Sometimes you just have to ask.
Tuesday night I was coming back from Peoria to my hometown with my brother and aunt. In daylight it's a rather scenic drive, at least for the mostly flat and boring Illinois, but at night it's a little scary. Very dark, very woody, very Blair Witch Project with winding roads and the occasional farmhouse and one horse town to speed through.
Even though I grew up in a small town, I think I'd handle a shitty Chicago neighborhood better than the dead quiet, pitch black night way out in the country. At least in the city you'd be roughed up and left for dead where someone's bound to find you in an alley like a civilized human being. But in the country, hell you'd end up in some woodchipper and no one would notice till the spring barn raising season started.
My jerkface brother took advantage of my uneasiness about midway through the drive. I was sitting in the back seat and was leaning forward talking to my companions when everything went black. Mr. Smarty Pants had cut out the lights.
"HEY!" I shouted/whined. My heart started to leap out of my chest.
"Uh, I just wanted to see how dark it is. It's pretty dark," he said chuckling.
Usually I deal better with the unknown. Back in our roaring 20s, friends and I embarked on what seemed at the time to be adventures (late night ministering to the sick with cute cops, getting rides back to a London hotel with strange men) but we were always careful to ask the all-important question.
"Are you taking me somewhere to kill me?, or Are you taking her somewhere to kill her?"
And if the answer was no, then you got the greenlight. Because everyone knows that if you kill someone after telling them you weren't going to, then you're going to be in a lot more trouble.
Can you imagine the trial?
Big shot prosecutor: Did YOU or did YOU not tell the victim you were not taking her somewhere to kill her?
Cute killer: (whispers) yes.
The courtroom gasps. Cute killer gets the gas chamber.