Thursday, April 09, 2009

Oops! Zorry about that

Life in America is just one big movie. Unfortunately, now playing at the Bijou is Full Metal Jacket, and on the second screen . . . Zorro.

The latest American craziness -- this one closer to farce than atrocity on the tragic continuum -- come from Indianapolis, where a 77-year old grandma got herself killed trying to break up a sword fight. Really.

I MEAN, The Associated Press said it, so it can't be totally made up, right?

Anyway, here's the deal: Franziska Stegbauer was trying to break up a sword duel between her grandson and her brother-in-law. It didn't work out.

According to an investigating officer quoted in the AP dispatch: "We're unsure yet who started this fight, how the swordplay got involved. We're not sure who it was who stabbed the woman. We'll have to do some testing on the swords and figure out who had which sword, whose blood is on which sword."

The grandson -- who apparently won the fight -- is being held by police in a secure hospital ward, while the sliced-and-diced brother-in-law is in critical condition.

Sigh. Maybe the proportion of crazy people has gotten high enough in American society that we now need some sort of sword-control legislation.

IF THE COPS can't figure out who killed grandma, maybe -- after everybody is all healed up -- they can just let the warring parties settle things with pistols at 50 paces.

Today, meanwhile, is Holy Thursday. Tonight at my church, we will commemorate the Last Supper, and the Eucharist will be placed upon an altar of repose, where the Body and Blood of Christ will remain until the Good Friday service.

I call these three solemn, holy days -- Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil, known by Catholics as the Triduum -- our yearly attitude adjustment. Three days during which we get to reflect upon exactly how each of us has managed to kill God. How our manifest sins sent Him to the cross.

This year, it seems like, our inherent meanness and insanity is particularly apparent. Or maybe not.

Some people actually thought a sword fight to the death was a good problem-solving mechanism. And look what happened to grandma.

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