George was about to face the electric chair because of a ham sandwich. A goddamn ham sandwich. After a decade in prison, he still couldn’t quite believe it. As a hitman, he knew better than to expect a happy ending, but this was truly embarrassing.
Up until that dreadful day, the day he was felled by the ham on rye, George, 35, was considered the best of the best in the Murder for Hire game, and he took a great deal of pride in this fact. He’d worked hard to achieve his reputation, honing his skills over the course of 323 contracts.
But then… ah, but then. There are those who claim it was arrogance, while others swear it was good old-fashioned stupidity that led to his demise. Because honestly, what kind of person leaves a half eaten sandwich beside the body of his murder victim?
Maybe someone overwhelmed by a nagging, overbearing mother for starters. But George kept this to himself in order to salvage what little dignity he had left. The truth was, the sandwich from hell was prepared by his mother, whose mission in life, it seemed, was to stretch her only son’s waistline to its breaking point. Brisket, porkchops, chicken à la king. George couldn’t walk three steps without her popping up like a Jack-in-the-Box and assaulting him with a plate of food. This, of course, was a constant source of contention between Georgie boy, who was going for a Marky Mark physique, and his mother, who was obsessed with watching him eat all the things her cholesterol and diabetes (pronounced the Wilford Brimley way) prevented her from enjoying.
On the day George was scheduled to kill 83-year-old Gladys Patterson, who was discovered by her husband fellating the pool boy and thus had to die before she could take her millions and run away with the little punk (George thought this a bit paranoid, but wasn’t getting paid to judge), he’d emerged from his room in the basement to find the ham sandwich shoved in his face. Wishing more than anything to avoid yet another confrontation with his mother, he appeased her by taking an oversized bite before continuing toward the door and his 2 o’clock appointment with the kinky old broad. He assumed that would be enough, but unbeknownst to George, his mother had just finished watching an ancient Julia Child rerun and was entertaining a serious hankering for sliced pork. She wasn’t going to let him escape so easily. Both hips creaked with arthritis, but somehow she moved quick as a ninja to block his exit, and refused to budge until he finished that sandwich and half of another. The only way he could finally persuade her to release him was by promising to take the other half with him, and to eat a pound of bacon when he returned.
So it happened that George was found with a half eaten ham sandwich hastily stuffed in his jacket pocket at the time he pushed Mrs. Patterson down a flight of stairs.
If only he hadn’t tripped on a stray sandal as he was leaving.
If only he had looked down once he’d regained his balance.
Unfortunately for George, he’d completely forgotten about the ham on rye as soon as he’d freed himself of his mother’s hungry gaze, and there was no other reason to think that he’d accidentally gifted the crime scene with DNA soaked evidence. He was a professional, you see, and always carried out each hit with meticulous care and precision.
But one tiny misstep, and it all comes crashing down.
It didn’t take long for the authorities to come knocking on George’s door. Upon discovering a ham sandwich in a household of strict vegetarians, foul play was immediately suspected, and Mr. Patterson folded like a cheap suit, confessing his guilt and pointing investigators in the carnivore’s direction.
A goddamn ham sandwich, and his life was over. Less than twenty-four hours from now, the state of Texas will fry him crispy enough to serve with a side of mashed potatoes and a buttermilk biscuit. And maybe it’s morbid, but the thought makes him smile. His mother must be so proud.