Postal and religious killers are less entertaining. Both go for numbers and old scores, though postal death dealing favors self-justice in evening scores and takes that as its highest aim. To my mind, this explains the tendency toward aimed-high head shots. The modified AR 15 and 2,000 rounds Mr. Postal bought saying he’d shoot varmint pigeons were never going to see a speck of pigeon blood. We knew that. Everyone not in a coma figured that out long before a shot was fired, but a sale is a sale and freedoms are freedoms, so we make the best of them, profit and loss then profit again, as funerals and prosecutions don’t come cheap.
For numbers, religious slaughter comes out well ahead. A postal would wear his trigger finger out doing them one-by-each. In contrast, a single sacred body or car bomb can mulch scores in one boom. Followers of a generous god need not worry over co-religionist or collateral deaths, as the Almighty forgives the one and awards additional virgins for the other. In the world of religious zeal, justice isn’t like our poor human imitation. If your suicide vest goes off prematurely, you still get your quota for trying. Your reward of virgins may not be the choice juicy ones, but the Almighty has to do something with the over-90 virgins who pile up something awful in heaven and need to be occupied lest they grow fractious. What better match than a bunch of them with a bomb bungler. Who said the Almighty knows not what to do?
But, I have dyed grass somewhat badly, and had better get back to my own murderous episode. Frankly, if I had planned on homicide, I’d not have chosen a restaurant, unless I was about to have an epiphany bringing strong inclination for virgins. It wasn’t that. We were merely eating a leisurely meal during which I idly observed some slight concern on my part for a small tendency to be a little too fussed at times over details. It was a sincere observation and I was considering it seriously when my companion made a retching, gasping noise and toppled from his chair onto the floor. When a thing like that happens, you can be sure the entire restaurant is immediately aware. Patrons sit up. Staff looked of a unified mind to find someplace where we weren’t. It is time heightened awareness. My first inclination was to think the clod I was with had done this to embarrass me, but then the purple face said otherwise. What to do? Call for the Heimlich Corps, ring up a shaman to accompany the ritual floor writhing, or do we fast forward and go right for the coroner?
My mind still fairly occupied by my earlier observation was in no condition for a life-or-death decision. I had but one thought: water. Water means life. In movies when there’s a birth, it is often preceded by a call for hot water. Plain as day, water brings life. To revive a life or discourage mating dogs, cold water was used. Absent a pot of tea or canines in wedlock, I decided my best plan was to throw the pitcher of ice water on the table at the scene of horrible gasping going on and on at floor level. I found the noise quite annoying and thought to quiet it and save a life in one act, so I let fly with the pitcher. In hindsight it would have been better to toss the contents minus the pitcher, a heavy glass affair that left a sharp bruise on the forehead and which sadly made it appear my intention might have been murder most foul and wet.
Water on the floor revived the restaurant staff to action with towels and assistance. By then the restaurant would have paid us to go eat elsewhere, but we persisted with our prime rib of beast. My companion, who’d not yet seen his bruise in a mirror, said only I should warn people if I was going to be droll. I’m not sure I appreciated that.
I confess my slight tendency for anal fussiness after being reminded recently of someone who outdid and was too anal for me (the title of this piece). It’s some time ago, when I worked for the fine old BSA (not the new one), when a Scoutmaster stomped into my camp office the first morning in great distress over the breakfast substitution from pancakes to scrambled eggs. (With supply problems our menu was mostly substitutions. I was used to them.) He made it abundantly clear he was most unhappy with us because he’d instructed his boys to make pancake fires and not scrambled egg fires, and I and my staff had ruined it all. Scout Camp was not known for gourmet cookery, so the pancake fire distinction was as useful as taffeta or crinoline to the average twelve-year-old. To them a pancake fire would be pancakes doused in gasoline and set afire to be sent hurtling by spatula as fiery Frisbees. Pancake fire was too anal a concept for me, but I had the good sense to do my rolling on the floor laughing after the Scoutmaster left.