What I’ve Learned From Compulsively Reading True Crime for 20 Years
1. If you absolutely have to go to Washington state, do everything in your power to avoid going to Snohomish County. Nothing good happens in Snohomish County, Washington. Just ask Ann Rule – she’s made an entire career out of writing books about horrific crimes that have been committed in this one small region of the country. (Seriously, she’s written like 50 books about terrible, random murders that have all taken place in Snohomish County.) Judging from the Ann Rule canon, which I am deeply familiar with, if you spend enough time in Snohomish County, there’s an extremely good chance that you will be viciously attacked close to your bus stop and battered about the face and head by the light of the Washington moon.
If you’re a sportier type and prone to hiking, you could also get killed on Snoqualmie Pass. Snoqualmie Pass seems to be a mountain that is extremely dangerous not because of its treacherous terrain, but because it attracts psychopaths like moths to a scenic flame. If you absolutely have to go to Washington state and you absolutely have to go hiking, do everything in your power to avoid hiking Snoqualmie Pass – that is, unless you’re in the mood to grapple with a knife-wielding, AWOL soldier who thinks he’s still in Vietnam.
2. If someone seems like a pervert or a killer, he might very well be a pervert or a killer. Humans have a sixth sense for a reason – that little voice in your head is millions of years of evolution telling you that it’s probably a good idea to quicken your pace when passing that gentleman who’s dressed in a soiled trenchcoat and scratched aviators and screaming expletives at no one. Is there a weird dude driving your cab? It’s okay to get out of the cab if you feel like you’re about to get Bone Collectored in it.
3. If you discover that the lock on the window of your ground-floor bedroom is broken and you’re missing a few pairs of underpants and your hairbrush, leave the apartment immediately. There’s clearly a creepy teenager loose in your neighborhood who may very well have masturbated into your sock drawer while wearing one of your hats. Go stay with a friend or a relative until that lock gets fixed and call ADT.
4. Always be extremely punctual when going anywhere and never miss or cancel any plans with anyone. Also, pick up your cell phone every time someone calls you. That way, people will realize pretty quickly if you go missing. They’ll say things like, “Well, I knew that Sarah must have been in the trunk of a sadomasochist’s Kia when she didn’t text me exactly at 11pm like she always does.” What I’m trying to say is, don’t be a fucking flake like me, or else if you do get kidnapped and call someone for help, your lifeline will just be like, “Yeah, sure, Sarah, you’re in the trunk of a sadomasochist’s Kia. It’s always something with you. I’m just going to order without you,” and hang up.
The Amazingly Awkward Jeopardy Moment That Happened Tonight
Something delightfully uncomfortable happened on tonight’s episode of Jeopardy!
During the portion of the show that I refer to as “Good Story, Jeopardy Contestant,” a contestant named Mikki told us that on her honeymoon in the Orkney Islands, she and her husband partook in a local ritual of running around some stones three times to guarantee that they’d have a baby within a year. Apparently, it worked!
Alex Trebek responded to this benign, charming little story by saying somewhat lasciviously, “…In addition to running around three times, there’s something else you have to do. I know…I know these things.”
Dude. Alex. What is: ‘the opposite of anything I’ve ever wanted to picture’…but also THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE LAUGH.
Octopus Hatches Elaborate Plan to Escape from Aquarium, Is Foiled
A video of a luckless octopus named Ink trying to fling himself out of his new home, a tank at the Seattle Aquarium, surfaced on the internet earlier this week and has since gone viral. In the ‘riveting’ (read: depressing and anticlimactic) footage of the incident, Ink scales the side of his claustrophobic little tank and tries in vain to make a break for it before he is unceremoniously stuffed back into the tank by one of his carers.
A representative for the aquarium says that the octopus was simply “exploring his boundaries,” but with a badass name like Ink, he probably turned to his tank-mates right before he tried to flee and said something like, “Seattle? Are you fucking kidding me? I just…I can’t do this, guys. I’m going to go ahead and use my six arms to hitchhike back to my friend’s loft in Bushwick now. Ink OUT.”
My Thoughts on Today’s Morning Commute
Ah, New York City – where our homeless people wear Crocs and dance like there’s nobody watching, even when there’s a whole subway car of people watching.
Why I’m Anti Rolling Backpacks
I would rather my kid have a scoliotic back for the rest of his life from carrying heavy textbooks as a tween than carry the internal shame of having been the kid with the rolling backpack, because that shit is way heavier. Once I saw a kid with a rolling backpack fall head-first down a flight of stairs, and let me tell you, that backpack was close to lethal when it landed on top of him. I’ll never forget the tableau of the poor guy as he lay in a crumpled heap at the foot of the stairs, his cuffed sweatpants exposing his skinny ankles in all of their tube-sock-clad glory, the fallen backpack open next to him with papers falling out. This truly depressing sight crystallized my opinion that the rolling backpack is more a form of cruel and unusual punishment than a helpful tool to prevent your child from slipping a disc.
