“Don’t hate me till you’ve heard my story…”
As I come to an end, I think it’s appropriate that I explain the actions I’ve taken throughout the course of my life—which will be over in a few days, on January first. So consider this a deathbed confession if you want. Your strong feelings of resentment have made me feel guilty, I admit, so even though I am still engineering a deadly snowstorm in the Midwest, and even considering giving cancer to either Judd Hirsch or Judd Nelson (I haven’t decided yet—does it really matter at this point?) I still feel the need to unburden myself.
I’ve taken many lives this year, yes, and have presided over the election of a gold-plated, pink-bellied, jabberwocky. And you’ve cursed me…as you should. For I got greedy, and I succumbed. It was no great cosmic decision I made to fuck up the world in my lifetime–to destroy talent and beauty, while giving birth to a monster. It was BECAUSE of the monster. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m embarrassed to admit it, but Donald Trump paid me off to kill your favorite celebrities.
It may have been how he won. Let me explain.
It started around this time last year. 2015 was making the rounds, shaking hands, and congratulating himself. He hadn’t been remarkable, nor had he been especially tragic either. But fives get a lot of attention, year-wise, because they’re right in middle—benchmark years. I was jealous and ambitious. I can’t deny it.
I was at the Chatham Islands, off the coast of New Zealand, where all of us are born, when suddenly the genesis of my life was interrupted by the sound of a motor.
Donald Trump, strangely all alone, pulled up in a gleaming new speedboat. The reefs were too shallow for him to disembark, so he gestured that I approach. Curious, I swam out to him and he sat as I struggled aboard. Clearing his throat mightily, he spoke.
“I’m opening up a new hotel not far from here, and believe me, it’s going to be amazing. I make all the best hotels; nobody does it better than me. And I heard you might be here.”
He cleared his throat again and the boat shook.
“As you know, I’m also running for president. We’re already winning in all the polls, Ted Cruz is totally totally weak, but I also thought of you and wondered if you might want to make a deal.”
“Deal?” I replied.
“I make deals. Nobody knows how to make deals like me.”
“How would you like to go down in history as the best year the world has ever had. Better than 1945…”
“’45 wasn’t really…”
“Better than 1492…”
“He’s kind of a pariah…”
“I’m going to put your year on buildings, it will be featured in the first chapter of every history book, I will tweet it out to all my followers…”
Sadly, I gave in. Like I said, I was ambitious–we all are. He had said crazy things, but I was blinded by possibility and knew I was going to receive a measure of fame with election anyway, so why shouldn’t this guy thank me and reward me, and give me the credit that bums like ’76 got with songs and movies and musicals?
“Let me tell you who to get rid of. I mean, celebrities love me, they really really do, but a few of the others are total losers. So, I need you to start by taking out someone who represents Fantasy. That’s what they’re calling my run for president, so I think we should show them…”
“Just kill fantasy, and make him a singer so people will be listening to music and not the debate next week…”
“Who should I…?”
“Not one of ours–a foreigner.”
“You really outdid yourself. I wasn’t a fan of him, so good job. Tremendous. Now eliminate Eloquence. It can’t be an issue as I continue the campaign.”
“Another English guy?”
“You said eloquence.”
“What’s eloquence? Hahaha.”
“Mr. Trump, we should cool it down a bit. I wanted to make an impression , but these were two big names. In England they’re already cursing me.”
“They’re morons. But why Abe Vigoda?”
He began to speak but I cut him off, “…We need to take a break. It looks like the race is going well for you.”
“But not well enough. Please eliminate Justice.”
“Who in the hell is Harper Lee?”
“An author who..”
“Nobody reads books. And why did you kill Rocky’s black trainer?”
“He got pneumonia. Look, Spring’s coming, I get busy..”
“And one of the American Gladiators?”
“Get rid of Humor. It’s not good. I’m funny–it’s easy to be funny—I had a hit tv show, but I’m tired of the media laughing at my hands.”
“Nancy Reagan? What’s funny about her?”
“I slipped. I was aiming for Brian Regan, I’ve been busy in the Middle East…”
“I want Humor gone.”
“Nice choice. I never cared for Steinfeld…”
“Now we’re really rollin’. How about we show Saudi Arabia who’s boss…?”
“What the hell did you do? This is causing the blacks to mobilize in public parks!”
“I messed up. I told you I was overworked. I’m leaving!”
I left my Mar-a-Lago villa the next morning. I knew things had gotten out of control when in trying to cause the natural death of Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia, I’d accidentally fallen asleep before finishing the job, and simply killed Prince.
In early June, I was strung out, and watching a cock-fight in Moscow, when I got a call from Trump.
“You were very very careless before, but I haven’t given up on you, 2016. I need a real sledgehammer going into the convention, even though I expect to do very very well.”
“What do you want?” I asked, bleary-eyed.
What had I done?
“You did great. I knew Ali, of course. A great great man…”
But as Trump spoke he laughed and shook his hands violently, mimicking the departed fighter’s sickness. I knew at that point that my life would be seen as a failure.
I watched Trump throughout the summer, and really couldn’t do much to thwart him. I had to take out Mickey Rooney, Elie Wiesel, and Miss Cleo, but the world seemed to understand. Finally, I made the decision to assist Hillary. I swear it.
I figured that helping to elect the first female president would at the very least cancel out Trump–would make him a footnote. And while no one would erect my numbers on a building, I thought that Clinton winning might at least make up for all the dead people. Then Trump called me in the middle of the night.
“I need you to take out Compassion. If you don’t, then I’m going to start blaming you, publicly, for all these deaths. I’ll even tell people that the year’s cursed and that I’m the only one that can break the curse, and believe me, people will listen to me.”
“Great, so you whacked Billy Wonka, the chocolate guy. Bad businessman. I like it.”
“His name was..”
“Wish me luck, but you really don’t have to. We’re going to win and win big.”
Even then, I didn’t believe him. I thought this blackmail was one last way of getting back at the world before his ultimate defeat in the election. Then he won the fucking election, and I felt terrible. Hillary wouldn’t redeem me. I would go down in history as a dark age. Great lives would find my name on their headstones, as would the United States of America. Even if I hadn’t caused this mess (and maybe I had), I’d certainly piled on.
But at the same time, I must admit, I felt relief. The election was over, and Trump no longer had anyone standing in his way. That’s why I was so surprised when he called me just a day after his victory.
“I’m sending over a list. You know what to do. Remember, we’re in this together now.”
The names I read were no longer obstacles that needed to be overcome before an election. They looked simply to be folks that Trump wanted revenge upon. He even listed the often incomprehensible reasons next to each name:
Leonard Cohen–Jewish mafia.
Brady Bunch mom– Saggy tits.
Fidel Castro–$500 lent in 1991.
John Glenn–Totally totally overrated because the moon is totally totally overrated.
Alan Thicke–Favor for Kirk C.
Zsa Zsa Gabor–She’s been allowed to live with the secret too long.
George Michael–Caught Baron singing “I Want Your Sex” to the landscaper.
The last name on his list gave me real pause. How much more could people take?
“Mr. President-elect, I already took R2-D2 back in August…”
“Yes, you did. A little robot man. Now, only the Princess stands in the way of the Empire taking over the galaxy.”
Dejected, I began to walk away.
“Oh, and 2016–one more thing.”
“Kill her mother too.”