By CHRIS PACKHAM
There's nothing funny about the creepy outbreak of brain tumors in Cameron, Missouri or, really, any news story that makes me push back my plate of vegetarian enchiladas and speculate about the inevitability of my own death.According to the audio version of Physics for Dummies, the poopy second law of thermodynamics pretty much guarantees that all systems, including the organic chemistry that makes up your heart valves and lungs and whatnot, will eventually explode and kill you, probably taking out bystanders and emergency first-responders in the process. Messy, bloody death rumination usually happens when my emotional shields are down, late at night, after a few shots of Kessler whiskey and a couple of vicodin tabs. I look at myself in the mirror and think, Someday, I will get old, and walk around the park wearing shoes with velcro straps, stabbing at the two large buttons on my Jitterbug phone with an arthritic finger. Just like Larry King.
The fact that KMBC Channel 9 broke and continues to cover the Cameron story doesn't exactly help me recover my mortality-ignoring joie de vivre, what with the death's-head anchorage of soft, pillowy Larry Moore. I'm sorry for lapsing into French, but the fact that someday this sad old world will have to find a way to carry on after I've died kind of chokes me up with worldly, accordion-playing European ennui. After the jump, a look at the horrible inevitability of death through the obstinately perky lens of local television news coverage. Click here, or click on this four-meat Tombstone pizza: The frozen pizza that reminds you that someday your name will be on a tombstone.
True Crime: On a dark night in 1959, Herbert Clutter, a Holcomb, Kansas, farmer, his wife and their two children were murdered in their beds by Truman Capote and Harper Lee. At least, I think that's what happened. There's a book about it and some movies. I may have some of the details wrong. Tell you what: I'll go look it up right now and live-blog the results.
9:23 a.m. I launch a new browser window. Navigating to Hotbot.com.
Still 9:23 a.m. I enter the search terms harper lee murder.
9:24 a.m. I click on a link to the NEA Big Read.
9:25 a.m. Aw, crap, it's, like, a long fucking biography. Blah blah "mockingbirds" blah blah "Truman Capote." Nothing I didn't already know. Apparently. I'm not sure about the mockingbirds. Must be some kind of C.W. Gusewelle Audubon Society deal.
9:26 a.m. I call my girlfriend at work. She puts me on hold.
9:30 a.m. Still on hold. B.J. Thomas' "Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song." I peel back the plastic from a tray of frozen vegetarian enchiladas and place them in the microwave.
9:35 a.m. I am now talking to my girlfriend. She wants to know why I'm typing and talking at the same time. I ask her to confirm or disconfirm that Truman Capote and Harper Lee were hanged for murdering the Clutter family in 1959. Now she's swearing. Blah blah "trying to work," blah blah "wasting my time," blah blah "douchenozzle who doesn't know shit about anything."
9:36 a.m. Something goes wrong with the line on my girlfriend's end, and we get cut off.
9:37 a.m. Microwave beeps. I remove vegetarian enchiladas.
9:38 a.m. Still cold in the middle. Typical.
9:42 a.m. I eat them anyway and decide to take the path of least resistance and go with my original intuition about shifty-looking Harper Lee and Truman Capote.
So at least you know I did my homework. Anyway, here's a story about a guy in Holcomb who wants to commemorate the Clutter family murders by two award-winning East Coast authors with some kind of an eternal flame memorial or something.
Deadly bindle of death! A deadly turf battle resulted in deadly death along the Trolley Track Trail in Waldo. KSHB Channel 41 has the deadly story of two killer hobos who fought to the death over a camp site hidden at the end of a hobo trail. There's nothing more compelling than a true crime story about deadly hoboing. Since KSHB reports that police have captured a suspect, I guess he'll be doing all of his hoboing ... in hobo jail. I've now extinguished my entire repertoire of phrases involving hobos and death, but I think it's plain common sense to use caution when approaching strangers in boxcars.