Many thanks to my sister for introducing me to the TV show Dexter, the title character of which is an exceptionally organized serial killer who only kills bad guys. Just so nobody decides they need to report me to the police, I’m letting you know right up front that the items referenced in this VERY FICTIONAL post are borrowed directly from the VERY FICTIONAL character, all of whose VERY FICTIONAL victims were in fact actors who went home after doing their scenes and had lovely dinners with their families. Although they may have become vegetarians … I probably would, in their shoes.
Serial killer. It’s not a career path I’ve thought about before, but in a recent conversation about degrees of separation from Ted Bundy (three, in my case), I realized that I would be phenomenally bad at it. In fact, I would be so bad at it that I wouldn’t even get to my first day on the job. Even if I had the means, the motive and the opportunity (none of which I do), I have become convinced that my attention deficit disorder would completely rule this out as a lifestyle choice.
I’d explain why, but I think my internal voice (which is NOT the same as hearing voices in my head) will probably do the job just fine:
Oh hey! I was thinking about going out this afternoon and, you know, helping a super-duper bad guy hit his expiration date. Haha, I love euphemisms! That’s a weird word, “euphemism” – the “eu” part is obviously Greek, meaning “beautiful”, and the “ph” would indicate that the next part probably is too, but for the life of me I can’t figure out the Greek root that would transliterate to “phem” …
[a few minutes pass as I go to the computer and do a little research]
Oh, of course – “pheme”, as in “blaspheme” and “grapheme”. Silly me. What was I doing? Oh yeah, getting ready to off a bad guy. Let’s see, what will I need – I don’t actually know how to do this, come to think of it. I’ve been watching Dexter though, so how hard can it be? I’ll need garbage bags – I have some of those! Yay! Out on the front porch, for the leaves.
[I trot out to the front porch, unearth the box of garbage bags, and pull one out.]
Hmmmmm. You know, there are just a few leaves left, and if I just raked them now, I wouldn’t be bugged by them every time I walked up to the house. Let me just get my shoes on … where did I put my old sneakers? Oh, here they are – ick, they’re all spidery. OK, better now, got the rake, here we go …
[I rake the leaves and put them in the yard bin, which is not very full so I don’t even end up needing a garbage bag.]
Done! That feels better. OK, I’ll go in and get warmed up – why did I come out here? Oh yeah, the garbage bags. So next I’ll need a good sharp knife – yay, I have one! I got this nice one with my birthday money, and I like it SO much. Oooo – I was going to make mushroom stroganoff tonight, and if I just cut up the onions and mushrooms now, it would save me so much time later! I’ll just do that really quick. I need some music! Where’s my Pink Martini CD … why is there a Josh Groban CD in the “Hang On Little Tomato” case? That’s irritating. Well, phooey. I guess I’ll listen to the radio instead. Classical … no. Country … definitely no. There we go, some good classic swing. I took a swing dance class but I was really bad at it. I wonder if I’d be any better at it now. Probably not … oh, the mushrooms!
[I happily hum along to the music and dice onions and slice mushrooms, bagging them up neatly in advance of dinner.]
All right, I’ll just wash this off really well – ick, I didn’t even think about that I should maybe use a different knife for this. I wonder what Dexter uses to clean his knives off with. Well, but then I guess he probably doesn’t make his kids’ dinner with them, since he’s not a stay-at-home mom. Anyway – garbage bags, CHECK! Sharp knife, CHECK! Look, I just bought plastic wrap, and here’s some nice packing tape – oh, I was going to mail those baby clothes to my sister … no, I’d better stay focused, it’s almost time for the kids to come home from school. Stay on target … stay on target … wow, I haven’t watched “Return of the Jedi” in years. I should watch all three Star Wars movies in a row again, that’s so fun.
Let’s see – towels? Probably better bring some towels, just in case there’s a mess to clean up. Ooo, I’ve got some in the dryer, nice! I love warm towels. Although if I’m going to take them out I should probably put the next load in, it’ll just take a minute …
[I put the next load of wash in the washing machine.]
[Further distraction ensues.]
[Several days pass.]
[The towels are folded and put away, the sharp knife is used the next day to make dinner, and the garbage bags inexplicably migrate to the family room and fall into a toy box, where they will be discovered three months later.]
It is high time I cleaned off this kitchen counter – I can’t believe how fast it gets cluttered up! Let’s see, this can all go in the recycle bin, this is Ellie’s, this is Jamie’s … why is the packing tape out? Oh, I know, I was going to mail those baby clothes! I swear, I’d forget my head if it wasn’t screwed on.
[I pack up the baby clothes, write my sister a nice note, and watch the next four years’ worth of Dexter without ever once remembering this internal discussion.]
I think the bad guys of the world can consider themselves safe from me.