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Scouting Serial Killers
My mother is fascinated by the news. No matter where she is, whether at home or in the car, she is tuned into the latest happenings. She's so comical about it that I wrote the character, Eva, in Tower of Tears after my mom. Every time I do something, she has to tell me how dangerous it is, or that someone got killed doing it. She also watches all the CSI shows and knows as much about forensics and serial killers as the FBI--no lie. I have often thought that she could kill a man and get away with it. But don't worry, even if she was caught, she would not be able to lead them back to the body because she is directionally challenged. I realize I'm nuts because mom had me reading books about Ted Bundy in middle school. It was her way of preparing me for life. So if you folks every need a body dumped, I'm your girl!
A few years ago, I visited a friend in Seattle. I flew alone, which I am very confident in doing, unlike some people. Upon meeting my friend in the airport, I called to let Mom know I was safe and made my contact. Her response, "Be careful. You know Seattle is where all the serial killers are. Bundy was there, and The Green River Killer might get you."
Unbeknownst to her, I was fully prepared for this argument. "Bundy was executed when I was in high school remember? You made me watch it on the news, because executions are the perfect form of family entertainment. And The Green River Killer was caught."
"Are you sure?"
"Wow, Mom. You're either slacking or you are just trying to be manipulative. His name is Gary Ridgway, he's in jail."
"Well, you be careful anyway. And stay away from Volkswagen bugs. All the serial killer drive them."
"Mom, do ya seriously think someone is going to kidnap me? Don't you remember what you used to tell us as kids?"
A brief pause. "Oh, you mean that the kidnapper would pay ME to take you back? Yeah, I remember. But that was before they just killed for no reason. Now they don't even bother to find out if you would drive them crazy or not. Well have a great time and call me!"
Yeah... a load of laughs I'll have while scoping out serial killers in a state of paranoia. Oh the fun!
But Seattle was just one trip. I have gone on many, including Alaska, Bahamas, Aruba, and most of the states in the US. I am a bit of a daredevil and try to find some sort of "extreme" activity type of attraction on my trips. Over the years, I have gone bungee jumping, parasailing, trapeze swinging, sky coastering, snorkeling, jet skiing, SCUBA. I swam with dolphins, snorkeled with sea lions, even played with an adult tiger. Let's just say I have lived a decent life. Crazy and chaotic at times. Deprived of privacy due ot a large family, definitely. But decent all the same.
On my last trip, my mother called me, "I hope you're not going on a cruise. You know all those boats are getting people sick. And didn't you go para-sailing? A guy was doing that last week and got killed when the rope broke, slamming him into a billboard. There was another guy who got eaten by a shark while he was SCUBA diving. You better be careful. One of these days, you might not be so lucky."
I thought for a second then said, "Mom, if I happen to die, doing something I enjoy, in a tropical paradise many people can't afford, or can't because they have kids... then be happy for me. I'd rather die in Aruba by a shark than get killed by a drunk driver in the depressing state of New Jersey. I might have a fighting chance with the shark, and if I kill it, I won't go to jail--- unlike if I survived and killed the drunk driver. THAT would be when you should worry about me and feel sorry for me."
She was flustered, "What am I supposed to say to that?"
"I don't know? Bon Voyage? My life insurance pays for shark mauls and cruise poisonings. So don't worry about that. Just put on my headstone, 'She went out with a bang'."
"You're not funny! Don't you have a bucket list? Isn't there anything left you wish to do in life?"
Hmmm.... matricide went through my head at that moment. I'm a postal worker... I could probably get off with temporary insanity... hmmmm..
Ok.. I admit, that was mean. But it was still funny. I love my mom. She's given me these great memories to write about. Although sometimes her memories don't mesh with ours.. but that I will save for another day.
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