Originally published on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.
I was just a local schoolteacher. I happened to stumble upon one weird trick that gave me beautiful, younger skin. It was a simple trick. It cost almost nothing. It worked instantly. It required no surgery and no doctor’s office visits. It made fifty-five year-old women in your area look twenty-five. You had to see it to believe it.
I was excited about it. I thought I had discovered something wonderful. I patented it and started selling it. I was turning a profit. The future was bright.
Then the backlash started. First some phone calls in the dead of the night with only the sound of breathing on the other end. Then a few angry emails from dermatologists who charged up to three hundred percent more for the surgical equivalent of my one weird trick. Then a car parked outside my house at all hours packed full of dermatologists in white coats, glaring at me. Then a rock thrown through my bay window, wrapped in an angry note stained with hand cream.
I began to live in constant fear of the dermatologists who hated me. My blinds were drawn at all hours. I wouldn’t leave the house. I started homeschooling my children after a dermatologist chloroformed the gym teacher and attempted to kidnap my son in order to coerce me into giving up my one weird trick. I could hardly hear my own thoughts over the rageful screams of dermatologists bellowing from beneath the birch trees in my backyard.
Then one night, after carelessly leaving a second-floor window ajar, I awoke to a dermatologist standing over me, a large bottle of chemicals in his hand. “Stop sharing your one weird trick!” he demanded in a breathy shout. “Never!” I cried. “You think you can look years younger,” he sneered, “in a just a few weeks without the expense or discomfort of Botox?” The sickly tinge of acid crept up my nostrils. I looked him in the eye and shouted, “Women like me deserve an easy way to look their best without breaking the bank!” His face twisted into a malevolent grin and he raised the bottle, preparing to give me a lethal skin peel. I swiftly grabbed the taser hidden beneath my pillow and brandished it, exclaiming, “My affordable secret to reverse the effects of aging cannot be stopped!” and fired two electrified barbs into his chest. As he fell to the carpet, I heard the aggravated shuffling of dermatologists in the yard. I had only minutes until they would be upon me. I struck a match and dropped it into the puddle of chemicals draining from the dermatologist’s bottle. Flames lapped at my heels as I grabbed my children from their beds and ran to the car. I pressed the accelerator to the floor, driving straight through the garage door as the house exploded in a deafening fireball. Dermatologists stood at the bottom of the driveway, submachine guns in hand. “Down!” I shouted to my children at the dermatologists fired and I sped backwards towards them. The dermatologists hit my rear fender with a series of percussive crushes. My shoulder was bleeding, but it was only a flesh wound. I shifted the car into drive and peeled out down the road before the dermatologists left alive could get their hands on the submachine guns of their dead colleagues.
Now I live on the road and off the grid, sleeping outside, teaching my children survival skills, and hoping others will carry on the duty of spreading my one weird trick. But I will rise again. I will not be silenced. I fight on as an inspiration to all those who have stood up against the establishment, those who have learned how to reduce belly fat, how to lower their bills, and how to cut their car insurance premiums in half as a result of the legislation just passed in their area. We will change this world, one weird trick at a time.