Me: So. How did you come into your... profession?
The Jolly Reaper: I was sitting out on my porch one fine Summer day watching my neighbor, Bill, mow his lawn. He was about halfway finished when The Grim Reaper rode up, hopped off his boney horse and started chasing Bill around his yard. I could hardly believe my eyes! Bill tried to escape with a juke and spin but he was fairly out of shape and The Grim Reaper caught him with a backhanded swing of his scythe and that was that. I thought to myself, "That's no way to run a business."
M: How do you mean?
TJR: Well, Bill wasn't exactly a close friend, but I could tell he was positively terrified when he saw that cloaked monstrosity bearing down on him. I ask you, does that sound like customer satisfaction?
M: Um. No. I suppose not.
TJR: Of course not! Life is hard enough without it being ended by a bony anachronism with an oversized knife. You know? Sure you do. So, after going over to make certain that Bill was dead, I turned off his mower, went back into my house, called the police, then sat down to give it some thought. I figured there were a lot of people that would rather not be visited by The Grim Reaper.
M: Most of them I would imagine.
TJR: Exactly! Talk about a huge potential customer base! And I put it all down to the way The Grim Reaper has chosen to handle things. He's had thousands of years to make the experience of dying more enjoyable but he hasn't bothered. It's almost as though he doesn't care. And I think that people have picked up on that. I decided then and there that it was time for a someone to set up a bit of competition, and I knew that I was just the man to do it. I know what's fun.
M: How do you mean?
TJR: Well, for starters, there's the whole image that The Grim Reaper presents to his customers. He's a dusty skeleton in a black robe riding a skeleton horse and carrying a three foot long curved blade at the end of a six foot staff. Not very soothing. Whereas I'm a normal looking fellow who dresses nice. I'm wearing a friendly smiley face button, I drive a green Metro and I carry a big ice cream scoop. Now tell me, is that scary?
M: Well, not really, but it is very odd. I was ready to bean you with my burrito.
TJR: Ah! But you didn't, did you? If I had been The Grim Reaper you wouldn't have hesitated and I would be picking chicken and rice from my eye sockets right now. Instead, here I sit within two feet of you and you're totally calm. Cool, huh?
... to be continued ...