Posts Tagged ‘serial killers’

I love mysteries…reading them, that is. Mysteries make up the vast majority of my fictional reading, especially if the category’s expanded to include “thrillers”.

Eventually, the bodies begin to pile up a bit too high because almost every mystery has a murder. Then, as day follows night (why does night never follow day, which it does in real life and might be more apropos here??), once there’s been one murder, another is certain to push its way in, perhaps two or even three. If people were murdered at this rate in real life, population control wouldn’t be an issue. Then there’s the ramped-up version—the serial killers—popularized on TV by “Criminal Minds” and the “CSI” shows and clones. All these “unsubs” combined could decimate the population of any major city in a matter of a few weeks!

If it were “just” a murder or two, I could deal with that (fictionally speaking). People do kill sometimes and, too often, usually for one of the tried-and-true reasons—money, sex, power (or lack thereof) or some combination of those. But in order to make their books “different”, “modern”, or my favorite, “edgy”, authors push the envelope. The envelope has been pushed so far it can often be spotted on the moon along with Elvis and JFK. The envelope has become grimmer, grosser, more graphic. There’s more of the “yuk” factor these days than ever before.

Sex is the other envelope that gets pushed and this envelope is rocketing through space at the speed of light. I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t need or want pay-for-view (or read-for-titillation) sex. I don’t want the Kama Sutra manual or to be invited, or to peer uninvited, into anyone’s bedroom. To me, sex is private, even in a book.

One difference I’ve noted between many English and American authors is that the former generally assume that if you know about sex, you can figure the action out for yourself if you so desire. If they say people had an affair, you know what’s up (no pun intended.) If the couple “closed the bedroom door,” that leaves you outside with whatever imagination you want to put into it, not a step-by-step description. American authors evidently tend to believe that more is better in letting you know what’s going on sexually.

At some point, I reach saturation level in either area or both. I start to feel a bit grimy; I need a mental shower, a dose of some sort of reality.  I’ve even glanced through books by new authors and felt as if I need hand and mind sanitizer after the little bit of the story I glimpsed.

My fictional “shower” might still be found in a mystery, but something along the lines of Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Margery Allingham or Patricia Wentworth’s Miss Silver books. Whatever I choose will generally have people I like and, for preference, humor, such as Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody books. Benny Harper might show up or any of Helen MacInnes’ or Mary Stewart’s characters or police inspector Guido Brunetti.

As an antidote for too many mysteries that have pushed the envelope too close to the edge, my “shower” might be filled with the foibles of normal people who have problems that many of us might have, daily issues such as what to have for dinner, who and how to love; people I find in books by authors who unfortunately are no longer around to write but who are, fortunately, being reprinted—Elizabeth Goudge, Georgette Heyer, Rumer Godden.  Good teen, but timeless, books such as those by Rosemary Sutcliff or Arthur Ransome definitely qualify as well, but no vampires, no ghosts, no paranormal things, the stuff of teen fiction today.  To me, these last should only be published as e-books because I hate to see all the trees wasted to make the paper to print them.

At some point, I’m always ready for another mystery, but wanting to avoid feeling the need to “shower” too often is why I’m very selective about what I read and what I leave on the shelves and why I very often am not reading “best sellers.” I want to like the people, hopefully respect and understand them. They don’t have to be perfect, (who is?), and there doesn’t always have to be a happy ending, but there has to be more than just graphic murder and/or sex. To me, even a wonderful plot doesn’t make it worth the time spent and emotion invested if that’s all there is.

It’s Monday morning, time for your daughter to go to preschool. You jump out of bed, get dressed, wake your daughter (maybe twice) , fix breakfast, empty the dishwasher, fix lunch. Let’s see. What do you have for lunch? Even more importantly, what will she eat and not quietly toss in the garbage? Veggies are out, unless you keep an eagle eye on her, which you can’t do while she’s at school. Look in the fridge. Hmmm, how about a turkey and cheese sandwich? Not bad. You know your daughter will eat that. A banana…that’s good, healthy and, best of all, desirable! Add some chips,some apple juice and it’s time to go. Phew! One small step for mother-kind. Now off to the real work of the day. You feel good because your daughter has a nice, reasonably healthy lunch and you can shove those veggies down her throat tonight….er, I mean….watch her to make sure she eats them.

But wait!! You live in North Carolina and in NC today, the preschool lunch police are patrolling the lunch room. According to Matthew Boyle of “The Daily Caller”,, “That meal didn’t meet with approval from the government agent who was on site inspecting kids’ lunches that day.” Guess what? Your daughter’s lunch is busted and suddenly you’re not the next incarnation of Martha-Stewart-mom-edition. You’re a criminal!! Up against the lunch line! Now!

I know it’s hard to believe and it’s more difficult for me to maintain a light, sarcastic tone, when what I really want to do is rip this “government agent’s”  pencil and pad away and throw them out with the uneaten cafeteria veggies. Who in the world, and in his/her right mind, thinks government agents should be inspecting preschoolers lunches???????? Raise your hand; I dare you!! Oh, yeah, and don’t forget who’s paying these people. You and I, the criminal classes.

(Breathe in, breathe out. Wax on, wax off. OK. I’m under control.)

Matthew reports that, “The Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Child Development and Early Education requires that all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs must meet USDA guidelines. Meals, the guidelines say, must include one serving each of meat, milk and grain and two servings of fruit or vegetables. Those guidelines apply to home-packed lunches as well as cafeteria meals.”

A few questions/objections spring to mind. What if you’re vegetarian or vegan? What if your child hates vegetables or fruit? Is ketchup really considered a veggie? How about French fries? What if you send a salad with no milk or meat? What if you butt out of my business? (Sorry, that somehow just slipped out!) What if school lunches aren’t particularly healthful or appealing? What if kids throw out the “healthful” parts of that lunch? Oh…they do? Does it count that the kids just take the good food? Is the trash can getting healthier? Is the next step an inspector at each table to be sure each child actually eats all the food groups?

But it gets better! Her meal was so unhealthy that the government agent forced her to eat better-for-her-than-a-turkey-and-cheese-sandwich cafeteria chicken nuggets. I bet she felt much healthier after that!! I’d like to know what happened to the rest of her meal. Did they send it to China where all those starving children are who appreciate having the food you don’t want to eat?

And that really begs the question of which food group they thought she was missing and why chicken nuggets (even if they really are chicken) replaced it? Aren’t chicken nuggets protein and aren’t turkey and cheese both protein as well?

But wait! That’s not all. Although the mother didn’t order the school lunch now and get the free Ginsu knives and free shipping, she did get charged for the cafeteria chicken nuggets, about $1.25 or so, I think, from another report I heard. Talk about adding insult to injury. (I’ve just realized that there are way too many sentences in this blog that require exclamation points but if I put them all in, the whole thing would look like a Robert Ludlum book. In fact, it does have that sort of feel. Perhaps if Jason Bourne had been here, this wouldn’t have happened. Or perhaps the government agent would be dead, the preschool burned to the ground {or blown up}, but with minimal loss of young lives, and all the forces of the US government would be after Jason to force HIM to eat the cafeteria lunch, the better to make him tell all he knows. I’m pretty sure cafeteria chicken nugget would do the trick.)

Now I see there’s a “Man Charged For Allegedly Cooking And Eating Cats: Jason Louis Wilmert Arrested In California”, While the article didn’t mention it, I wonder if they forced him to eat cafeteria chicken nuggets as well. Or did he only have to eat fruit and veggies, put the cat on some whole grains and drink his milk?

This isn’t the death of common sense. This is murder most foul and possibly (no, probably) the start of a nation-wide cereal killing spree.