Looking Down the Barrel

So I was watching porn on my work computer when I heard the sounds of death blasting from my co-worker’s phone.

I said, “Dale, what are you watching?”

He said, “It’s a documentary about the Battle of Tannenberg during World War I. It was a nightmarish time in global affairs. Men were senselessly butchered for the sake of gaining a few yards on the battlefield. How callous were such leaders? To permit the deaths of so, so many people? Is human life that meaningless to those in power? How could god permit such suffering? Have we been forsaken?”

“We’ll keep it down over there,” I replied.

So I went back to minding my own business when I heard Dale loading his Colt Cobra.

I said, “Dale, so help me god, if you don’t quiet down I will grab that gun and use it myself.”

“Sorry,” he replied “I’m just a little suicidal from my multiple bankruptcy filings and sexual assault charges.”

“Don’t worry about it.” I said

Finally when there was a little peace and quiet, Dale comes around the corner pointing his gun at me and crying profusely.

“I’m sorry Jim”, he says. “Everyone has abandoned me. My wife left. And my kids won’t talk to me.”

“So what do you want from me, Dale?” I replied. “My wallet? The keys to my car?”

“I want someone to listen to me for once in my life! I had a very lonely childhood. My parents never listened to me, I had no friends. I suffered from dyslexia and all my teachers thought I was stupid. Just absolutely stupid! I’m not a bad person. I’m just misunderstood and have been my entire life. Just for once, I want someone to understand me! That’s all I’ve ever wanted!”

Out of frustration, Dale fired his Colt directly into my computer. We stared at each other for what felt like an eternity, not knowing what would happen next. As I looked into Dale’s eyes in terror, I knew that he didn’t have the heart to shoot me. He was just a broken man and out of options.

Finally, he laid the gun down and sat down then buried his head in his hands. We both sat in silence for a few moments.

“Well,” I said. “How about I just give you my wallet.”

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