Monday, October 06, 2008
I'm too sleepy to put up a proper post, so I'll just relate an incident that happened 15 minutes ago, just before I sat down to the computer.
I'd just watched a TV movie with my wife and daughter called "Five Little Pigs," an adoption of the Agatha Christie book of the same name. In the film ace detective Hercule Poirot is hired to find the truth about the fatal poisoning of a famous painter which resulted in the conviction and hanging of his wife. The whole thing happened years before but the daughter feels her mother was innocent and wants the real killer brought to justice.
DON"T READ PAST THIS POINT IF YOU DON"T WANT TO KNOW THE END OF THIS STORY.
The damning evidence against the mother is that immediately after her husband's death she was seen wiping fingerprints off the poisoned beer bottle, and frantically throwing things into the lake. It looked like she poisoned her husband and was getting rid of evidence.
WARNING: I REVEAL THE END HERE!!!!
Well, it turns out that the mother really was innocent. When she realized a murder had been committed she assumed her 15 year-old daughter had done it, and changed the evidence to make it appear that she, the mother, had done it. She knew the daughter was a good person and would regret what she'd done, so the mother decided to bring the blame on herself. She even allowed herself to be hanged for it! I...er...changed the details a little to simplify it, but that's the gist of it. It was a good story!
Anyway, after the film I said to my wife: "Wow! I understand that reasoning completely! If our kid shot us impulsively, I'd do the same thing. In the moments before death I'd try to bugger up the evidence to deflect attention away from the kid. She's a good egg and would surely regret the crime later. If we're going to die anyway, we might as well set it up so our kid has some kind of life after we're gone."
My wife said, "That's ridiculous. Our kid is an adult now. If she kills somebody she should take responsibility for it."
"No," I said, "that's too severe! With my last ounce of energy I'd dip my finger in my blood and write on the floor: 'the killer was a pickle-nosed guy with a gold tooth who shot us through the window.' "
My wife said, "Well then I'd write with my blood: 'Nope, our daughter did it!' "
I replied that with a miraculous final burst of energy I'd write, "Don't listen to my wife, She's addled from the pain. Seek the guy with the nose."
My wife replied that she'd write: "I am NOT addled! Our daughter did it!"
Needless to say, it was frustrating to have my final testament contradicted this way. Our daughter was silent up til now, listening to us argue. I wondered whose side she would take. Finally she said, "Mom's right! If I was mean enough to shoot you, I'd deserve to take the fall!"
Not the answer I was looking for, but I somehow got a good feeling from it, as if maybe we'd raised our daughter better than I'd realized.
OK, I'm going to bed!