It’s not often in my life that I have to deliver bad news. Even when I do, it’s minor stuff. Early on in my marriage, I had to inform my wife that her cat had died, but even this was somewhat expected. We tried to make the animal a comfortable spot and every morning I would check on her. Sometimes I would have a hard time telling if she was still alive. The breathing was shallow and, frankly, the cat was fat. I couldn’t see her chest moving. If she was sleeping comfortably, I didn’t want to wake her up. I would stare for a while until I was convinced that she hadn’t expired yet. Still, I was worried that I wouldn’t know when she passed on and would inadvertently leave a dead cat on the floor for a week or so.
Well, it’s easier to tell a dead cat than I thought. When I found her, her paws were in the air, her eyes were clenched shut, and her lips were stretched back in a horrifying rictus! What the hell happened? Did something terrify her right before she died? It made me appreciate morticians much, much more. If my grandmother looked like that at her funeral, I would have never slept again.
I’ve never had to inform someone of something unthinkable. I’m not all that good at being serious and solemn. I don’t know how police and doctors could do that on a regular basis.
Considering that I’ve learned most things I know from Friday the 13th movies, I’m turning to them once again. All I could come up with here though, was exactly what to not do. Like most female leads in Friday movies, Megan has the majority of her friends killed by Jason. Unlike most female leads in Friday the 13th movies, Megan has a sheriff father who breaks the news to her in an absurdly graphic way.
Here’s how it went down. Jason has crawled out of his hole and is up to his old tricks. Sheriff Garris, not one to believe in murderous corpses, thinks the male lead, Tommy, is responsible. Megan is smitten with Tommy. While the three are bickering, Garris gets a call from his deputy informing him of the demise of some of Megan’s pals.
Megan reads his shift in tone and wants to know what’s wrong. He puts her off for a bit, but, honestly, he’s not trying very hard. After a few seconds of not-so-intense grilling, he gives in and tells her that “They just found your friend Court and some girl. Her head was crushed and Court, he had a knife rammed through his skull!”
Holy crap! Way to sugarcoat it, dad!
Like I said, I’m not good at serious and solemn. Maybe I should take a page from Sheriff Garris’s book and deliver any bad news I might have like a madman who is just barely able to contain his rage.
Thank you Tom McLoughlan and David Kagen. You guys created a moment that I’ve enjoyed so much that I had to add it to my collection.