Normally I try and refrain from making impulse purchases, but recently when I was wandering the consumer wasteland that is Gwinnett Place Mall, I stumbled across a rare find sitting atop a discount display outside the Waldenbooks. This book was huge, like the size of an art book you might diplay on your coffee table to show people how pretentious in vogue you are. Two words in the title, “SERIAL KILLERS”, stood out in big bold capital letters and “KILLERS” was written out in an eerie blood red 1960s Smith Corona font. I gravitated to this book as though it advertised free money and after only a cursory glance at the black and white pages depicting pictures of John Wayne Gacy and Jack the Ripper, I proudly carried the book inside the store and placed it on the counter for purchase. Did I mention this book was marked down from forty-something to only ten dollars? Ten dollars! They were practically giving it away.
Once I got the book home the dilemma arose as to where to display it. Unlike the two books I’m currently reading that sit on my nightstand, this one has a readability level on par with that of a sixth grader’s Social Studies report, so it lends itself to some light reading or maybe even just an objet d’art. Originally I thought the coffee table in the living room would be a good home for it, but we already have several bobbles on display there. Just a bit too many notes. Don’t you think?
Our stereo cabinet, a pressboard jewel of a find from Ikea, also was a potential spot for display. I put the book there and rotated it at different angles trying to find the right look. The problem with this spot was that the cabinet sits just under a ledge people walk by as they enter our front door. Somehow seeing the words “serial killers” doesn’t make for a warm invitation to someone’s home. Unless of course you have a twelve-foot well dug in your basement and you take pleasure in telling plus-sized women to rub the lotion on their skin lest they get the hose again. Why my cat Ambrose wanted in this picture, I have no idea. He’s such an attention whore.
In our sunroom we have this low-sitting leather chair we scarfed up from Elaine’s parents when they moved to Florida. My fat ass has a hard time getting in and out of it, but once I’m in it it’s incredibly comfortable. It makes for the ideal place to curl up with a good book on mass murderers and read ’til you fall asleep. A footstool beside the chair usually has some of Elaine’s lighter trashier reading material like InStyle or Vogue. While this seemed like a good place for The Visual Encyclopedia of Serial Killers, the book overtakes the stool because of its relative size and the creepy red typewriter font doesn’t blend with our color scheme in that room.
We live in a modest three-bedroom home and use one of the back bedrooms as our TV lounge. Incidentally one of the best moves we made (in addition to getting rid of cable) was getting our television out of the living room. You would be surprised at the mixed responses we get when people walk in and realize there’s no tv in the main living space. Some people applaud us while others think we should be committed. Anyway, I thought maybe the creepy red font would work with our mega-bright red couch and playful leopard print throw. The only suitable spot would have been on the pleather foot stool. We got that thing at Target after having cashed in some gift cards we got at our various baby showers. Speaking of which, don’t register at Target unless you’d be 100% happy with anything in the store. Their return policy is essentially non-existent. Anyway, here again the book’s size dwarfs the footstool which already has to double as a dangerously soft place to rest our drinks and a storage area for the various remotes we requre to enhance our viewing pleasure.
Elaine’s nightstand is really out because . . . well, she’s not really all that hip to serial killers. Babywise is her current bedtime reading of choice, and I’m sure Girlfriends’ Guide to the First Year is next on the list. No room for cannibals and masochists when you’ve got nursing and parent-centered households to study up on. Note to self: Put sheets on the bed.
Would this book scare the shit out of you? It almost works in our guest bathroom underneath those Kleenex, but since the scale in our master bathroom doesn’t get used much except for occasionally being the object of hatred, maybe the book could rest on top of the scale. Or do you think people would rather read up on Janet Jackson and “How She Got Thin”? Note to self: Change toilet paper roll before it’s “too late.”
Is it just me or does this book somehow belong in the nursery? Though don’t get me wrong. Some of my best friends are serial killers and I think they should have equal protection under the law and all, but I wouldn’t want my daughter marrying one. I do however think maybe the chilling tales of Hansel and Gretel or Little Red Riding Hood pale in comparison to such classics as “the butcher of Hanover” and “the killer clown.”
Goodnight Dahmer. Goodnight Gacy. Goodnight noises everywhere.
Just kidding. I wouldn’t read my daughter stories about serial killers. I’m not that twisted. But we do have someone in the house who is, as is evidenced in the following pictures.