Wednesday, March 18, 2009

On the one hand, she's a pacifist. On the other, she does know how to use a chain saw.

If you have ever spent any time at my parents' house, you know that you cannot ever be entirely sure which direction the conversation might take.

It's just how it is.

We spent some time with them this past weekend. Most of the rest of the weekend we were immersed in Dexter.

Nick and I had been watching recent episodes, but finally ordered the first season. We watched about seven hours of serial killing. In two seatings. Me, I'd have done it all at once.

I can't watch the parts where he's slicing people, and I leave the room in the really stressful moments. But other than that, I love how well done it is.

So my parents reported that at our suggestion, they'd watched the first episode, and then couldn't bear it. My father, in partciular, is horrified we're so riveted.

He said, "You know what it reminds me of?"

Most people, they might say it reminded them of something they'd read in the paper, or a movie they saw, or whatever.


"When I was in Vietnam, the North Vietnamese would skin people alive and then they'd turn up at our hospital for us to treat. That's what your show reminds me of."


Because really, what else can you say?

Betty, on the other hand, was all, "How do you know?"

"How do you know what?"

"How do you know if you're a serial killer?"

Besides murdering someone, Rosebud?

"Well, for one thing, you'd probably have to start by killing people. And they have to fit a pattern. Why?"

"Virginia power is going to cut down all trees within 35 feet of their stupid power lines!"

"Can you stop them?"

She stopped them before - years ago - with a neighborhood petition. First, my adorable, tiny little mother followed tree-marking individuals around harassing them. Then she got a petition going. They saved all the trees on the street.

You cannot mess with the Truffala Trees.

She is definitely the Lorax.

"No! And they marked that nice birch on the parkland! I asked those horrible men if they know how long it takes for birch to grow! They don't care!"

"Fucking Virginia power."

Betty is all, "Exactly!"

While my dad is more, "Lisa! Language?"

While I have full faith that telling those men what jerks they are to the trees is as violent as Betty gets, I'd just like to clarify - if you kill a bunch of people in one go, it's mass murder, right? While serial killing would be one by one?


  1. Loved the Lorax. Still love the Lorax. And now I'm imagining a very different version of the story, where the Lorax takes the Thnead Factory by storm.

  2. I think Betty would definitely need to kill the tree-killers one by one to be considered a serial killer.

    Or she could just write a really stern letter to someone important.

  3. I love, love, love other people's families. They are freaking hilarious!

  4. Fearless - Yes! Or, one by one, takes out the Thnead executives...

    Jo - Absolutely! Betty rocks.

    Hillary - I believe this is true - one by one. And she should perhaps try the stern letter route.

    LiLu - I love other people's families too. And I love my own, although sometimes people get this deer-in-headlights look when stuck at a dinner table with us.

  5. wow, your dad's comment must have been quite the buzz-kill

  6. Mass Murder: planned or unplanned mowing down of numerous people at once.

    Serial Killing: One at a time, usually due to some sick compulsion they say they can't control.

    Betty: Annoying the tree killers to death with bothering and petitions.

    Sorry your dad had to see that in Vietnam. What a horror.

    My family gets the same sort of deer in headlights looks.

  7. This made me roar with laughter Lisa! And I wish I'd had Betty on my side a few years back when I fought the tree killers and lost! In ND for gods sake where they don't have any spare trees to kill. D U M B dumb.

  8. so is Betty calling DomVA Power serial tree killers? or is she contemplating killing the tree-cutter-downers?

    it's amazing what people's experiences will make them relate things to. i had a teacher who served in vietnam and of the things he would tell us, even certain smells that we wouldn't notice remind him of things from over there. crazy crazy life.

  9. Rosebud? I think you mean Rosemary.

  10. Sour - I am telling you, you really never have a clear idea what he might say. And it was totally reasonable, if shocking, in context, you know?

    Anonymous - Nice breakdown. Thanks!

    Lynn - That is a travesty in ND. It's true - you all need ALL the trees you can get. What is wrong with them?

    notsojenny - The latter. Although I think she would agree with the former.

    And yes, it is amazing. And it seems those memories never, ever go away.

    FreckledK - Oh, all the same to me.

  11. This conversation is hysterical, in a gruesome demented way of course.

    And I also believe mass murder is usually done to make some statement. While serial killing is usually just done for the pleasure of it?? (Feels strange to write that sentence with a period so I am putting two question marks instead).

  12. Oh Lisa, you are wrong wrong wrong wrong WRONG. Not about the serial vs. mass killing. You're quite right about that.

  13. I hate it when someone says something where there's no good response. There's that lingering awkwardness that seems like it goes on forever.

  14. The words skin alive makes my own flesh crawl. Maybe Betty should just send threatening letters to Virginia Power. She can threaten them with skinning and tell them how the trees scream when you cut them down.

    Remind her to sign them "Rosebud."


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