In eighth grade, my mother told my father I was obsessed with death. Perched in my spying spot just outside the kitchen, I was stung. But I shrugged. Smug with overinflated beliefs in my own brainpower, I knew where her concern lay. It was with the sonnet, Death Be Not Proud, the famous ditty by John Donne, poet extraordinaire who filled my advanced English class musings.
I made the mistake of telling me madre, over and over, that Death was indeed a person, consumed with ego, and I, like the poet Donne, believed it would be engulfed and find itself, in fact, murdered. Weird kid? Yup. I was also consumed with punishing my mother as she would not let me go to the dance with David Sherwood who she found unsavory. My punishment–drive her crazy with whatever I could find. The poem bothered her and I pounced, speaking of death and it’s power. And laughed. David Sherwood later was my first kiss and when he put his tongue down my throat, I pushed him off our front porch. Turns out she was right.
Fast forward; murder still fascinates. Closeted in my brain until Dateline, 20/20, Netflix documentaries and, finally, My Favorite Murder joined the fray. Americans are fascinated with murder. Who knew? My mother’s convo kept me mum. I scared the crap out of her. Which was my intention, but no one wants to be labeled death girl.
Truth be told, the stories scare me. A Dexter binge came long after the show was on the airwaves. Somehow bravery kicked in and weekends consumed with the kind hearted serial slasher, documentaries on cult killings, the depravities of Ted Bundy and all things twisted provide the equivalent of having to slow down at the scene of an accident.
And then came the podcasts. First was Serial. Did he kill her or not? No one knows. Then it was S-Town, listened to with Baby Chicken, both of us so terrified that partway through we had to share a couch. Driving to our beloved Coronado, she introduces My Favorite Murder, brainchild of two chicks with a love of the F word, snark galore and the answers to every question you ever asked about JonBenet Ramsey or The Golden State Killer. Their fans are “murderinos,” and they’ve taken the show on the road. I nearly drove off Washington Avenue into the light rail when I saw them on the marquis at Comerica. I had to pull over, snap a pic and send it to Baby Chicken.
What do I spy this week? The murder girls are doing Bob Crane. You know, the Hogan’s Heroes guy bludgeoned to death here in The Dale in those apartments on Chaparral. After his murder, we found out the guy was really kinda kinky, in a video kind of way. Did I listen? Not yet. No doubt the details will be twisted, graphic and frightening enough to make me rethink that part of my beloved Dale.
Timing, however, is perfect. Baby Chicken flies in tomorrow. She has no idea what’s in store. We will huddle, squished together under a blanket, imaginations running wild with the details of how a famous actor guy got his head smashed in. Death may be proud, and brave, but this girl’s not. Pfft.