Dulltown, Europe: Today’s demure and undemanding fruit is the clementine.
‘The peace and quiet of the small town of —— in the picturesque vacation state of —— was shaken by the horrible discovery of…’
Yes, the television has been so bad recently that I have taken to watching a few of those US ‘true-life’ ‘real’ police/forensic investigation detective shows. They all seem to begin like the above, and go on to describe some ghastly grisly crime and of course its ultimate satisfying conclusion with bad people going to jail. It really is quite uplifting to see science triumph over the ‘evil-doer’, especially as you don’t need to pay that much attention to what’s going on; you can loll on your settee and twang your guitar at the same time, just pausing for a bar or two for the more interesting scientific bits. The producers do like to revel in the violence a bit though – slow motion shootings, and stabbings, and beatings, and drownings, with sound effects, and music, repeated as many times as possible through the length of the show – I twang more though those bits…
Watching these one can easily come to the conclusion that the US must be packed full of people plotting to kill each other in inventive and bloody ways. Of course the unsettling thing is that these shows, as well as being gripping and deliberately upsetting entertainment, are also useful instruction courses for criminals on how to avoid being caught – I’ll bet these series are very popular with the inmates of prisons:
‘Damn Billy-Ray, if only I’d wiped off that little bit of blood spatter on the kitchen wall!… Damn!…’
‘Yeh, Earl-Bob, I was caught by the tiny amount of DNA in my chewing tobacco spittle on the stoop… Damn! If only I’d taken a handkerchief…’
Some of the parts in these re-enactments are played by actors, usually the victims and the perps who are not available for filming for obvious reasons, but the cops and forensic people play themselves – it’s really great to see non-actors acting! The detectives and FBI agents come over as a bit slab-faced and don’t move their mouths much as they speak. They also don’t seem to blink very often, oh, and they all have beady scary eyes – I suppose they would have, having viewed such awful things all their working lives. Oh, and a lot of them have weight issues – all that coffee and doughnuts I suppose…
I know it’s silly, but I started to notice that the cops, lawyers, CSI people, and general public featured in these things often have interesting and unusual names. Perhaps in the US these names are not that unusual, but here in the UK I think they are. I jotted a few of the nice ones down over last few weeks: