"What? Who's that?" I shook the sleep away. It was 2:30 in the morning. I had dragged my butt back from watching the midnight showing of Saw III, and was fighting sleep to write an early review of it.
"Let's play a game."
"Who's talking to me?" I asked.
A squeaking sound came from the dark corner of my attic office. A tricycle slowly rolled into the circle of sparse light that illuminated my desk. It was Papa Smurf.
"I am Jigsaw. Your life is an empty shell."
"You're not Jigsaw! You're Papa Smurf!" I cried, frantically pinching my hand to wake up.
"You're Papa Smurf with large red targets painted on his beard." I pinched harder.
"I am here to help you face your fears. Of course, you may die in an extremely painful and gory way, but you will thank me in the end. If you survive."
"Okay, look, when Iloz Zoc said I needed to cover these midnight showings while he's away, he didn't mention sh*t like this." I gave up on pinching my hand. "Okay, I'll bite. What's the game?"
"Look at you: you are tired, overworked, and barely notice the richness of life around you. Your entire existence is now focused on only one thing. Blogging. How sad. To lose the gift of MySpace, of Yahoo Messenger, and yes, even the gift of World of Warcraft, just so you can type away on that cold, hard laptop keyboard.
"Click, click, click, all day and well into the night. For what? You have lost touch with your inner self, John, and those most important around you. I will help you find the way back -- did I mention you may die horribly like a twisted pretzel, or maybe a ribcage deboner would be visually cool -- back to your life that is waiting patiently for you, and the loved ones that miss you."
"Er, what's the catch?" I asked.
"The game is simple. Write the review. If I like it, you will live, and have fame and fortune. If I don't like it, you will make like a corkscrew and go pop in a shower of crimson. Make your choice."