It has nothing to do with cavemen being hunters or generations of dudes killing dudes on battlefields and it has everything to do with being a kid with a big imagination. All men want to be assassins because it's the one profession that takes everything boys do for fun and makes it real. This lifelong obsession with being a hit-man breaks down into three specific stages of growth: The Ninja Stage, The Mobster Stage, and the CIA Stage.
Stage 1: NINJAS!
Every boy used to throw imaginary ninja stars at their next door neighbor (even though he was a really nice guy) and assassins actually do that for their job! You know what else boys are totally obsessed with? backflips. Guess what ninjas do ALL THE TIME. Backfuckinflips. Little dudes can't do them but that explains why every kid wanted a trampoline and why every boy, no matter how tough, could do cartwheels (cartwheels are make-believe backflips). And we all knew the one boy who took gymnastics and we thought he was gay but really he was like, "I'm going to be the best fucking ninja ever." Ninjas are dark, quiet and fast. Kids love hiding, sneaking around and running. Basically, your average runny-nosed 3rd grade dude is a Japanese killer in training. Ready to kill? You betcha. I can't tell you how many caterpillars I literally karate-chopped to death.
Fact: Being a "backyard" ninja meant lots of climbing trees, throwing things (ninja stars or smoke bombs), and actually kicking your friends in the stomach. Also, it was totally normal to play ninja all by yourself.
Stage 2: THE MOB!
This stage happens after you watch The Professional and realize ninjas are pansies and the real deal is trench coats and silencers. Oh yeah, and totally being Italian. Mob shit is so steeped in vendettas and revenge and family-based anger that it even translated all the way down to 11 year-olds playing in parking lots with Super Soakers. Being an assassin back then was hard because you really were mad all the time. This was when you needed bit of a story to your game and you were probably avenging someone. Lots of fighting over who actually got killed etc. This was down and dirty; You're a contract killer and you get $5,000 a head. No women, no kids. Gary Oldman is scary. Mob killers are different than ninjas because ninjas operate in their own universe of right and wrong (ninjas are always right). But when you're whacking a guy, you're clearly a criminal and this probably coincides with your real life introduction to crime as you steal for your first candy bar around this time.
Fact: This is when you make enemies in real life. If you kill your friend and he stays down, he's cool. But if he doesn't, you actually do want to kill him.
Stage 3: THE MAN!
Now you're working for the government but no one knows about it because this is a covert op. This is the final stage in being an assassin and it's when your mind goes totally next level. If Ninjas and Mob were fantasy, then this is Final Fantasy. I'm talking rocket launchers, bulletproof vests, maybe a cellphone, it's whatever I want cuz I have the government's top scientists giving me all their sweet new gear so shut up, Brandon! Oh yeah, and I'm assassinating Gorbachev. It's always Gorbachev. This stage was influenced by people like Stallone and I don't know why. The guy would be the worst assassin ever. Stage 3 actually sucks because you're too old for this now. Too bad too, because Bourne just brought it crazy back.
Fact: A lot of people think assassins and spies are the same things. Wrong. Assassins pop dome pieces and spies live secret lives with special objectives and they surveil and courrier messages and shit. I think women all want to be spies because they can multitask and act roles way better than men and they listen! Men can snap necks and use night vision but when it's all over, they have to run away because we can only do one thing at a time. In the words of Tom Berringer from Sniper: "One shot. One Kill. Have a coke." No man wants to be a spy. Even kids know that.
So then what? Now you're a man and you simply have to internalize the fun of being a secret killer without any of the catharsis. Well, there's some things...
The Hardware Store:
Methadone for the assassin itch. Every man in a hardware store is secretly building a mental arsenal of what he would use to kill a guy. Seriously. Look at them. No one stares at an axe for that long. There is a latent wish every guy has and it's to be given 20 minutes to run through Ace Hardware and just build weapons. You come up with some nasty things too, and you're like, "Jesus, I just went to a really dark place." The Staple-hammer was not created for anything other than making a dude jizz at the thought of slamming it into another guy's temple as he attempts to rape his wife. Pure Darkness.
This is a real thing. Someone invented grappling hooks. Has anyone ever used one? NEVER. They are totally inefficient and unwieldy and somehow they're still amazing because assassins use them to scale walls in movies. Even Batman doesn't use these. Wait, I think cops in Little Rock use them pull bodies off the bottoms of lakes. Lame.
Secrets in General:
Assassin culture has seeped into everything men do, even if it's peeing quietly. Are you cheating on your wife? Then you're a sex assassin! Wow, I didn't even see you eat that chicken salad... you're a food ninja! Hey Michael, quick turn-around on that report. You totally shot it in the back of the head with a pistol! Admittedly, there is something ingrained otherwise women wouldn't make men kill spiders, right? You're a bug assassin! Next time you're tasked with icing an arachnid, first agree on your kill fee. Then sneak up on it and when the time is right, karate hammer it! There you go. You still have the old magic.