Randomness: Murder She Wrote

Ms. Kitty and I have had Netflix for a couple of years now, ever since we shut off cable TV. I really like the service, but now I love it. We got a Roku box that allows us to watch our “Watch it now” movies and TV shows over the standard television rather than on the computer. Ms. Kitty has also been using it for noise as she works at her drafting table. The latest series to find its way onto our que is Murder She Wrote.

Ms. Kitty will most often be watching an episode from her drafting table when I get home from class at night. I’ve not watched a full episode in years, but I’ve caught just enough of these snippets to realize that Jessica Fletcher (the She in Murder She Wrote) doesn’t need to have an atypical adeptness for putting together the pieces of a puzzle, rather, she needs two things:

1. A police force that has absolutely no qualms with a visiting fiction writer whose help is unsolicited taking part in what is most likely the highest profile case that this small town has ever seen.

2. A town full of people who are eager to disclose the finest details of their daily lives to a complete stranger.

The conversations between Ms. Fletcher and the townsfolk always foreshadow some clue that is essential to solving the case; a clue that would not be shared by any rational person.

Example of a normal conversation: Ms. Fletcher enters a diner and takes a seat upon a stool at the bar.

MF to the waitress: Is anyone sitting here? May I have this seat?

W: Oh sure, hon. I’ll be right with you.

Murder She Wrote conversation: Ms. Fletcher enters a diner and takes a seat upon a stool at the bar.

MF to the waitress: Is anyone sitting here? May I have this seat?

W (checking the clock on the wall): Well, since it’s after 7, I don’t suppose Ol’ Henry will be in this morning. Funny thing too, since he’s eaten here every weekday morning for goin’ on six years. He comes in right at 7 a.m., sits on that stool and orders eggs, bacon and toast with black coffee and always asks for a Starlight mint wrapped in cellophane afterwards. But, since he ain’t here, I’d be happy to help you.

How many donuts do you want to bet that they discover a Starlight Mint wrapper at the scene, but the victim doesn’t eat them?  Also, would you like to wager that Henry missed his normal breakfast at the diner because he was moving the body?  I don’t know….

Sure, this smattering of minutia would be fine if you’re a retiree waiting to die, but can you imagine how long everything would take if everyone you talked to shared everything they knew about a situation each and every time you talked to them?

Me, approaching a gas station attendant behind the counter: Would you mind turning on the air compressor?

Gas station attendant: Oh, sure, no problem. In fact, you’re the fifth fella to ask me to do that on my shift today. See, I’ve only been here since 3 p.m. after Paco called and said he had something he needed to take care of and asked if I’d cover for him. Paco is a great guy, but he’s been having some problems with his landlord, so I said I’d cover for him. In fact, he’s the first one that asked me to turn it on today. He coulda done it himself, but he was in an awful hurry. His tires have been running pretty flat lately. I tried to talk him out of buying those Toyo Proxes, but he wouldn’t listen. The compound is just not right for his kind of driving; it wears off too quickly for his burnout kind of driving with that Firebird of his.

Me: …

Now, if LBPD discovered Paco’s landlord dead and tire marks outside the house, I could have my own theme song!


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