November 01, 2006
Thank You, She Wrote
Dear Mrs. Jessica Fletcher,
Twelve glorious years of Murder, She Wrote: Who could have asked for a better gift than dubious denizens of tiny East Coast towns being befuddled by the local busybody who was a secret genius?!? Remember the one where your friend did it? Your friend! It was such a shocker! Poor Seth. But you were very understanding.
Look! Here you are, looking all authorly and sweet. If I were writing a story about this photo, it would be called, Won't You Try My Homemade Jam?
But that's beside the point, which is this: Mrs. Fletcher, thank you for sharing your curmudgeonly savvy as you drifted through life in Cabot Cove, or visits with various asexual nephews or distressed nieces with feathered hair. Really, if it weren't for you, so many mysteries would have gone unsolved. And so many bumbling law enforcement personnel, like sheriffs, would have been allowed to arrest The Wrong Guy. But no, Mrs. Fletcher, you always had a nose for the true culprit. It was amazing the way you wrangled confessions out of them, even when it would be so easy for the suspect to say, "Up yours, you old bat, I plead the fifth and I need a lawyer." No, all you had to do was cock an eyebrow and say, "Come on, Jenny. If you had really arrived at 5 p.m., then you couldn't have heard your mother scream when the toaster got thrown into her bathtub," and then Jenny would melt into a puddle of bitter rage and yelp, "Okay, the woman deserved it! She was married to a man HALF MY AGE," and then you would heave that sympathetic but pitying sigh and the local police would take her into custody after she gave a lengthy explanation of how she did it. Sometimes with diagrams. Always with flashbacks.
How did you do that, Mrs. Fletcher? How did you get people to admit things they should never say out loud? America could really use you right now. For one thing, there's a wee actor named Tom who probably has a lot to get off his chest. And I think you should be called upon to question Michael Jackson.
You, good woman, are a genius. Not only did you give occasional work to that guy from Xanadu after his career went down the toilet -- did you really think I wouldn't recognize him when you made him play different characters? Did you really? -- but I also suspect you are a brilliant writer. I wish I could read your most renowned novel, The Corpse Danced at Midnight -- but that's not to discount your other classics, Sanitarium of Death, The Corpse Called Collect, Dirge for a Dead Dachsund, A Case And A Half of Murder, and of course, The Stain on the Stairs.
So thank you, Mrs. Fletcher, for all that wholesome family fun. If I ever kill anyone, I want you to find me. I will tell you everything, and I will totally try your homemade jam.