Pot Luck Theater: Blackmail Backwards

Norris Leitmotif found himself staring down the very large barrel of one honking huge gun, and he wished he’d never become a Whitemailer.  Maybe, if he’d kept up the blackmailing game like all his dear crooked friends and family, he would never have come to this.  Now, Norris was on the verge of pure death, about to be shot in the brain by Wick Palsy.  The same Wick Palsy he’d spent the past six weeks whitemailing to his heart’s content.

The scenario went like this.  Deciding that Wick could use a boost in the positivity department, Norris starting making threatening phone calls.  The threats went like this:  “If you don’t pay me one hundred thousand bucks, I’ll tell everyone what a fantastic guy you are.”  And, “If you don’t cough up two hundred grand, I’ll send a certified letter to every major metropolitan newspaper, outlining all your inspirational qualities.”

The idea was to playfully alert Wick that he was about to be thrust into the spotlight in a really great way.  The whitemailing riff was meant to get the media interested enough to circulate stories of Wick’s wonderfulness and deserving of attentionedness.  Every time he made another call, in fact, Norris patted himself on the back and fanny for his big time cleverness and bravado.

But in this day and age, it’s tough to get a point in the karmic win column.  It turns out Wick was not amused or flattered or encouraged by Norris’ clever exploits.  He was alarmed from the get-go and shelled out the big bucks as instructed to keep Norris’ mouth shut.  This, of course, ran counter to Norris’ plan.  He didn’t cotton to being denied the opportunity to spread the word about Wick’s oh-so-goodness and ability to achieve a single day without offending the community.  So he kept making calls and upping the ante, hoping Wick would just stop ponying up the long green.

Lo and behold, the green stoppage did come, but not to the effect that Norris would’ve liked.  Wily Wick hired a private eye to track down the whitemailer, and then he confronted Norris with weapon in hand.  Because here’s the thing about Wick:  he was secretly doing so many nasty things behind everyone’s back, he assumed the innocent whitemailer was sarcastically alluding to his evil deeds by threatening to reveal his good ones.  Wick figured he was being shaken down for his wicked propensities, not touted for his benevolent ones, which he used as a cover.

So now he stood with gun aimed point blank at a spot on Norris’ forehead, finger twitching like a snake’s forked tongue against the trigger.  And poor Norris was crying and sweating and peeing his pants, when suddenly a brainstorm came rolling in.  “Mr. Palsy, I have something to say.”  Norris swallowed hard and gathered himself up, ready to play this one last trick to save his sizzling bacon.  “Put away the gun and let me walk away scot free, or I won’t pay you a hundred fifty grand and call the media to inform them what a pitiful cretin I am and do everything under the sun to amp up the spotlight in your direction and make sure every last citizen of the world knows what a prince among men you are.”

Wick just scowled and pulled the trigger.  Another life lost in the name of misguided good deeds.  And yes, this cautionary tale is meant to persuade you not to get caught up in the wild whirl of whitemailing like poor, well-meaning Norris.  So don’t do it, or we’ll let everyone know what an upstanding indvidual you are.

©2009 Robert T. Jeschonek

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