Imagine you’re at work scanning packages of cheap childrens’ toys. You’re hot, you’re tired. It’s been a long day of looking at hundreds of x-rays of knock-off Barbie dolls and plastic “Hotter Wheels” the people in the Bangkok factory down the road want shipped to the US, and all you want to do is go home to your family and cruise the uncensored version of the internet your brother-in-law hooked you up with. You glance at the clock, realize you’ve got another few hours in warehouse hell, grab the next box and feed it into the machine only to have your entire world turn so completely upside down that you actually WISH the only problem you still had was having to listen to the woman who works next to you keep blathering about her grandkids all friggin’ day.
I’ve never been too hot on practical jokes myself. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not above a good “got yer nose” to gullible toddlers or the confused elderly. I’ve even managed to pull off a few pranks on my kids that made me laugh and gave them more stories to share with their friends about their lame mum (I went all out and did those while wearing mom-jeans for added effect. Just makes the story better for them to tell. Really adds some ambiance.) But I’m a practical joke opportunist at best. I’ll get a random urge here or there to be mildly annoying, and put very minimal effort into getting a harmless, cheap pity chuckle. Life has to pretty much hand me the joke on a platter in such a blatant way that almost everyone expects SOMEone to take the bait for me to be moved to participate in practical jokery.
I’m not one of those people who looks at life and sees nothing but a series of dickish opportunities to torture the lives of friends and family. I’ve never said, “You know what would be rad? Let me take five years to carefully construct the seven thousand small, seemingly unconnected events that will lead to one, grand ‘gotcha’.” If it takes actual effort, I’m out. If it takes self-control to pull off, forget it. If a practical joke requires more than one step, I’ve got better things to do.
I guess what I’m saying is that I’m no expert in the pastime of practical jokery. I don’t get why people spend so much effort for such a little payoff. I also don’t understand why these “jokesters” can’t see that they quite often cross the line between humor and horror. If a “joke” causes actual, real pain, be it physical, mental, or emotional, then I just don’t see how that’s funny. I don’t get that part of the practical joke culture.
Perhaps this is why I don’t understand one of the biggest news stories of the week.
Some poor sap in a Bangkok shipping warehouse was zipping a box through an x-ray machine fully expecting to see another package crammed full of the cheap dollar store toys Americans can’t seem to get enough of, when he saw…body parts. No, I do not mean broken dolls. I mean actual body parts. Feet. “Sheets of skin,” and that’s a direct quote from the news stories. Sheets. Of. Skin. But that’s not the worst. Oh no, not nearly. Also included in the Little Box of Horrors: A baby head.
To be abundantly clear about the level of horror here so there is absolutely no ambiguity, we’re talking about the actual cranium of a real, human infant.
THE HEAD OF A MUTHEREFFIN’ BABY.
If you’re like me, after you finished simultaneously crying and vomiting, the first coherent thought you’ll have about the situation is, “This must be the work of a serial killer.”
Indeed, that’s what authorities thought initially, too. Though details are light because, well, Bangkok, I also bet Mr. Mindless Box Scanner also had himself one horrible stint of brutal interrogations, along with every other person who could have possibly handled that package. Clearly it was a sick, dangerous mind they were up against. Only the criminally insane would put body parts in a box and mail it.
Imagine the shock and surprise when it turned out that the two men responsible for attempting to mail human baby body parts (and “sheets of skin.” Can’t forget that Silence of the Lambs shit.) did it as a joke.
Two men are being accused of collecting the body parts from a medical facility, packing them in a box, and attempting to ship them back home to Las Vegas as a practical joke they were playing on a friend.
^That was an important sentence, so let’s just examine the many points the few words made so we don’t miss anything. First, the two guys are just being accused at this point. The cops found a few direct links and some good circumstantial evidence, but not enough to officially charge them yet. The cops let the two men go, who immediately fled to Cambodia in spite of authority requests to stay put. Could they be innocent? Sure. I mean, it’s Bangkok and we’ve all heard stories about the police over there.
…but on the flip, it IS Bangkok and we really HAVE heard stories about the police over there. Some are saying the Americans paid off the cops to release them. Maybe. But if that really was the case, would the cops really say anything to the press at all? Would the names of the men be released? Would the details be described to the press? If you’re going to get a huge payoff, especially from known media whore Americans, don’t you think you’d make a modicum of effort to keep the situation on the down low?
…and yes, I said Americans. The two guys under investigation are Americans. *sigh* Of COURSE they are. These two poor excuses have a history of questionable decisions, too. Several years ago they made their money by paying homeless people a few bucks to have what were essentially cage matches while they filmed it. Let that one roll around for a minute. They paid desperate people a few bucks to beat the shit out of each other while they filmed it for yuks. With all of the possible ideas a human brain could come up with to make money, the one they went with was abusing the lowest, poorest members of society for a laugh. These are quality individuals we’re dealing with here.
*wipes the dripping sarcasm off the screen*
I also said that the body parts were medical waste. There are mixed reports on exactly what type of facility the parts came from. Some say it’s a forensics museum, some say it’s a science lab and the parts are cadavers used for education. Wherever they came from, the parts were not from “kills”. The men did not kill people to get the parts, they merely stole the already removed bits. The parts were from people who died in other ways. So, the accused are not killers.
