You may or may not know that my husband suffers from chronic back pain.
“I’m not made to sit at a desk day-in day-out,” he complained to me the other day as we got ready for sleep. “I should be a ninja! Ninjas don’t have to do any desk work. They just step silently around in the dark, commiting espionage, assassinations and other covert stuff.”
I could have let it go. Let’s face it, a normal person would have just changed the subject. But, no. Not I.
“Surely there would be some desk jobs in the ninja world,” I said. “After all, who dispatches them on their missions? Or arranges payment? They can’t just be doing it for free. Are they on a payroll or do they invoice per job? There must be a paper trail, right? Even if it is written in, say, lemon juice or whatever the hell they use in those magic ‘paint-with-water’ books… What do they use in those magic paint-with-water books? Is it really magic?”
I might have gone on, but my husband appeared to have fallen asleep.
But the next day, I still found myself wondering about ninjas. When I looked up “Ninja” on wikipedia, there was a section on “Clothing and Tactics” but not one on “Administrative Duties”. It was a mystery.
That evening, I raised it again with my husband, who had evidently also done some thinking on the matter. He said he thought that even ninja accountants must tip toe around in the dark, carrying their clients’ folders, pausing under the streetlamps to calculate tax liabilities or likely capital gains.
But I disagreed. I had decided there was an unsung hero Ninja Administrator for each group of ninjas who’d hang back at Ninja HQ and would keep the books, manage the job flow and maybe even do the ninjas’ laundry.
“Ninjas don’t do laundry! That’s one of the reasons they wear black,” my husband replied. “It shows up the blood less.”
He had a point. Still, I argued, the ninja robes would eventually get all stiff and that would have to affect their work. You can’t be all cat-like when you’re wearing something that feels as body-hugging as corrugated cardboard. And a single-use set of ninja robes would just be wasteful.
Of course it was only later on I realised that, if my husband became a ninja, he’d probably be made the local Ninja Administrator, because of his bad back and all. And him, being him, he’d end up outsourcing all the laundry duties to me. And then one day, I would forget to check all the pockets of the ninja robes and there’d be a tissue and I’d end up with tissue confetti throughout the whole wash. And nobody likes tissue shit on black clothing. Nobody. Particularly ninjas, who would then be all vulnerable to detection by ultra-violet light and therefore unable to fulfill any of their ninjaly duties in night clubs, which would probably take a lot of the fun out of ninja-ing ’cause there are girls and beer there. And they’d probably get all ninja-cranky and force my husband to issue the paperwork on an assassination order with me as the target. Me. His own wife.
So I think I’ll encourage him not to join the ninja corps, or whatever it’s called. Anyway, what kind of person hangs out in dark alleyways with tissues? I mean, sheesh.