The Bet

Dear Planet Earth,

They came to my cell today. The homies (trademark pending) marched in dragging a bloody Mr. Ozawa by the shoulders. I said his name, trying to mask any sense of shock or relief I felt. My elderly Japanese friend gave a small grunt as he fell to the floor and attempted to roll on his side.

I took careful note of my jailers. There were three of them, all middle-aged, if not older. They wore the same dirty, unassuming clothing you’d see any homeless person wearing on the street. They smelled almost as badly as myself (though I may be biased). The biggest of them had a large, gruesome scab on the left side of his face. He took a couple steps toward me and smiled.

“We have a little bet going on here,” he said. “We’re trying to find out if Carl here is completely full of shit or just partly full of shit.”

He stepped on Mr. Ozawa’s hand as I contemplated how Japanese the name “Carl” really is. He winced in pain and the big homie continued.

“According to him, you people saw him making off with your weapons and fellow upworlders, and that’s what made him flee in a ‘dignified’ manner.” He put more weight on Mr. Ozawa’s hand, who gave another short shriek. “Then you ambushed him outside our camp here, effectively destroying the truck and it’s primitive supplies.”

I interpreted all of this as quickly and clearly as I could. I sat agape as the entire room of enemies awaited my next response.

“He. . . He kidnapped them?”

Mr. Ozawa started to cough out plea after plea, alleging his unshakable devotion to “the cause,” decrying the “unscrupulous lies” of upworlders like me — all in perfect English.

The big homie smiled wide enough to reveal his many brown and missing teeth. He turned to his companions and said, “Looks like you owe me a Coke.”

He took out a large pistol covered with thin pipes and promptly blew off Carl Ozawa’s traitorous head.


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