Of all the strange details to come from the recent Amy Bishop case, including that she "accidentally" shot and killed her brother back in the eighties and was suspected in a mail bombing, perhaps the strangest (and what should rightly send a chill up the spines of our own friends and colleagues) was that she was also an "aspiring novelist."
My writer friends of course won't be surprised to hear this, but to those of you in our circles, be warned. We're nuts. Certifiably so.
But imagine if she had, before her killing spree, actually published her novel, reported to be a wishful thinking semi-autobiographical tale about a . . . wait for it . . . professor struggling to get tenure, and the forces arrayed against her. Do any of us doubt that it wouldn't be rocketing up the charts as we speak?
Recall what happened when Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff, was indicted for obstruction of justice. His novel (written years before and based upon his time in Japan) began selling like hotcakes!
And there was Michael Peterson, ultimately convicted of pushing his wife down the stairs (after tragically losing his first wife the same way). Does anyone doubt that his own infamy led to an increase in sales?
So is it any wonder that I too am now wondering what infamy I might participate in to, you know, get my name out there?
I don't have the stomach for murder, so that's out. Though I sometimes write all graphic and bloody, I actually avert my eyes when confronted with such things, literally raising my hands over my eyes when the Neda video or the Zapruder film is shown.
And the thought of jail gives me the willies as well. Having heard the "clang" of a cell door swing shut on me once in my life was quite enough, thank you very much. So it would have to be something more prankish and harmless than something truly hurtful.
Streaking at the Super Bowl or the World Series or something like that is probably more my style.
But if you folks have any thoughts or suggestions, I'm all ears.
I do have this one idea, where I build a balloon in my backyard and pretend that it gets accidentally released with my son on board.
But nobody would ever really buy something like that, would they?