Monday, October 11, 2010

COLUMN: Serial Killer

I was channel-flipping the other day and stumbled upon a gem from yesteryear: the under-watched Mike Myers comedy, "So I Married An Axe Murderer." In the movie, Myers plays a sad-sack type of character who finally gets lucky in love... until the evidence around him begins to suggest that his new bride may, in fact, be the axe murderer he's been reading about in the tabloids. It's a pretty fun movie, but this time, it rang a little bit close to home.

I say this because I'm pretty sure my girlfriend is a serial killer.

For the past seveighineteentwenty (cough) months now, I've been writing drippy columns about what a wonderful person Amy is and what a blessing she's been in my life yada yada. But it's becoming pretty clear to me now that my mild-mannered girlfriend is a cold-blooded killing machine heck-bent on anarchy and destruction.

I know it's hard to believe, especially since no-one's turned up missing lately -- what can I say? She must hide it pretty well. She's the most good-hearted Christian grade school teacher I've ever met. It's almost like dating Mr. Rogers, provided that Mr. Rogers was super cute and a she.

In ways, Amy is the Anti-Shane. I prefer to go the awkward hermit route when faced with the prospect of small talk with strangers. She, meanwhile, has befriended the entire block surrounding my new house, despite not actually living there. We both love our extended families dearly, but I tend to love the fact that most of mine are many, many miles away.

I can't heat up a frozen pizza without botching the whole thing up. She bakes cupcakes on almost a daily basis -- and if I try to eat one, I'll be told something like, "No! Those are for my mom's neighbor's cousin's podiatrist's daughter's friend's third-grade teacher's twice-removed cousin's niece who just had a baby!"

I write a weekly newspaper column and spend the rest of the week trying to do as little work as humanly possible. She's an educator slash child care provider slash homemaker slash house cleaner slash church teacher and she's woefully underpaid at all of them. If I'm in the middle of something, I let my calls go to voicemail. She'll spend the whole night talking any number of her friends through any number of crises.

She is the sun on a gloomy day. She is the silver lining in every cloud, the half-full glass, and the light at the end of the tunnel. Let's face it -- I'm basically dating Rainbow Brite.

At least I thought I was. That's before I learned that my namby-pamby goody-two-shoes girlfriend has a jones for the creepiest TV series out there: "Dexter." In case you haven't caught the Showtime original series, it follows the misadventures of one Dexter Morgan, crime scene investigator, forensic blood-spatter analyst... and part time serial killer. But Dexter is presented as the HERO of the show, because he only gruesomely murders baddies who skirt the law and deserve it. When it comes to truly disturbing television, "Dexter" ranks pretty high.

And the fact that Amy loves it is groovy by me. She normally shies away from any violent, risque, or off-color entertainment. My favorite shows, meanwhile, include such moralistic family fare as "True Blood," "Family Guy," and "South Park." Whereas I soak up trashy television with willful abandon and glee, normally the only thing Amy watches with glee is, well, "Glee." So it's taken me aback lately to go over to her place and, thanks to the miracle of Netflix, walk in on Dexter knee-deep in a pile of entrails.

The only simple answer is that my innocent and wide-eyed girlfriend must secretly harbor a taste for murder. I mean, Dexter comes off mild-mannered and mouse-y when he's not off being sociopathic, so it would explain Amy's normal demeanor perfectly, no? Let's review the evidence at hand:

• Serial killers often go to extremes to hide evidence of their crimes. And the more I think about it, as soon as I injured my foot, Amy was a little quick to offer to do all of my laundry. Some might think TOO quick. Could she be bleaching all of the blood off her clothes? Hiding dismembered body parts in my half-finished basement? The next time my dad asks me to lend a hand in the remodel, maybe I should just throw him a shovel and tell him there's probably LOTS of hands down there.

• Serial killers often disappear and are secretive as to their whereabouts. Many nights I'm told I can't hang out because she's "babysitting," whatever that means. Mmm hmm.

• Serial killers often torment animals. Just last night, I witnessed her threaten the life of one of my cats when she got hissed at after attempting to extricate the cat's favorite blanket to the wash.

• Serial killers are prone to sudden outbursts of aggression and hostility... and anyone who's ever ridden in a car with Little Miss Sunshine knows this to be true. Yes, that's the REAL secret o' the day: my virtuous girlfriend has horrible road rage. When I get behind the wheel, I just assume that people are dumb and are going to pull out in front of me and cut me off and generally be jerks. I know this because I'm usually one of the mindless jerks cutting people off. But if somebody cuts HER off, it's nothing less than an evil and unjust personal attack upon her freedom, and often she lets the jerk know about it. Remember earlier when I said that she's friends with ALL my neighbors? I lied. Something tells me that the woman down the street who almost accidentally backed into us the other day will not be our friend for a loooooooong time.

No worries, though. I'm sure Amy will be baking cupcakes for her soon enough... if my neighbor survives until sunrise, that is. And if my girlfriend IS a serial killer, she's still cute and she's still mine and dating a murderer is cake compared to some of my other exes. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some serious snuggling to attend to. I've only got a week 'til the new season of "Dexter" starts up...

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