Unreasonable Precautions

(Originally posted Thursday, May 16th, 2013)

For the members of the audience who were concerned for my safety after reading some of my earlier posts—and for those whose concerns have been exacerbated by the gaps between posts—rest assured, I am alive and well. That said, recent news reports have me thinking about my future and the need to take some unusual–if not bizarre—steps in the interest of my continued existence.

For starters, there is the case of Steven Johnson of St. Paul, Minnesota. According to CBS affiliate WCCO, Mr. Johnson confessed in January of 2013 to shooting his wife, dismembering her body with a saw in the shower, placing her body parts in storage bins, and hiding them in a friend’s garage.

Since reading this article, I have decided to establish new rules pertaining to the purchase of storage bins by members of my household and determined that all bins, regardless of size, must be transparent. That way there is a reasonable chance the neighbors will notice my bloody/mutilated body parts as they are being loaded onto a vehicle or sitting on a shelf in their own garage. Meanwhile, friends and neighbors are asked to be on the lookout for any container coming out of my house that you cannot see though—including bottles and jars. Coolers are exempt from this advisory since the Jarhead likes his Yuengling® too much to let it get warm and he’s a tad too thrifty to replace his trusty Coleman®. Small bins, on the other hand, should be met with extra suspicion since, let’s face it, the only way anyone could carry my corpse anywhere would be in pieces or with the help of a forklift.

Next, I direct your attention to John Warren Gibson, Jr., who in February of 2013, led police to the body of his girlfriend, Amanda Foster. According to the report posted on 2/1/2013 by Southern Maryland Newspapers Online, Gibson admitted to stabbing Foster, placing her body in a trash can, loading it into her own truck, and hiding it in the woods in St. Mary’s County.

From this story I learned that outlawing opaque bins and warning my neighbors to watch out for violators may not be going far enough. With that in mind, I have decided to petition township officials to replace our solid brown and blue trash and recycling receptacles with clear or translucent ones. This may not prevent the Jarhead from putting my body in a trashcan, loading it onto a truck, and driving it out to the woods, but it should make it harder for him to conceal it and, therefore, make the idea seem less attractive.

And finally we have David Viens, the Los Angeles chef who on 3/22/13 was sentenced to 15 years in prison for killing his wife, Dawn.  According to several reports, Viens admitted in 2011 to using a slow cooker to get rid of his wife’s body after he found her dead of unknown causes at home in 2009. In that confession Viens said they had fought, and that she had tried to leave, but that she was under the influence and he did not think she should leave home in that condition, so he tied her to a chair and left the house, only to return later to find her dead.

From this report, I have decided that our house will never be home to more than one crock pot, stock pot, or roasting pan. Moreover, any pot, pan, or roaster that enters our home will hold no more than three pounds of meat. That way, the Jarhead can expect it to take several weeks to cook me down, which will, again, make the task more challenging, thereby rendering the idea less attractive. (Bonus points for the reader who emails me to complain about the bad pun.)

Meanwhile, I caution folks to be on the alert for anything else that may appear suspicious, by which I mean anything of a cloth or plastic construction that could be used to wrap a body and prevent it from being seen through transparent bins or trash receptacles. Also, if you witness someone buying a bunch of slow cookers but no meat—or if someone you know suddenly develops an interest in crock pot cookery—you may want to mention it to someone who has the legal authority to find out why. Likewise if you witness someone buying a gigantic, solid color plastic bin or several smaller ones.

And, finally, if a large and/or solid-color dumpster disappears from your driveway or neighborhood, do NOT go looking for it. Just report it. I may be paranoid, but I think it’s best to leave the discovery of decomposing body parts to the experts.


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