2018

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