1 year ago
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Madame Defarge is a fictional character in the book A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.
(Also for Three Word Wednesday and ABC Wednesday: "S" is for "special")
There’s been quite a lot in the news lately about executions.
What has set it off, of course, is the famous botched attempt to do away with someone legally in Oklahoma on April 29.
For many years there have been those who are in favor of the death penalty and those who are against. My guess is that even those solidly for executions might be against the procedure if they knew it was to be a lethal injection attempted by non-skilled types using questionable drugs, obtained questionably, like the three-drug cocktail they tried using in Oklahoma.
As soon as those involved realized what a massive botch it was becoming, what a strain it was for everyone, they tried to stop the execution. Evidently no one had thought much about how you can stop killing someone once you’ve started.
But I didn’t really want to talk about lethal injections, ruined or not, today. I got to thinking about the folks for whom executions are a kind of entertainment. They are execution junkies. They want to be on the scene as the deed is done.
They try to be on the list of the spectators, mostly media types, who carefully watch the procedure, recording all that’s happening.
I became especially interested in a woman who became known for this proclivity, showing up at executions so often she achieved a sort of fame.
Now you’d think that anyone who had such a passion to witness legal killings would be a special person. She was special.
In fact, to come right out with it, she was odd.
You see, what was strange about her was this: she was a hobbyist. She knitted. No matter where she was she would always have with her yarns and needles; especially if she was lucky enough to attend an execution.
In spite of any problems the executioners might have with the executionee, she would go on knitting away, avidly taking in all the action, creating another pair of socks for some more or less lucky relative.
Oh, and one other thing about her. She wasn’t just special, she was totally a work of fiction.
I’ll bet my best pair of hand-knitted sox that quite a number of you remember reading about her.
What the Dickens was her name?