I've been following the case of the bus murder in Canada where the murderer beheaded and ate parts of his victim. Not out of some gruesome love of death and dismemberment, but to read about the reactions of the populace to it. There is nothing in recent memory that compares to this act, and people continue to be stunned as more details come forth about the incident.
If you're interested in the latest development, it can be read here.
But the part that threw me was in the last two paragraphs of the article.
"Meanwhile, Reuters reports, the Greyhound bus company has been scrambling to remove all traces of an advertising campaign which used the slogan: "There's a reason you've never heard of bus rage."
The campaign was supposed to have ended but a spokeswoman said some billboards had been found still in place."
I laughed. Because it was so startlingly timely.
Something similar happened to me yesterday. I was reading the Philadelphia Inquirer in the break room and it had an article about a murdered swan that had been greatly adored by those who watched him raise families with his mate over 7 years. They say murdered because the swan was beaten to death with a blunt object, probably a boat paddle. And this was done over a dispute with some neighbors across the river on the other side of the Mason-Dixon.
It was a very sad story. The community was really attached to the swan and his mate, and they've got the ASPCA in both states up in arms while the police are investigating. It was a surprising amount of news space given to the death of a bird.
But what got me was the blurb at the bottom. They quoted someone who talked about how animals are not meant to be amusing or abused when humans saw fit.
Then they brought up a recent incident where two drunken individuals had kidnapped an opposum, tied it to the roof of their car, and went driving around with it like that for a few hours.
I died. Just totally lost it. The contrast of drunken stupidity against a deliberate death was just...not even on par. One is a bird that probably died in a lot of pain. The other is a possum that probably walked away with a good story to tell his friends when he got home and calmed his wife down.
On my way back to my seat, I had this phrase echoing in my head that the possum might even say, "Dude, you would not believe what happened to me this evening...."
and I wondered if they went through a drive-thru with him on the roof. That might've at least been slightly clever. Get the poor guy some french fries for his time, you know...
Perhaps I just don't have the proper mindset to be reading these. Perhaps I was supposed to feel great morale outrage over a possum kidnapping. And maybe it's a double standard because it didn't die. But I can't help it. The mental image is too funny.