I decided to talk to Caper again, thinking this would be my last chance. Turns out that he was not, in fact, planning on going on a berserker killing spree this week. He said that he was just having some fun when he said he'd "help me with the list."
I went ahead and asked him about his background anyway, since I was interested anyway. I guess I'm a bit of a reporter of sorts now, so I made sure to record the interview so I could transcribe it properly. I asked him how exactly he first learned of and started working for The Boss.
"Well," he said, "It started way back a looooooong time ago. I was just a high school kid [Messenger's Note: I think he's in his early 30's now]. My parents owned a comedy club, and I loved listening to all the professional and amateur comedians that would talk. I got to hear Richard Pryor speak once. That was a great night, I'll tell you that much. It inspired me. I decided that I wanted to be a comedian, to make them proud and help bring them business.
"Unfortunately, no one ever found me funny. It killed my self-esteem, Messi [Messenger's Note: I refuse to spell it "Messy" or "Messie"]. Killed it and pissed on its rotting corpse. But I kept trying. The problem was, I just wasn't funny. I eventually just gave up.
"And then, one night, after we were done closing up, they headed out the back into the alley. That's when a mugger came up to them and asked them to hand all their stuff: money, jewelry, nipple clamps...the usual shit. I was taking the garbage out and was kind of hidden behind the dumpster, so he didn't see me. I'll never forget what happened next. It was raining, the streetlight illuminating the three of them. The man was yelling at them to hand everything over. He wore a V for Vendetta Mask [Messenger Note: Yes, he said "V for Vendetta mask," not "Guy Fawkes mask"]. And then, after they did, he just shot them. And because he had that mask on, there was no way the only witness (me) could identify him.
"Naturally, it bummed me out a bit to see my parents brutally murdered in front of my eyes. I spent the better part of the year moping. But then I realized that that's not what they wanted me to do. See, they didn't even tell me to run when I was hiding behind that dumpster. They knew that my running, or even their warning me of anything, would have gotten me killed. They died so that I could have a better life. I decided that I had to cheer up, and did it the only way I could. See, I eventually started making jokes about their death. Like that whole nipple clamps thing. I could find what was funny in tragedy. I discovered that while I had absolutely no talent in most forms of comedy, dark humor came naturally to me.
"So I started traveling the world, aiding in relief projects and cheering people up by making light of the terrible situations. I cracked jokes at funerals. I laughed at executions. I made fun of natural disasters. And I finally returned home with an incredible routine. People were shocked and offended, yes, but they laughed. They liked being offended. It was grim, but it was hilarious. I made enough money to buy back the club my parents had founded, and they lived on through my routines. I was happy again."
He paused dramatically by giving a deep sigh. "And then, the unthinkable happened. Sure, there were crowds that were deader than most, but I had one crowd this one time that was absolutely terrible. They didn't laugh at a single joke. Not one. They didn't boo me at all, they just didn't laugh. Suddenly, all those old memories came flooding back. I panicked. I just wanted people to laugh again. But they weren't laughing. In my panic, I did what I had sworn I would never do. I told the forbidden joke: the one I had learned in Germany about the tall, faceless man. And guess what? They loved it. All of a sudden, there was thunderous applause and uproarious laughter.
"And then the lights went out. Slowly, the laughter died off. Then, silence. Complete silence. The lights flickered back on, and I looked out at the audience. The entire crowd, every single last member, was sitting in their seats, dead. Eviscerated. I freaked, but looked closer. Everyone had a smile on their face. Just this big, giant grin. I started to chuckle a bit at the realization: they had all, every one of them, literally died laughing. They had paid me back with the best joke ever.
"I turned back to where I had been on stage, and a tall, skinny, faceless guy in a business suit--you know, The Big Guy, was standing at the microphone. 'howwouldyouliketocomeworkforme?' he said." Caper paused. "And, well, the rest is history."
I remember that at this point, I had kind of a "you're shitting me" look on my face.
"You're shitting me," I said.
Caper just started laughing.
"You're fucking shitting me. How much of that did you make up?"
He laughed again. "The whole thing. Except for the parts that are true or half-true. And even some of those are just flat-out lies." He guffawed, stood up, and gave me a huge pat on the back. "See you around, Messi. Don't work too hard."
I am going to kill that son of a bitch.
-Don't Shoot The Messenger-