Dominick Dunne is no longer on television. I don’t watch much T.V. other than sporting events. However, after the game is over, I do a little channel surfing to cool myself down. Dominick often enticed me to continue watching the television after the game for much longer than a cool down.
He invited me into the crime stories of folks whose lives I could only dream about. He was the host of Power, Privilege and Justice. Dominick was a former reporter who chronicled many of the most notorious murder cases involving the rich and famous.
But as reporters do, Dominick Dunne died, a natural death I hope.
My wife and I kept going back to his station after the games were over but Dominick never showed up anymore. We looked for some substitute for Dominick’s crime show. Unfortunately we found one. It is a channel called INVESTIGATION DISCOVERY (ID for short). It’s not all about rich people. It also covers the crimes of the Middle Class and even poor folks occasionally.
The worst part is that many of the episodes fall into themes with names like “Wives With Knives”, “Happily Never After”, “Deadly Women, Fatal Encounters” and the worst “Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry” which are true crime stories about women who discover horrendous secrets about their spouses, after they are married. Nowadays, if I hang the guest towels with the labels showing, my wife bellows, “Who in the (bleep) did I marry?”
Over 60% of the viewers of this ID channel are women. Why are women so attracted to ghastly crime shows? And many of those women are “Wives With Knives.” They keep their knives in the kitchen. Seems like a dangerous situation. I’m reminded of Raymond Chandler’s hardboiled detective’s description about how hot it gets in Los Angeles on a summer night, “It was one of those hot dry Santa Ana's that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen.”
Often these television stories include a nurse who has access to drugs that can kill an unsuspecting husband and not leave a trace of the poison for the coroner to discover.
My wife is a nurse. With access to drugs.
Sometimes I catch her writing in her notebook while watching “Deady Women, Fatal Encounters.”
I ask her what she’s jotting down?
She answers, “Some ideas that I got from a seed catalogue today at work.”
“You read seed catalogues while people are getting stitched up as you monitor their vital signs?”
She doesn’t answer me, but I note her thumb stroking as if feeling the edge of a carving knife as she looks at my neck. Unnerved, I do not pursue the topic.
I shout at the television while “Happily Never After” plays out its fatal end for the groom. I get so frustrated at these new husbands who can’t figure out that their unhappy spouse is going to collect on their insurance, sooner rather than later. How could they not see? Maybe because they were bachelors just a couple of months ago.
But a good friend is a lifelong bachelor and he is wise to women. We were talking about marriage and the female mind. He ended the conversation by advising me, “Wives always have a little scheme going. You know how wives are?”
Well, no I didn’t, not until now
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