The day before Christmas, all of New York was in a hustle. The housewives, the negligent husbands, boyfriends and girlfriends, all were in a primordial hurry to finish their holiday shopping, to find that one special gift for their spouse, kid, or beloved, and to wrestle for it with another shopper if necessary. Everybody was looked upon as a potential contender for the same thing one was seeking, and the traditional Christmas spirit often seemed lost due to avid competition. The city was in turmoil.
A man in a nylon overcoat and a tattered hat that should have been thrown out a long time ago was lying on the cold roof of an apartment building opposite a prospective mall. In front of him was a low-budget sniper's rifle, and the man's right eye was glued to its eyepiece, diligently scanning the opposite side of the street. An empty paper bag held down by a beer bottle was flapping in the freezing December wind, suggesting that the man had just eaten his lunch.
Through the eyepiece, the man was watching the entrance to the mall, often digressing to check out a nearby hot dog stand and its customers. People in this city were really stupid. How could they buy this crap in the middle of the street, with no guarantees and no sanitary conditions whatsoever? I mean, thousands of humans pass this stand every day, a good half of them carrying some nasty virus (not excluding the vendor himself); if they as much as sneeze in the vicinity, those germs get all over the hot dogs. Oh, sure, how yummy. Not to mention the innumerable cars that pass this spot, spewing mud, water from the gutters, and exhaust gas on these same hot dogs. Heck, germs might be the least problem here. Look, there's a subway outlet five feet from the hot dog vendor; I don't even want to know what comes out of there when a filthy train rumbles by. Add some casual bird excretion into the vat when it's open, and you've got yourself a Grade A recipe for a quick and certain stomach disorder. Yet hundreds of morons stop and purchase one because they're too stringy to pay an extra dime in a nearby fast food restaurant. I reckon most of them ain't even hungry, but simply can't resist the urge to pass by something edible without buying it. Losers.
Argh! Stupid coat. The man stood up to adjust the belt, which somehow managed to form some very uncomfortable folds, then took another sip from the beer bottle and returned to his rifle, returning the focus to the entrance of the mall. That crazy woman better show up soon, or he would freeze his extremities to a point beyond being curable by a warm shower. That hypocrite bitch! As if all that dishonorable attention she'd gotten by ruining the President's reputation wasn't enough. Now she's playing a victim, making a big deal out of every little thing she does. Like now, for instance. What's she got to declare about going to the mall for? Maybe she expects to find her own fan club there seeking autographs? Ugh. Well, she's gonna get a helluva surprise when she walks out. Too bad she won't even know what hit her. I ain't about to let a phony intern further ruin the President's integrity. All those damn Republicans should be shot, as well. They always used to be the good guys in the history class; why do they have to... ah, hell. Don't even go there.
How long can she spend at a mall? What's she gotta buy that she doesn't already have? Jeez. I could never understand women with their shopping. Thank God I ain't married; my neighbors keep telling me what a pain that is. Of course, they could win a world prize for stupidity, so I don't listen to them too much. This is ridiculous. I want to go home, take a warm shower, eat, and watch the HBO Special at 8:00, not freeze off my butt on a rooftop. The things I have to endure... but since the government ain't planning to stop her, I will. Years down the line, history books will praise me for what I'm about to do.
Whoa there! Chile hot babes at eleven o'clock! Short flitty skirts, anorexic profiles, waist curvature that sends goose bumps down a man's spine... wouldn't be surprised if they're models or something. Don't those girls realize what they do to men by dressing like that? Nah, I think they do. They know that this type of stuff turns everybody's heads, and they do that on purpose, specially to drive guys crazy. And just look how they strut, wiggling their cute behinds, laughing and giggling and pretending not to notice how much attention they get. It's this kind of girl that grows up to be capricious, whiny, and completely intolerable to the poor chap who's foolish enough to marry her. Oh, sure, she's gonna break millions of hearts along the way, but any smart guy will see right through and realize that beyond their flirtatiousness, they're as shallow and empty as a teaspoon. Just the fact that they're going into the mall tells you something about their mentality. It sure is pleasant to watch them, though.
The man stood up, squinting to try and still see the mall entrance, and started jumping up and down to warm himself. After several minutes of exercise, he took another sip from the beer bottle, coughed, and lay down by the rifle again. It seemed as though he had already spent several months up here on this roof, freezing to death. The honking of taxi drivers was starting to get on his nerves. Another moron walked up to the hot dog stand. How can they not realize how filthy these dogs are? These are the same twits who sit at some run-down McDonald's eating a huge sandwich that the cook just picked up from the floor after the rats were done with it. Just look at that guy! He can barely reach into his pocket for the wallet. Go on a diet, ya pudgy redneck, and lay off the hot dogs!
And what's going on here? Ah, the innocent children, playing with the snow in that miserable parody of a park. Come to think of it, I'd never play with snow that shallow, no matter how rare a chance I get. Imagine some guy walking his dog through that "grassy hill." Next, suppose the dog decides to take a crap under the tree, and the carefree owner, not wanting to bend down and scoop it up, decides to let the precipitation hide his canine friend's excretion. Several hours later, when it's covered by snow, a kid comes up to make a snowman, and suddenly - poom! - he reaches in and emerges with a handful of doggy poo all over his fingers. There's something to look forward to.
Wait a minute... yes! There she is! Ah, that arrogant bitch, coming all the way to New York to mingle with the commoners. Come on, get out, stop standing in the doorway! What the hell's she doing? Aw, stop chatting with your brain-dead fans already! God! This is sickening. Women. And just look how ecstatic that other girl is, like she'd met a legend or a star or something. How ironic. Apparently, all you gotta do is sleep with the President and then sue him, and you've got fame and glory for the rest of your stupid, unworthy life. Well, Madame Lewinsky, you ain't framing anybody again, not if I can help it. God, my fingers are so frozen I can't even move. Little longer, and I won't even feel the trigger. Hurry up down there!
Monica Lewinsky was on the verge of leaving the mall when a familiar voice called her by name. It turned out that her old friend from college heard about Monica's visit to New York and drove down to see her. The two ladies had quite a few things to reminisce about, and, in a manner often typical in city women, they stood in the doorway, reluctant to leave and go each her own way. The bodyguards were leisurely waiting on the doorsteps for this conversation to end, but even they have started growing impatient. Finally, with a charming wave of her hand, Monica Lewinsky bid goodbye to her old friend and stepped outside.
The man on the roof licked his dry lips, chapped from the freezing wind, and reached for the trigger. His stiff fingers have lost all feeling, and it took him what seemed like an eternity to concentrate on bending his finger. At last, when the object of his fanatic obsession almost reached her car, he gritted his teeth and, with a painful grunt, pulled the trigger.
The gun clicked but didn't go off.
In his hurry to reach the mall in time, he'd forgotten to take the bullets with him.