So You're in a Fight to the Death in a Hall of Mirrors
I may have accidentally embroiled myself in a fight to the death.
Is that all?
Is that all?
You've embroiled yourself in so much worse. What venue? Lip of an active volcano? Roof of an unfinished skyscraper? McDonald's Playroom ball pit?
"Darius! COME AT ME, DAAAAARIUS!"
I'm in a hall of mirrors.
Nice one! And who are you fighting?
Jeff, huh? That's not an especially menacing name for a fighter in an illegal kumite.
This isn't an illegal kumite.
An illegal dressing room?
No. Jeff's a contractor. He's claiming I didn't pay him for the hall of mirrors he constructed.
This is your hall of mirrors? Are you so vain?
You probably think this column's about you.
There was a mix-up with the scope. I have a small apartment that I wanted to make look larger ...
No. But I didn't really understand the drawings he presented me with.
And now you're balking at the cost of having all of existence in your living room.
Floor-length mirrors cost a couple hundred bucks each, apparently. And I have about 80 of them now.
Hence Jeff's understandable desire to put a murder-lien on you.
He didn't say murder specifically. He just said I had to pay him. And then he kind of stood there, looking a lot bigger than me.
He's a guy who works with his hands. I'm sure if he even touched you, you'd shatter like a light bulb. OK, we'll mark him down as Certain Murderer then, and plan appropriately.
I'm calling the police.
Don't bother. Phones use radio waves, which are basically light waves, which can't escape your mirror lair.
I am like 70 percent sure that's true. Your only chance is to fight your way out.
Should I not pursue the 30 percent possibility that you might not be right?
There's no time. Also, as the owner of this hall of mirrors, you have certain obligations as the villain of this fight.
I'm not the villain!
The only people who own halls of mirrors are villains and carnival owners. So which is it?
I guess I'm a villain then.
Do you have like a cruel echo-y laugh?
I don't think so.
OK, let's try some cruel taunting at least. Shout out that he's a con-tractor. Stress the "con."
And I have time for this?
Like he "conned" you.
No, I get it.
Say that it's "like he conned you."
I'm like 70 percent positive he gets it too.
Now yell that you're going to teach him a lesson.
We'll fake it. Did he say anything back?
No. Wait! THERE HE IS!
FIGHT LIKE A CHAMPION!
It was a mirror, wasn't it?
"He knows every move before I make it."
That might be a recurring issue.
I think it might, ye- ... THERE HE IS!
FIGHT HARD. DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT.
A mirror again?
Ahhhh! My fists!
Ahhhh! My open palms!
OK, let's at least get you a weapon so you can stop slapping yourself in the mirror.
Oh, I've got a weapon for that.
Seriously though, you don't have a glove made of knives, do you?
With me? No.
Other than mirrors, is there anything near you? The kitchen?
Uh. Maybe. Here we ... OW. Another mirror.
OW. OW. OK. Here we are. Whoops. Nope. Entertainment center.
What kind of entertaining do you do? Is it full of, like, whips?
I've got a television and a stereo and an Xbox in there.
Hmm. How about a Wii?
Maybe in the back. Why? Oh no.
Yes. This, more than anything else, is the one moment the Wii has been waiting for.
I'm pretty sure this is contraindicated by the manual.
WARNING: PLEASE ENSURE WRIST STRAP IS SECURELY FASTENED BEFORE USING NUNCHUK IN A HALL OF MIRRORS.
Look. It's not like you're ever going to use your Wii again because you'll be dead and because it's a Wii. So put on your wrist strap and beat the working man to death with the children's toy.
How? I don't even ... THERE HE IS!
THIS IS YOUR MOMENT. SEIZE IT. SEIZE IT SO GOOD.
I got him!
It wasn't a mirror?
It was actually him? Holy crap! Nice one, buddy!
Did you stop?
I guess I did, yeah. And now he's run away and disappeared again.
You're not exactly the most overwhelming force of immeasurable evil I've worked with.
I just want to see my family again.
Yes, yes, just like all forces of immeasurable evil. OK, let's regroup. Are you still by the entertainment center?
This is a hall-of-mirrors fight. We need some creepy, tense music. You don't happen to have a 20-minute track of single, brooding piano notes, do you?
My iPod does not, interestingly, have a selection of single, brooding piano note tracks.
I've got the X-Files theme song on it.
I guess that will have to do.
Which is kind of how I felt about the show itself.
Let's see, where is it ... AHHHHHH!
THERE HE IS! WITH A HAMMER!
RUN! RUN LIKE A CHAMPION!
Did he hit you?
No, I ... OW!
Oh. Mirrors. Right.
-loud crashing sound-
Are you OK?
Did you just run through a mirror?
How'd that turn out for you?
Ahhhh! My skin!
Are you bleeding from it?
I think my clothes are bleeding too.
OK, well, tear your clothes into bandages and patch yourself up as best as you can.
We're not playing grab-ass anymore. This is seriously life-or-death territory now, and you need to stop that bleeding. So grab the pants off your ass and get to work.
Don't worry. In a way, this is good news.
How is this good news?
Now we know what the stakes are. This is turning into a classic hall-of-mirrors fight. We've even got some nice tense music playing.
Actually, I didn't quite get to the X-Files theme song before I ran off.
What'd you get?
The Facts of Life theme song.
"You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both, and now this song's, stuck in your head, stuck in your head ..."
Well, that's not exactly tense. Unsettling, certainly.
Wait? What's that sound?
Is it Jeff weeping because he's going insane?
No! He's breaking the mirrors! He's breaking my fucking mirrors!
No, he still might be going insane. Breaking a mirror is a pretty messed up thing to do. It suggests you don't like looking at yourself, that you prefer the fractured, shattered view that a broken mirror shows. If you've got a cruel laugh in you, now's the time.
BLOR BLOR BLOR BLOR BLOR.
-long non-silence, the Facts of Life theme song drowning out all thought-
I guess that will have to do.
He is actually crying audibly now.
Success! You've psychically crippled your opponent! Now then, walking with your hands out in front of you, carefully search for him.
OW! Wait. That mirror didn't hurt at all. Putting my hands in front of me really worked.
I probably should have led with that advice, yeah.
THERE HE IS!
FEAST ON HIS INNARDS LIKE A CHAMPION.
Holy shit. He's sobbing like a child.
Right. That's your chance.
Why is he scared of me ... oh.
Because you asked him to build you a hall of mirrors, refused to pay, and are semi-nakedly pursuing him throughout it while screaming that you plan on teaching him a lesson?
THE FACTS OF LIFE. THE FACTS OF LIFE.
Yeah, that's probably why. Oh man. He wasn't trying to kill me.
He was just bigger than you. Most people are, I bet. And then you started stalking him through your lair.
He's even calling for help. Like on the phone. Like the police. Oh shit.
I'm like 70 percent confident the police will think it's a misunderstanding. Feeling a little less certain about that radio wave advice, though, so I'll give you that one back.
That'll be their sirens then now. What do I do?
Congratulations! You are no longer in a fight to the death in a hall of mirrors! Should you require any further assistance, please consult our guide, "So You Can't Get a Fair Trial Because of What the Press Have Said About Your Semi-Naked Mirror-Hall Assault."
Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and has a very cruel laugh. Join him on Facebook or Twitter, where, if you play your cards wrong, you might just hear it.