You used to be a hostage negotiator just to pay the bills and to have a good spot for yourself in the department. Over the years, you’ve ascended the ranks to become known as the finest hostage negotiator in the city. Anytime someone gets a gun pointed at their head, you get called in. And you owe all your success to Larry losing all interest in hearing a single word you say at home.
“Listen,” you tell the bank robber. “There’s no rush here. No need to start throwing out bodies, and no ticking clock on the demands. I can sit here on this megaphone all day.”
“But these people’s lives are in danger,” the bank robber shouts back. “And you’re wasting the department’s resources.”
“Forget those people and forget the department,” you say. “It’s just you and me, Larry.”
“Why’d you call me Larry?” he shouts.
“Larry’s my husband’s name,” you say, with a little feedback on the megaphone. “And since you won’t tell me your name, I’ma a call you Larry, since it’s nice to talk to a Larry who’ll hang on my every word. For once.”
The bank robber’s silent. So is everyone on the street.
“Oh you used to,” you say. “You used to cherish what I had to say, Larry. In those early days, it was like every single word that fell off my tongue held the secret of the universe for you. But those days are long gone.”
One of the snipers gasps audibly.
“I mean, did I change, Larry?” you ask. “Or did you just explore every nook and cranny of me and decide this mystery’s been solved? I come home every night telling stories about saving the day from desperate gunman threatening innocent lives, and for all the attention you pay me, I might as well have just asked you to remember to pick up a gallon of milk.”
Gusts of wind rattle through the police tape.
“Have you told him that?” the bank robber asks. “Have you demanded more from him?”
You chuckle into the megaphone. “My career has made me way more suited to listening to demands than making them, Larry.”
Everyone laughs. The bank robber, the bystanders. Even one of the hostages shouts “Good one!” before getting a rifle butt to the forehead.
“Besides,” you say. “What if he tells me why he stopped listening?”
“Leave him!” the bank robber shouts. The front door to the bank opens and as he steps out into the plaza, he shouts again, “Leave him and find someone you des–”
He’s tackled by police before he can finish giving you relationship advice. You drop your megaphone to the street, and you accept the pats on the back from your colleagues. Then you get in your car to drive around for a few hours before heading home to your husband.
Happy You Wouldn’t Have To Negotiate With Hostage-Takers If Larry Listened To You At Home Day!