Monday, June 18, 2007

The demonic Joneses

SUV. Domestic. Several fatalities. Joliet.

That was about all we could gather from a muted FoxNews channel hanging high in the corner of Harry Caray’s restaurant at Midway airport Thursday morning.

Something big was happening near Joliet. Big enough that FoxNews devoted the better part of an hour to it.

But this is the same channel that spent days on the whole Paris-Hilton-won’t-poop-in-prison saga and we had bloody Marys to finish and a flight to catch.

So I didn’t give it another thought until last night back home again with Gromit, Sunday paper, and couch.

Every headline – every single headline – on the front page of the Beacon News was devoted to the murders:

‘I don’t understand why people would kill’
Pain lies behind ‘perfect’ suburban lives
Children try to grasp neighbors’ killings
Experts say Vaughn slayings don’t fit profile
Have you heard about this?

It’s an unusual story. The husband, the lone survivor in this tragedy, told police his wife started shooting a gun and hit him in the leg so he ran off. He returned to his family’s vehicle to find his three children dead and his wife shot in the head – presumably self-inflicted.

That’s all we know at this point.

Oh, wait.

We also know that the family lived in a subdivision where homes are valued in the $300,000 range.
Denise Crosby is a regular columnist in the Beacon News. She’s known for telling make-you-cry stories about local tragedies.
Crosby’s about as good as it gets for a small-ish, near average paper like the Beacon. She lets her subjects tell the story and she’s pretty good at answering all the questions you’d ask.

But yesterday? Not so much.

Obviously desperate to give her loyal readers something – anything to explain why this family died so tragically, Crosby interviewed Sherry Bryant, whom she describes as a longtime family therapist in Oswego:

“In the quest to keep up with the Joneses here in the suburbs – with our fancy homes and big cars – we are so busy ‘chasing materialism,’ said Bryant, ‘we are starving our souls.’ And, in turn, feeding a pain that can be as intense, as life-threatening as a family struggling to survive in Africa or Iraq.”


We know next to nothing about what happened – the police are still interviewing the husband and presumably making with the whole CSI bit to get to the bottom of this.

And this fuck-knob therapist is comparing the life or death struggles of families in Africa and the Middle East to keeping up with the Joneses in the suburbs of Chicago?
But wait. As usual, there’s more:

“We forget that what happened (to the Vaughns) could happen to any of us because we don’t always know the dark sides of everyone’s personalities, including our own.”

Okay, admit it.

We all know at least one person we think could go postal under the right circumstances.

I know two. But these people are not going to kill anyone because they can’t buy a bigger house or a better SUV.

They’re just a little off. A little different.

And it’s not keeping up with the demonic neighbors that will eventually make them snap, it’s the demons in their head who lived there long before the Joneses moved in next door.
I am listening to: Some ass-hat yammering into his mobile on the 8:06
I am reading: Three Cups – nearly finished! Fabulous!
And I am: Like a piece of warm melted butter


the clem said...

If my d*ckhead neighbor gets that new Lexus LS....I'm gonna k*ll HIM...not my family!