We Had a Deal, My Friend

Give Sean Adams a reason not to kill you. He’s a reasonable man.

Illustration by Hallie Bateman

We had a deal, my friend. I gave you a month to pay up, but now here we are a month later and you’re saying that you don’t have the money. Well, I guess you’re just going to have to pay with your life!

Or we could barter. It’s really up to you.

Call me Shylock because I’m about to cut out a pound of your flesh! Or you could trim off ten to fifteen pounds of my flesh. What I’m getting at is if you want to buy me a treadmill and give me a few healthy eating tips, we could call it even. You look like a pretty in-shape guy, and I have some body-image issues.

So, what’s it gonna be? Am I gonna have to clean your clock? Or will you agree to clean my clock? Every other week? For a year? I don’t know how, but it always picks up a lot of dust under the minute hand, which I guess is really distracting to women, because whenever I have one over, she usually looks up at the clock a lot. And if I try to take her mind off of it by politely suggesting something else to do, like “Hey, I got an idea: how about we stop looking at that dusty old clock and start some sex up?”, and the woman just says, “No thanks” and then stares at the clock even more.

Listen, we can do this the easy way or the hard way, buddy. Just to define my terms here: “the hard way” refers to me killing you. “The easy way” refers to me not killing you and you saying, “Surprise! I actually have the money after all! Oh man, you should have seen the look on your face when I told you I didn’t have it!” and then handing me a suitcase of money. That’s why I made such a goofy face when you said you didn’t have the money. In my head, I was like, “This will be perfect if he’s just playing some prank on me!”

No? You really weren’t joking? You don’t secretly have a suitcase of money?

Well that just makes me angry, and you won’t like me when I’m angry. Or, to be more specific, you won’t like looking at me when I’m angry. Because I don’t get mad. I get even. And by “get even,” I mean cry so hard that my mascara runs, and everyone in the office starts talking about it, and some of them make fun of me for being a man who wears mascara, and the rest feel betrayed because they thought I had naturally dark, sexy eyelashes, and then the only thing left for me to do is go home, wash my face, and move on to whatever the temp agency has lined up for me the next day.

I know that’s not usually what people mean when they say, “get even.” But sometimes you gotta live life on your own terms. Sometimes you gotta dance to the beat of a different drummer.

Whatever you do, though, don’t just dance whenever you see a guy you think is a drummer. Because he might not be drumming when you start dancing. In fact, he might not be a drummer at all, even if he’s clearly setting up a drum kit or holding sticks. That guy could just be a roadie or someone eating sushi.

But I’m getting distracted. This isn’t about drumming. It’s about me taking back what you owe me. So you better ask yourself, are you feeling lucky today, punk? If the answer is yes, I can drive us to the casino boat and we can split your winnings. I’ll even lend you however much money you need to gamble as long as you agree to pay me back within a month.

Illustrations by Hallie Bateman

Sean Adams lives in Seattle, where he works as a staff writer for Woot.com. His stuff has been published on McSweeney’s, The Morning News, and elsewhere in print and online.