Another Annoying Straphanger: The Head Bobber
People on the subway who furiously bob their heads in time to the music they’re listening to on their headphones annoy the shit out of me. Wow, guy – you like it when musical notes are strung together in a melodic way? That doesn’t make you ‘cool’ or ‘ hip,’ it makes you a sentient human being with ears that work and a beating heart. Stop pretending that you’re Avicii DJing MSG when we’re both just two schmucks riding the 3 train home from our grunt administrative jobs.
The Opposite of Seventh Heaven: Stephen Collins is Officially a Pervert
Today in news that no one should be surprised by, it turns out that the creepy dad from Seventh Heaven, Stephen Collins, is a creepy dad in real life, too. Why is he a creepy dad, you ask? Well, amongst other things, because his own WIFE just told the entire world that right before she gave birth to their daughter, he told her that he was pleased they weren’t having a baby boy because he basically didn’t know if he could restrain himself from fellating a little dude. Her actual, complete quote of what she says Collins said is that he “just didn’t know if [he] could keep his little penis out of [his] mouth” – words which, though I don’t yet have kids of my own, know must be music to a heavily-pregnant woman’s ear.
(Insert a very long, uncomfortable pause of WTF here while we all process how vile this story is.)
Honestly, I don’t even know what to say in response to this news except OH MY GOD EW WHAT. The series of emojis that would describe my reaction would be as follows: 1) the monkey with its eyes covered, 2) a thumbs down, 3) the guy in the red shirt who is running like hell because WHO STAYS MARRIED TO SOMEONE WHO SAYS SOMETHING LIKE THAT FOR 14 MORE YEARS?
Then I’d throw in an acorn because hey – it’s finally Fall.
What To Do When The Book of Shadows Appears in Your Lobby
You can imagine how pleased I was when I stepped into my building’s lobby the other day and was greeted by what appeared to be The Book of Shadows sitting on the communal table by my elevator. It’s kind of a thing in this building – people leave their old crap on the table downstairs in the hope that their 1970’s guide to parenting or half-consumed jar of Nutella will go to good use, insead of where it belongs (in the trash).
Sure, the cover of the book says that it’s something benign, pleasant, even: The Standard Treasury of the World’s Greatest Music. With that being said, I’m pretty sure that given its faded, burgundy cover and spooky vibes that this book contains all of the secrets to the world’s evil and should never be opened by the weak, fleshy hand of a mortal.
We’ll put it like this: I just hope that B and I are out for a walk with Jack when some idiot finally comes along, opens the book and transforms our building from the nice, naturally-occurring-retirement-community that it is now into a portal to hell.
Pop a Xanax – it’s time to talk Halloween Costume Anxiety Again
It’s early October again, and you know what that means – Halloween is just around the corner, waiting in all of its ghoulish, sparkly and bewitching glory! Halloween can either be the greatest day ever (I mean, come on – a holiday cobbled together out of spookiness, chocolate and drag – how much better could a day get?) OR the biggest let-down you can imagine. There’s nothing quite like the low that accompanies eating a Taco Bell chalupa on 14th Street while dressed as a chubby Sailor in an ill-fitting, jaunty hat.
That’s the thing about Halloween – as an adult, it’s all about two things: having a great party to go to and wearing the most awesome costume at that great party. It’s my personal opinion that costumes come in three kinds: terrible costumes, costumes that are amazing because they are understandable the minute you see them, and costumes you have to explain. The third kind is almost the shittiest; there’s nothing like having your introduction to people all night be something like “I’m the Wicked Witch of the East before she gets hit by the house in the tornado.” That last one is based on personal experience when I had the black witch hat, striped tights and ruby slippers, but no desire or wherewithal to fashion a house out of balsa wood or whatever it is those crafty bitches do on Pinterest. That costume sucked mostly because no one knew who I was supposed to be (in the movie credits, the character would have been ‘Witch 1’), but also because I fell down an entire flight of stairs on my ass at a packed bar while wearing it.
Enough about the past! This year, my dream of going to a huge, all-out Halloween party is coming true – we’re talking 3,000 people here, and everyone in costume – and yet I still haven’t chosen what I’m going to wear. The fabulous dress code is as follows: “All Outer Space Personalities Welcome.” Truthfully, this theme kind of gives me flashbacks to walking single-file down a flight of warehouse stairs one Halloween in high school. (I was dressed as a Galactic Girl in pointy silver stilettos; the porch we were dancing on wasn’t up to fire code, and the party had been broken up by firemen with hatchets. Not the best Halloween on record, either). Nevertheless, this is my year and I absolutely MUST make sure that the complimentary costume I end up wearing with my hot date, B, is not only hilarious and amazing, but perfectly executed. No pressure, of course – but if you’ll excuse me, I need to look up pricing for balsa wood on the internet now.