How to Give a Hostile Massage

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By Michael Fowler

First off, choose your victim. You want someone who will gratefully accept a massage from you, or at least allow you to rub their back or shoulders, but who doesn’t yet suspect that you hold a grudge against them. Exes of all kinds are goods: an ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, ex-spouse, or any friend who doesn’t know yet that he’s an ex-friend. Other candidates may include that coworker who talks over you in meetings, your ailing parent who refuses to get a bone density test, or the neighbor who’s owed you fifty dollars for going on a year. Any of these dolts is likely to qualify.  

Next, arrange for you and your intended victim to meet at a time and place convenient for you. The time doesn’t matter, but the best place is probably where you live. Then you will have the satisfaction of seeing your ex-boyfriend, ex-spouse, or whoever, rush out the door in a huff, not harmed in any way but indignant. That’s what giving a hostile massage is all about. You want to push your bottled-up hostility out through your hands and into the offensive jerk sitting before you, without bringing on an injury that would leave you liable to pay any medical bills or court costs.

Immediately upon their arrival, make your victim comfortable. For all they know, they’re in for a pleasant experience that binds you two closer together and may even heal old wounds. By the same token, ask them to disrobe to the level of their own comfort. t doesn’t matter how much of their tender flesh they expose. The more nerve endings you can reach the better, but for your purpose a bare neck is adequate. 

Music is a good way to lull your victim into an unsuspecting state of lethargy. Start the session off with something by Enya droning peacefully in the background. But have your player set to crank “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” or “Backstabber” at the flick of a switch, because the time will come to drop the ruse and get real if you desire to, and you probably do.   

Good oil or lotion can thicken the plot if you have considerable skin area to work with. Begin with a neutral balm that’s not too citrusy or coconutty, and gradually mix in a few squirts of BENGAY, or other non-toxic skin-warming agent that reeks of gauze bandages or has a barn-like odor. Here as elsewhere, the idea isn’t to violate or do legally actionable harm to your victim, but only to make a pointed statement, just noticeable enough to gain their divided attention and make them think. 

Should you wish to converse with your victim, start off with harmless patter about how nice they look, how healthy they appear, or how much tension they carry in their neck and shoulders that you might relieve. As they sink into defenselessness, drop a word here and there to change the tone. A word like cheater, liar, Jezebel, Lothario, drunken, shiftless, or unemployed, when spoken in a soothing, dreamlike voice, can add a new layer of meaning to the conversation. To maintain appearances, avoid shouting the f-bomb and most other obscenities until you’re ready to let loose like a cannon, if that’s your plan.     

Gradually, along with the stinky oils and weighted words, start sabotaging the massage with an apparently accidental scrape of your fingernail, or a too-firm handful of thigh that comes on like a charley horse. If all you have available to you is a bare neck, a well-placed pinch on the throat with two fingers can make the victim feel that he’s swallowed an apple whole. Around this time, your victim will get the message and you’re almost done. 

As they hurriedly pull on their shoes and scoot out your door, go ahead and shout out how you really feel about your victim and switch on “Backstabber,” if that seems appropriate, and likely it is. 

Michael Fowler is a humor and science fiction writer living in Ohio.

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