Ransom

By: ,

WE HAVE YOUR SON. IF YOU WANT HIM ALIVE PLACE $1,000,000 IN UNMARKED NONSEQUENTIAL BILLS IN A DUFFEL BAG AT THE HARBOR AT MIDNIGHT.

OR ELSE…

* * * * * * *

WE STILL HAVE YOUR SON.

WE ASSUME YOU MISPLACED OUR FIRST NOTE AND THEREFORE COULD NOT FOLLOW OUR DIRECTIONS. YOU HAVE ONE MORE CHANCE. NO DOUBT THE LOVE YOU FELT FOR YOUR SON AS A CHILD ENDURES TODAY. IF YOU WANT TO SEE HIM AGAIN YOU WILL PROMPTLY COMPLY.

$1,000,000. HARBOR. MIDNIGHT.

* * * * * * *

WE WILL ACCEPT HALF A MILLION.

YOUR SON IS TROUBLED. WON’T STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT HIS CHILDHOOD: NO NINTENDO, NO DOG, FEW FRIENDS. FORCED TO SHARE A BEDROOM WITH HIS YOUNGER BROTHER, WHO WHIMPERS IN HIS SLEEP. YOUR SON MAY BENEFIT FROM THERAPY.

$500,000. DUFFEL BAG. HARBOR. MIDNIGHT.

THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE!!!

* * * * * * *

You are bad parents. No wonder your son has wasted the best years of his life drinking Robitussin by the bottle and watching bad television, which he quotes to us incessantly. We can only take so many Adult Swim references in one day. We are prepared to kill him.

$100,000. Duffel bag. Harbor. Midnight.

* * * * * * *

Your son refuses our food, claiming it’s not vegan. Also, he reads too much David Foster Wallace. Everything he says comes with five footnotes and an evasive period. It’s dreadful, but he won’t touch the Hemingway novel we generously provided.

$50,000. Harbor. Midnight.

Also: where might we find a stick of Tom’s “All-Natural” deodorant? He won’t use the Speed Stick we gave him. This is a matter of the utmost urgency.

* * * * * * *

Your lack of support confirms your son’s many complaints about you. Your parenting may explain your son’s low confidence and paralyzing shyness around females. When Tasha Mooney dropped her pink hair scrunchie by his locker, your son was too scared to return it to her. He’s been dwelling on this. For years.

It’s none of our business.

$25,000. Harbor. Midnight.

* * * * * * *

Based on observations we do not wish to recount, we believe your son’s neuroses extend to his sexuality, which would explain his prodigious collection of pornographic literature. He claims you periodically invade the bedroom he shares with his younger brother to confiscate said literature.

Isn’t your son too old to be sharing a bedroom?

$10,000. Harbor. Midnight.

* * * * * * *

Your son got into our medicine cabinet. Consumed an entire bottle of cough medicine. While intoxicated, he weeps openly.

Your son apologizes for the following heirlooms: 1 ceramic pitcher (smashed), 2 crystal goblets (chipped), and 1 peppershaker (launched from a second-story window). He does not apologize for the saltshaker. He suspects your other son.

$5,000. We’ll take a check.

* * * * * * *

While tending to your son’s intoxicated condition, we discovered what appears to be a pink hair scrunchie around his ankle. The scrunchie is considerably faded, as if harbored in this way for many years. When questioned about this scrunchie, your son is not forthcoming.

Your son may require more than the usual amount of therapeutic intervention. We are willing to discuss our impressions with you once our payment has been received.

$1,000.

* * * * * * *

Distraught by your obvious apathy, your son has attempted to harm himself. As compensation for the damage to our facility (1 linen curtain, shredded and fashioned into a rope; 1 light fixture, ripped from the ceiling), we are forced to add an additional $88.34 to the current ransom.

We expect an immediate payment of $1,088.34.

Harbor. Midnight.

* * * * * * *

Your son has tallied the cost of 8 months of Christian therapy: $1,920.

Your other son, we understand, attended film camp 3 summers in a row for a total cost of $5,250, an amount much greater than your son’s therapy and ransom combined. Though it’s none of our business — we are merely awaiting our payment — we detect a significant inconsistency in your parenting style.

$1,088.34. This is not open to negotiation!!!

* * * * * * *

We are willing to negotiate. Please read and accept our revised demands:

1) Long-term, intensive, secular therapy for your son, addressing such issues as years-old hair scrunchies and Tasha Mooney-related self-loathing.

2) A separate bedroom for your son.

3) A permanent cease to your pornography raids. They are ineffectual. Every male of your son’s age probably owns or views pornography, albeit not typically in such extreme quantities.

4) The immediate payment of $1,000. (Note that we are generous enough to waive the fee of $88.34 for the damage to our facility.)

All of the above terms must be met. Leave your payment of $1,000 beneath your welcome mat. We, in turn, will leave your son in the driveway.

This is your last chance.

WE HAVE YOUR OTHER SON.

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