I’ve written before about my obsession with The Murder Channel (better known as ID – Investigation Discovery) and how their programming line-up leads one to conclude that just about everyone in a person’s life is capable of murder. In addition to wiping out any trust I may have had in my fellow humans, I’ve also learned a lot. For instance, I’m pretty sure I’ve absorbed enough information to allow me to commit the perfect murder. I figure it’s good to have a back-up hobby in the event this blogging thing doesn’t work out.
But while The Murder Channel provides an education in criminal activity that was previously available only to those doing hard time with a criminally prolific and chatty cellmate, it’s also a veritable cornucopia of information on how to avoid becoming a victim. And since not everyone can devote 18 to 22 hours a day to watching TV, I thought I’d share some of the knowledge I’ve gained.
When it’s aimed at airplane passengers or hoody enthusiasts, profiling people is a controversial and hotly debated topic. But The Murder Channel has made me aware of some universal characteristics shared by murder victims … it may be profiling, but it could also save your life. So, if you’re the type of person who’d be described as loving to make people laugh, lighting up a room with your presence and willing to give someone the shirt off your back, your chance of being murdere
d is substantially higher than that of someone who doesn’t spread sunshine wherever they go. After viewing hundreds of hours of murderous entertainment, I’ve yet to hear a victim described as being such a dick that the only real mystery is why no one killed him sooner.
That’s why I make sure to just be an giant asshole sometimes. I figure that if a serial killer is stalking me, waiting to make his move, once he sees me kick an old lady’s cane or shave somebody’s cat, he’ll skulk off to some other dark corner to wait for a nicer victim to come along. Even killers like to be recognized for their work, and they stand a much better chance of having their crimes featured on The Murder Channel if they take out the person who least deserves it.
Also, if you live in a place where everyone knows each other, people don’t lock their doors, and “things like that just don’t happen,” you’ve also got a target on your back. And if you’re a double threat, a genuinely good person and a resident of Pleasantville, you should probably take a few minutes to update your will. And maybe lock your door.
While some innocent people are the victims of homicidal maniacs, others fall prey to over-zealous police and prosecutors
and wind up on trial for a crime they didn’t commit. This is more likely to happen if you’re close to or have a personal relationship with a murdered person. Because whatever your reaction is to hearing the tragic news, it will be wrong. The police are suspicious of anyone who doesn’t show much emotion; but, they also zero in on anyone they feel is over-emoting. Basically, whether you respond with gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, or just shake your head and do the sad wah-wah-waaaaah trumpet noise, you’ll move to the top of the suspect list and probably spend the rest of your life in jail.
And your victimization doesn’t end there, because people on the prosecution side of the courtroom will never admit that they may have convicted an innocent person. They’re all too happy to rely on DNA as the forensic finger of justice that always points to the guilty party; but, when someone who’s been unjustly incarcerated suggests that recent advancements in DNA testing will exonerate them, suddenly DNA isn’t all that reliable or important anymore. In fact, a victim could rise zombie-style from the grave and identify the actual perpetrator, and the D.A. would still refuse to consider the possibility that a mistake was made.
As much as I appreciate the lessons in the art of criminal behavior and victim-hood avoidance, there’s one thing that happens on most shows that I’d really like to see eliminated. More often than not, The Murder Channel’s female victims are also victims of sexual assault (I guess sex sells … even if i
t’s often rape-y and occasionally necrophilia-ish). And when the show gets to the point that someone is describing the condition of the body when it was found, part of that description will generally include the word panties.
I believe I’ve mentioned before that panties is one of my least favorite words. It’s too little-girl cutesy for my taste, and I think my underthings deserve to be called something more dignified. But it seems I’m in the minority when it comes to undergarment references, and I’ve learned to just accept that it’s something I’ll have to endure. And I can do that. To a point ….
What I can’t seem to get past is hearing panties in conjunction with the details of a brutal crime. Panties is a pink, frilly word that has no business being included in the somber, gray description of a terrible assault and murder.
I finally had to draw the line when a detective on one of the shows mentioned that the 80-something year old victim’s panties were missing. I don’t want to offend any more-mature women, but octogenarians and panties just don’t go together. And because I don’t want to spend my golden years listening to the staff at the nursing home reminding me that panties aren’t meant to be worn on my head, I need to start doing something now to make sure that doesn’t happen.
So, in an effort to insure my elderly unmentionables get the proper respect, I’ve decided to start selling I’m Not Wearing Panties t-shirts and swag to raise money for an Underwear Awareness campaign. I know that not everyone shares my opinion, but I’m hoping I can count on some of you to take off your panties and join me.