Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dialogue Fragment

“What’s the difference—I mean, besides the obvious shape differences—between a hotdog and piece of bologna? Have you ever wondered that? Hmm?”


“Of course not. No one wonders about those kinds of things. We wonder about who will win the Super Bowl, or whether Virginia Oldman is wearing panties under that tight skirt, or whether we’re going to get out of a strange predicament alive. The exact scientific breakdown of what constitutes a hotdog and what constitutes bologna isn’t high on the list. But I’m curious now. And you should be too.”


“So what’s the difference between them?”

“I don’t know. Please—”

“You don’t know. You’re pathetic. Looking at you through the sites of this here Mauser, you’re even more pathetic than I originally thought.”

“Please, sir. You don’t have to hold all of us. You can let some of us go.”

“Hmm, and I suppose you’d be the first to go. Isn’t that right?”

“N-n-no, sir. Not at all. Release one of the women.”

“Spare me your self-righteous chivalry. We both know what you’re really made of. Would it help you better if I guaranteed you’d get out of this alive? Fine, I guarantee it. At least, I guarantee that I will not shoot you. Can’t say what the cops’ll do when they storm the place.”

“But sir, there are nine of us. You don’t need all of us.”

“Oh, but I do. I do. My Mauser has eight shells, you see.”

“Beg pardon?”

“Mr. Hammerstein, perhaps you would do better to just shut up for a moment and ask yourself a simple question. Why is it that you, and you alone, are the only one of my victims here who is not gagged?”


“You disgust me. You don’t even take a second to think about it and you’re already begging for the answer. But I suppose you’ll never be able to come up with it on your own. So I ask you to look at this woman here. What’s her name?”


“Tell me, have you ever slept with Mi-Mi-Michelle?”

“No. Please, put the rifle down!”

“It’s a shotgun, Mr. Hammerstein. Not a rifle. And I think I’ll keep it right here on Mi-Mi-Michelle’s temple for a second longer. I want you to look deep into her eyes. You see how frightened she looks right now?”

“She’s terrified! We’re all terrified!”

“No, you only think you’re terrified. None of you has died yet. Perhaps Mi-Mi-Michelle will be the first to go. You hold her life in your hands now, Mr. Hammerstein.”

“What do you want? Just tell me what you want!”

“Oh, but I already did. I want to know what the difference between a hotdog and a piece of bologna is.”

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