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Today's poems[10.31.98]

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The Killer's Apology

    Here I sit, upon death row 
  Electrodes fastened to my toes. 
 And though I know that I must die 
    I think I should apologize 
To those I know that I have wronged, 
Beaten, strangled, stuck with prongs 
  It was not what I really meant 
  All those deaths were accidents. 

   I did not mean to murder Sam 
   Though I beat him with a ham. 
 He said the meat was much too dry 
  So I used his head to tenderize. 
 And I did not mean to dispatch Sue 
 by filling both her lungs with glue. 
I should have known there were better 
   Ways for us to stick together. 

   I have to say I quite regret 
    Defenestrating my pal Chet. 
   But really, how was I to know 
That window wouldn't just stay closed? 
  Becky's death -- a random fluke; 
My prints were planted on that flute. 
And though they searched high and low 
   They never found that piccolo. 

 I spare a moment for good ol' Jake 
    Who I deposited in the lake. 
 I always thought that he could swim; 
I guess the restraints are what did him in. 
    And oh, how I do miss Peter 
 Though I stuffed him in a water heater. 
 He might not have made it in this verse 
  If I hadn'ta stuck him in head first. 

  Bonnie, my bonnie, my, what a lass! 
      Taken down by methane gas. 
  If I only knew then what I know now: 
  Don't ever mess with a farting cow. 
   And I'll admit, the point is moot 
     Albert I did electrocute. 
   Children, never take this risk: 
  Water and toasters just don't mix. 

   Wendy was an awful  neighbor 
  But I'm sorry about the elevator. 
 I did not know she was in the thing 
When I snipped the cable like a string. 
I'd like to remember my good friend Drew 
   Who I served up in a barbecue. 
It was his idea, really, because you see 
  He always liked to say "Eat Me." 

    I think I was misunderstood 
 When I tied up Katie in those woods 
 She always said she liked the bears 
    So I put honey in her hair. 
    Alan claimed he was a jock 
   So I crushed him with a rock. 
 His boast that he was made of steel 
 Was something rather less than real. 

 No one was more surprised than Joan 
That ferrets stripped her to the bone. 
  Reflecting, I see I was foolhardy 
 To place bacon up and down her body. 
    Mike had on an amazing grin 
  When I set him in liquid nitrogen. 
 I did not do so for the hell of it; 
  I wanted to put him in his element. 

    Bob declared I was a buffoon; 
 I set him aloft in a weather balloon. 
But there is not one who felt more grief 
When that balloon popped at 45,000 feet. 
   Jeremy was timid, Jeremy was shy 
I placed him in an oven and set it on fry. 
I should have known better, that this was not 
The way to help women to think he was hot. 

So you see every death was quite accidental 
I would not blame you if you thought I was mental. 
 But I would say that it is rather as such: 
My problem was just that I cared too darn much. 
    Now here I go, to meet my God 
And all of my friends that I put in the sod. 
I have just one wish, if you lean close to hear: 
It's to help them up there as I helped them down here. 

                                                    -- John Scalzi 

copyright(c) John Scalzi

John Scalzi is a columnist and humorist living in Virginia.
For more columns and essays, visit his website:


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