A Day in the Life of a Professional Hit Man
By Jeremy Fancher
People tend to elevate certain professions to the fantastical realm of super-human, beyond the constraints of the mundane, everyday existence the rest of us are forced to slog through. Spies have to take out the garbage and do the dishes. Priests shop for groceries. Nuns get stranded when their cars crap out on them. And hit men have to do their laundry too, you know.
Koldcast TV’s award-winning action crime thriller Hitman 101 combats this fetishizing effect by taking a cold, hard look at the trials and tribulations of an everyday professional assassin. Though the steely protagonist, who we come to know only as “John Smith,” is having a bad week – an array of gangsters, femme fatales, and dirty cops are all after him – we can’t help but think John is, after all, just like us.
We come to understand hit men better by observing the everyday life of a contract killer. Here, I’ll take you through a day a la Morgan Spurlock. And I’ve canvassed only the best sources available for understanding the harsh realities of professional killing: film and television, of course!
You are watching the first episode of Hitman 101, “Always The Hardest”
Georgie Daburas gives an award-winning performance as “John Smith”, the central figure in writer/director Scott Staven’s unique action crime thriller series Hitman 101, in which the story unfolds and clues are revealed with each new episode until it reaches its startling and violent finale.
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A soft cracking from outside awakens you with a start, and you jolt out of bed. The fiercely loyal teenage girl standing in the corner of the bedroom – adorned with a pink-plaid miniskirt, knee-high socks, and pigtails – is your personal bodyguard. She glides across the room as you simultaneously fling a Kunai through the open window. It sticks in a tree just outside. You grab your Hattori Hanzo steel, but find nothing outside. You slip out of your Kimono and fall back asleep.
Kill Bill Key to Success: A good professional killer should maintain an ever-present baseline of paranoia. You never know if someone might be hired to kill you.
You wake up on a fishing boat in the Mediterranean Sea. Due to acute amnesia, you have no idea who you are, or how you got on this little schooner. You’re suffering from hypothermia, have two bullet wounds in your back, and are in seriously good shape. All things considered, the day is off to a good start.
The Bourne Identity Key to Success: Avoid Walker County, Alabama at all costs. The market is just saturated with hired killers. On the other hand, for all you disgruntled spouses, the place is a veritable bargain bin!
You eat breakfast alone in a diner. An old friend from high school who you haven’t seen in ten years walks in. You hide your face ineffectually and she notices you, instantly causing you to soften from the warmth of human contact (a rarity for dedicated professional killers). Your burgeoning import/export business is doing quite well, thank you. She mentions the upcoming high school reunion, which incidentally you will be working. You tell her you might be busy returning some videotapes, but otherwise will definitely attend. You mindlessly massage the Colt Peacemaker held in place between your pelvis and the band of your Levi’s, waiting for her to leave.
Grosse Pointe Blank Key to Success: Look at yourself in a mirror and repeat this phrase: “This is a means to an end.” If you love money enough, you can achieve a heightened state of misanthropy and escape from the emotional devastation to which you’ll be inevitably subjected.
You decide it is too early to put on another Gene Kelly musical, and head over to the Supreme Macaroni Company to meet the boss for your next assignment. On your way out of your apartment, you discover a sobbing, chain-smoking young girl. Her entire family was just murdered by the DEA, but she escaped undetected. You take her home, and she quickly discovers your identity. She’s eager to avenge her little brother’s death, and wants to know everything there is to know about professional killing. She takes your guns, infiltrates the DEA office, and is apprehended. You’re forced to kill a few agents in the process of rescuing her.
Léon: The Professional Key to Success: Do not, I repeat, do not relent and allow eager young children to follow you on the job. Bring Your Daughter to Work Day does not include a child bearing witness to a professional slaying. Drop her off with the inevitably estranged ex-wife first.
Having basically made a whole mess of things with law enforcement earlier in the day, you decide to conduct your afternoon business as discretely as possible. You hail a cab, and give the driver, who looks an awful lot like Jamie Foxx, a wad of $100 bills to take you to five different stops in the city. Professional killers do not use Visa. Unfortunately, your first target crashes through a third-story window and lands on top of the waiting taxi.
Collateral Key to Success: Kill or heavily bribe anyone implicated in your work. No loose ends allowed in this business.
After scraping the majority of the blood and flesh off of the taxi, you proceed to your next target, a sixteen-year-old cheerleader. It’s a tough one, but the customer comes first. In this case that’s Wanda, wanting to live vicariously through her daughter’s cheerleading. Wanda decided to hire you to kill her daughter’s top competitive threat at school.
The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom (phew) Key to Success: Don’t inquire too deeply into the motives behind your hits and don’t get emotionally involved in the job, no matter how wrong it may seem. If you want to rise to the top of this business, keep your eye on the mark – and sometimes that mark is an innocent teenage girl.
Fed up after a stressful day, you never do make it to the reunion. Instead, you stop to pick up your good friend and sometimes colleague, Vincent, for a cheeseburger from Big Kahuna burger. Then it’s off to a sleepy diner for some low-rent philosophizing. All of a sudden a five-foot Brit decides to hold up the joint. Sigh. You’re getting too old for this sh*t.
Pulp Fiction Key to Success: Keep business and pleasure separate. If the boss asks you to entertain his wife while he’s out of town, don’t get any ideas. A date is strictly a date, nothing more.
It seems a day in the life of a professional killer isn’t as humdrum as we initially thought. Even a killer like John Smith, with all his relatable human flaws, knows that Hitman 101 demands the prerequisite courses Intro to Emotional Isolation, and Developing a Cold, Calculating State of Mind.
Jeremy Fancher is a second-year student at the University of Michigan Law School. He is left-handed, and wishes he had a dog, which he would name John Elway. Jeremy would hypothetically enjoy taking long walks with said John Elway.