Thursday, July 24, 2008

When they met it was... murder.

I have a bit of a dark sense of humor that trends towards the smartass. I find those sorts of jokes don't always translate well on the impersonal internet. Even when one goes out of his or her way to accent jokes with the obligatory ;-)

Just an example of how my humor plays out in real life I just want to share this short story involving a murder.

Last year one of the co-owners and his wife of one of our longest running and best vendors was arrested for murder. This was a guy that I thought I knew well. We'd been to lunch and golfed many times. He was a outgoing, personable guy. He obviously also had a pretty dark secret.

As it played out he got into an argument with his wife and she confessed to a friend that she was afraid of him because of what he was capable of. Eventually she admitted to her friend that together they had killed somebody years before. The friend went to the police and they were both arrested shortly thereafter.

They had been in business years before this with an elderly gentleman that they also happened to live with in a house they co-owned. They had gotten themselves into some financial trouble and decided the only solution was to take out a big insurance policy on their elderly partner and then kill him and collect the insurance.

Their plan was to slip sleeping pills into his meal to get him to fall asleep and then smother him while he slept. The only hitch was that sleeping pills are very bitter and easily detectable. After experimenting with different foods they settled on chili as being the best way to disguise these sleeping pills. I'll spare you the rest of the dark details but the chili worked and they murdered their partner and collected the insurance. Police ruled it natural causes at the time.

When he was arrested his current partner in the business we were working with called me in a panic to assure me he had no idea about his partner's sordid past. This story had made all the local news programs as well as the paper and their company had been mentioned by name. He was terrified they'd be losing clients especially us since we were their biggest customer.

I told him that as long as our company was kept out of the news I didn't care. They had always provided good service and this wasn't about to effect that. I tried to assure him that this had no bearing on our business relationship but I could tell he was pretty rattled and uncertain. (I found out later that part of why he was so upset is that this guy had tried to convince HIM to take out a big insurance policy "just in case.")

So I did what any reasonable person would do in this case. I sent them a gift box and a note. The note read: "Just to re-affirm our great relationship with Acme Company, I thought I'd send over this small gift to represent our esteem for the job you do. Enjoy!"

In the box was a can of chili.

I got a call from him right away in which he couldn't stop laughing.


Westcoast Walker said...

Great story Dean!

I think a little macabre humor is necessary, and is really an understandable response to dark and surreal circumstances. Frankly, looking at what goes on in the world at time tears or laughter (often both) seem reasonable.

Some of things I joke about with my social work colleagues would make other people cringe - at times its like being in a MASH unit, and sometimes humor is the only option in order to cope with dark circumstances.

Don Snabulus said...

That was a good one. Amazing how much we rely on our everyday perceptions of people when the real sociopaths don't act any differently. Ah well, you seem pretty nice so I won't trouble myself about it.

flounder said...

That's pretty good.

I was at a Florida State basketball game when Duane Schintzius, a U of Florida player that had been suspended from the team for attacking a car with a tennis racket, was announced and the entire crowd threw tennis balls at him.

Dean Wormer said...


Some of things I joke about with my social work colleagues would make other people cringe - at times its like being in a MASH unit, and sometimes humor is the only option in order to cope with dark circumstances.

I think the MASH analogy is a great one for these types of things. Social workers like yourself or emergency workers always have to deal with such ugly stuff. I would think humor is the only way to cope.


I did burn ants when I was a kid. Jeffery Dahmer burned ants. Just sayin'...


I absolutely love that story. It has that same prankster vibe I like so much.

Is there a Southpark convention around here with you and don's avatars?

Randal Graves said...

You sick bastard. Hilarious!

You and WW are right, humor is such a great defense mechanism, almost necessary in a truly high-stress work environment.

Fran said...

Holy crap- that is GREAT! I love it.

I have a recipe for chili that I made up called "Change Your Life Chili" (it is so damn good it will change your life.)

This is like another version of change your life and not for the better chili!!

Bradda said...

PLease tell me it was Hormel Extra Chuncky...

ladybug said...

Jeebus! That's a great story btw...thank goodness the guy had a sense of humor too....

ThoughtCriminal said...

Brand selection is important.

Arkonbey said...

All I can say is:

Hwah? Huhk? *gapes*

Ubermilf said...

normally I am as snarky as you, but on a serious note...

humor is life-affirming, and that is EXACTLY what that poor guy needed at the time.

Dean Wormer said...


True. Sometimes a joke is the only way to break the mood.


Could you email me that recipe? Seriously.


Ha! I think it was something like that. I know it wasn't "classic" chili.


That's a great story btw...thank goodness the guy had a sense of humor too....

I'll admit there was a little while as the gift was in transit with a messenger that I was second guessing the thing for just that reason.


Ha! Whoopass chili actually sounds good.


Must everything be expressed in comic exclamations? ;-)


I think you're right. He'd just been essentially betrayed by his partner and was terrified of losing his livlihood if clients bolted because of this.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Brilliant! That sounds like something I would do.

Freida Bee said...

You, Dean Wormer, are a funny man.

Distributorcap said...

what a great story
and to quote a cliche -- you cant make this up

it definitely is more hart to hart than law & order.

as for the acme company -- are you SURE you arent wile e coyote?

enigma4ever said...

omg...great story...and great ending...( the chili gift..)

So you sell anvils- is that right?

BAC said...

Great story ... and a photo of Stephanie Powers as well! Yikes!


Dean Wormer said...


It does at that.




I just think my boss is a cartoon.

Obviously the names have been changed or, for the most part, omitted. It wouldn't be too hard to find the details out if you knew where I lived and googled key words like "chili" and "poison."


Anvils and giant magnets.



Dr. Zaius said...

Hee hee! I love it!

Dean Wormer said...


Glad you liked it!

Swinebread said...

Scary and Funny! You're the greatest!

Dean Wormer said...


Glad you liked it. I was a little scared this story might make me look creepy...

Swinebread said...

It's much too late for that!