copyright © 2005 Jeff Goode

Family Killed by Ninjas

by Jeff Goode

copyright © 2005

I was in New York City this week, and I was walking through Times Square and there was this homeless guy sitting there with a big sign that he’d made out of a big piece of foam board and a magic marker I guess that said,

"Family killed by ninjas
Need $ for Kun-Fu lessons"

And I thought, "How awful". Can you imagine?

I mean, here you are, a middle aged black man, in pretty good health, probably has a good job. I mean, he has access to foam board and magic markers, so I’m thinking maybe an advertising executive.

And then one night after a long day of schilling burgers for McDonalds, you’re sitting at home watching Desperate Housewives on your TiVo cause you didn’t get a chance to watch it on Sunday cuz you had to work through the weekend again.

And your wife has already seen it, so you’re like, "Don’t tell me what happens, bitch! How many times I gotta tell you!"

And your daughter runs into the room and screams Daddy! Daddy! There’s black men outside. And at first you think she means maybe someone you know but then CRASH the front window shatters and this little guy in black ninja tights tumbles into the room and whips out a razor sharp katana and slashes your daughter’s throat.

And you hear a scream behind you and it’s your wife because another ninja has come up behind her and before you can even say anything he stabs her through the heart.

And now they’re both coming after you and all you have to defend yourself is the remote control so you throw it at the first one and it PONK hits him in the head and it must’ve accidentally activated the TiVo because now the Desperate Housewives theme is playing on the TV and the second ninja stops to see if it’s one he’s seen before, and while he’s distracted you duck out the door into the back yard.

And as you try to sneak around to the side of the house you can kinda see the ninja creeping around on the front lawn looking for you. But they’re really hard to see because of those black outfits they wear, and you’re still wearing your white shirt and power tie from work. So you hide behind one of the garbage cans and strip off all your clothes and put them in the trash and pull out a black Hefty bag and put that on for camouflage and then you make a run for it. Running half naked down the street, running through people’s yards and vaulting over hedges till you’re covered in leaves and garbage and something you stepped in back at the Thompson’s house that you don’t even want to know about, but they got a lotta dogs. And you keep running, and you never look back.

And you never go back because they might be there, and you don’t even know why they’re after you. You don’t know any ninjas. And you can’t go back to work, because they might be there, too. So you lay low. You live on the streets. No names, no connections, so you can’t be traced. Keep your ear to the ground for the word on the street. Keep your back to the wall. Trust no one.

But you know in your heart that the only way you’re ever going to find out who’s after you and what they want is to go back and face the ninjas who killed your family.

But you can’t do that. You don’t know no Kun-Fu!

But there’s a little storefront on the corner. You pass by it every morning on your way to pee in the alley. "Kun-Fu lessons. $25." And it’s run by some blond-haired lily-white Chuck Norris-wannabe motherfucker, so you know he’s not connected to the Ninja brotherhood. Unless they’re all white. I mean, who knows what they look like under those hoods. But it’s worth a shot. You got nothing else to lose.

And all it takes is $25 to get started. Yeah, $25 to make those ninja motherfuckers pay. Pay for making me miss Desperate Housewives. Pay for taking away my job and my house and my family. Pay for what they did to my baby girl.


This piece was inspired by an actual person I saw in New York City during my recent trip. Although I had written out the script above, I thought the story would be more effective if I just told it straight to the audience and I could move around and act it out a bit. But there were a few tidbits which I especially liked (like the ninja stopping to see if it was an episode he'd missed) that I knew would be the first thing I'd drop if I tried to adlib it. So I had Brian Anderson, with script in hand, standing next to me continuously interrupting and correcting me as I was trying to tell the story. This worked very well because it added a harried energy to the piece, and also made sure I didn't leave out any of the details.

[Jeff Goode's website]

[Back to Library] Home