I know this should make the story more palatable, but somehow, it does not.
I can’t get over the fact that they did all of this for a joke. That’s the part of the story that, in some ways, is sicker than if they murdered someone and tried to get rid of the evidence. Think I’m wrong? Okay, let’s play the worst game of “what would you do” ever.
Say you killed someone. We’ll say it’s in the heat of passion. You walked in on your spouse screwing someone in your very own bed, or someone made a threat to your family, or an argument spun out of control. Even if you, personally, would never, ever kill someone in any situation, you can at least understand it. We all can. That’s what makes us animals…the deep urge to do away with a perceived threat once and for all. There is no shame in being able to say, “Okay, even though I would never do it, I can at least understand the emotions that lead someone to that point. I’ve been wicked mad myself before and perhaps if I didn’t have a sense of guilt or shame, I would have offed the bitch, too.” It’s okay to understand, it does NOT make you a killer in any way. You’re just an animal. The fact that you hold yourself back from actually going through with it, that’s the line. That’s where your humanity comes into play. If you’ve been trained in the more refined human ways, then you’ll get to the point of anger and just simmer. Some people can’t. Some people can’t pull back from that point. Some people get there and the animal urge is stronger than the past human training, and they act all great apey on the offending person.
Psychology lesson #1 over. We can put ourselves in the mind of a killer and at least understand. Now, let’s get to the next part.
So you killed someone and now have a body. The dead dude in front of you presents a new problem. Again, here’s another animal/human internal war. An animal would look at the slain enemy, maybe take a few bites, definitely piss on it for emphasis, and stroll away to go about its life knowing it bested a foe. An animal does not need to worry about who the hell will pay the mortgage if they get caught and go to jail. Because we are animals first and people second, a person will stare at the corpse of the guy they just killed and see two distinct options. They’ll see the completely human-training choice to confess and face the punishment. But, they’ll also see the animal choice. Get rid of the evidence and move on.
As ghastly and horrible as it is, I can understand the second option. I would never do it, because I wouldn’t be a murder in the first place. But I CAN understand. I can at least comprehend the instincts involved in hiding a body and resuming life as usual, and I think if anyone reading this is honest, they can also follow the train of thought behind such actions, too.
What I can’t wrap my mind around is someone having the thought that mailing severed body parts to someone is “funny.”
Think about it. These dudes were walking down the street one day and one of them turned to the other and said, “Bro…listen to this. I just had the best idea evah. Okay, so we find a bunch of body parts. I dunno, maybe some feet, a couple-a hands…NAW DUDE WAIT. I got it! A head. But it’s gotta be a baby head, right?”
To which the other guy, the other human being, another brain that can allegedly put together a coherent thought, HAD to nod and say, “I like where this is going. Keep talkin’…”
“So, like, we pack them all up. We put all these parts in a box and we, like, MAIL them to Jim and Frank! Imagine the looks on their faces. Dude, it’ll be SO sick!”
“I get what you’re saying, but it’s missing something. Can we put in some ‘sheets of skin’?”
“Wouldn’t have it any other way!”
“Epic. Let’s do it!”
I cannot understand what kind of thought process someone has to be able to go through in order to come up with the idea of mailing rotting body parts to someone as a joke. And it boggles the fricken mind that this idea slipped through the filter of not one, but TWO people.
Two adults thought this was an acceptable expression of humor. Two American adults thought the best way to get one over on their buddies was to mail them rotten body parts. TWO ADULTS thought that everyone would just chillax when they heard it was all for kicks. They did this AS A JOKE.
See? It’s not funny. It’s not remotely funny. In fact, there isn’t a parallel universe out of all the potential universes in which this would be considered even slightly amusing.
Now let’s get back to why these two are worse than murderers. Er, allegedly.
What kind of sick bastard can come up with this plan for kicks? Seriously, can you honestly put your head in their mindset? I can watch the gag reels of people putting saran wrap over toilets so the pee splashes on their roommate, or watch the footage of someone popping out of a closet to get a funny scream from their mum. I can view these things and even though I personally don’t get the humor in some of them, I can at least understand why certain folks would find it funny. I can get that part of practical jokes.
But this is not a practical joke. This is not an IMpractical joke. This is in no way, shape, or form at all amusing to anyone who is sane. If this is what they’ll actually go through for a laugh, I literally shudder to think about their rejected ideas, what they would consider taking it “too far.”
Can you imagine being the poor guy who discovered human body parts in the box? Do you think he found it funny? Or even worse, the friends on the other end? What the hell do you think they would have said if the shipper had been less diligent and allowed the package through? They would have opened that box and discovered a FRICKEN BABY HEAD!? Can you imagine their reaction??
“I think they’d say, ‘What’s in the box, man? What’s in the baawwwx….'”
Stop it. You stop the Brad Pitt impressions right now.
“But Bethie! If ever there is a time to quote Seven…”
Too soon, man. Too soon.
Thus concludes the Morning Musing for Tuesday, November 18, 2014. There. I had my say. I need to keep writing for NaNoWriMo and take care of my eldest as he recovers from having unwise wisdom teeth removed, but I just couldn’t let this one pass. I’ve hit the word count requirement for NaNo, but still have about a third of the book left to go. I’ll be back for regular chit chats after that!