Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hot Hula Action

What goes through a person's mind just before they commit murder? Are they pumped with adrenaline? Does everything fall silent? Is there a song they can't stop hearing? Does their version of God give them a pep talk? Having never felt the urge to kill, I honestly wonder. Then I put more ice in my drink and blast some classic Led Zeppelin.

I think that instant media makes human insanity bigger than it really is. There have always been mass murderers and serial killers, only now we hear about them while the bodies are still warm. Immediacy of information heightens the terror. If we had to wait a couple of days before learning of this or that rampage, the initial shock would be dampened. The carnage would already be history. And Americans hate learning history.

Of course, this is only a theory. Maybe human madness is truly out of control. Perhaps people are more coarsened than ever. Put that between two slices of French bread and sell it as a gourmet sandwich. Given what people eat nowadays, you'd probably make a tidy profit.

Let me step away from the chalkboard for a moment and stare out the window, hands gripping my lapels. No, you don't need to move. This isn't a test. Well, not a test for a grade anyway. Life itself is a test, so in that sense you are being tested. But then, so am I. The teacher as student? Precisely.

Where was I? Right -- crazy people who kill. Are all killers crazy? Aren't there rational killers who treat murder as a 9-to-5 gig, then clock out and go home? Outside of the government, I mean? I can't think of any offhand, and even if I could, there would be some mitigating factor. Cross dressing. Cannibalism. A shrine of skulls. Severed heads in the freezer. You can bank on one or more of these.

On the surface, everything is quiet and normal. Firm handshakes and hot cups of coffee. Underneath, however, a seething resentment against the modern world. How can you tell? Put it this way: if a neighbor wants you to buy his paintings of kittens, pack up and move. It's only a matter of time before your head's next to his ice trays.

So, in summation, human insanity is part of the game. People kill because they can. If you think I'm being blasé or cynical, just know I've got weightier issues on my mind. Like mice in the Pentagon. What if the mice accidentally launch a world war? Or are exposed to a secret ray and become monsters? How do we guard against that? Can we guard against that? What, you've never considered this possibility? Who's the blasé cynic now?

She's beautiful. Her soulful eyes framed by cascading ginger hair. Her moist lips, pert breasts, long legs. The mystery of creation in her smile. If she wasn't throwing rocks at my head and cursing my name, we might learn to love each other. But after this, forget it.

When I'm old enough to be called Pops, I'll have plenty of zingers in response. One is where I say "I've got your Pops right here!" while patting my jacket pockets, then getting nervous because my pockets are empty, then breaking down crying. Another is where I pretend I don't understand English. Considering how today's kids talk, who does?