This is Thursday night and I think I'll take it easy. Maybe the detective flavor of the month on the PBS mystery program this evening will be good (check the listings). Oh, well, who knows? Touching Evil, a chapter about a serial killer in a British detective series. I'm tired of cop shows about serial killers. I believe the first half of Touching Evil, which I saw parts of last week while I was busy writing this, had a suitably scrambled long haired knife wielding whacko cut the throat of a pretty young college student (19 is pretty young) right in front of the detective who had him covered with a 9mm pistol.
The detective, for reasons I don't quite remember, did not then shoot the son of a bitch as the young woman, pissed, mascara a mess, throat cut, expired at his feet. He seemed flustered. Confused. My experience with bullets is they're upsetting when they're being fired at you and my guess is they're much less so when you're firing them into the body of a scumbag serial killer as fast as you can pull the trigger. There's paperwork, no doubt, lots of paperwork you'll have to fill out in triplicate and I'm not certain there wasn't some other reason to keep him alive so he could lead them to an accomplice or the locations of lost victims or something like that, but the circumstances I recall from last week's episode dictated the detective shoot the son of a bitch. Which is probably why I would never have been able to pass a police exam: "What do you do when you're confronted with a knife wielding crud who has just killed a young girl before your very eyes and called you some rather naughty names while you're holding a gun in his face and nobody's around to notice what you're up to, all this happening in an empty barn at night out in the middle of the woods?" Shoot the shit. "Next candidate! Leave your pencil at the desk, please."
Perhaps they could make a detective series for television with a similarly nasty theme (we don't
want to lose any audience share, now do we, so we'll include terrible deeds, depraved criminals and innocent victims), but skip the serial killer part. No dead coeds. A program about a special Napa police squad, perhaps, assembled from the local community: Testy Menudo, a master chef with a black belt in criminology; Gretta Champagne, a young woman wine maker with a nose for criminal behavior and John John, a jolly wine steward, who spends most of his time half swacked down in the Cabernet cellars of a well known Napa restaurant reading crime statistics, the fortunes of the entire community depending on their collective efforts to capture Terrible Tommy the Two Gun Truffle Thief, a notorious stealer of exotic condiments and corn bread muffins and now, the person who is suspected of absconding with the Napa Valley's entire year's supply of truffles, imported at unimaginable expense from a secret French forest, the name of which we are not allowed to mention. How about a series like that?
The criminal, chased up and down the valley, threats of dumping the truffles into the Calistoga river, suspicious characters with garlic on their collective breath, wine masters pouring beverages from bottles with plastic corks. A secret cache of Coca Cola found in the wine maker's closet. The final showdown in the big bakery near the river, stone ground flour on everyone's face, the single word whispered with Terrible Tommy's final breath: "Fromage!"
"Next writer! Leave your pencil at the desk, please.