My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Murder of Grabwell Grommet (a repost)

Some longtime followers may recognize this, a favorite of mine I've posted before. But it's been a few years, and especially as the holidays roll around again it bears repeating! Enjoy, and live healthy, my friends! :-)

The Murder of Grabwell Grommet

On the morning of his 42nd birthday, Grabwell Grommet awoke to a peal of particularly ominous thunder. Glancing out the window with his bleary eyes, he saw written in fiery letters:


With shaking hands, Grommet lit his first cigarette of the day. He didn't question the message. You don't question messages like that. His only question was, "Who?"

At breakfast as he salted his fried eggs and buttered his toast, he told his wife, Gratia, "Someone is trying to kill me."

"Who?" she asked with horror.

Grommet slowly stirred the cream and sugar into his coffee and shook his head, "I don't know," he said.
Convinced though he was, Grommet wasn't going to the police with his story. He decided his only course was to go about his daily routine and hope somehow to outwit his would-be murderer. He tried to think on the drive to the office. But the frustration of making time by beating lights and switching lanes occupied him wholly.

Nor, once behind his desk, could he think a moment what with jangling phones, urgent memos and the problems and decisions piling in as they did each day.

Tom Grill/Getty Images
It wasn't until his second martini at lunch that the full terror of his position struck him. It was all he could do to finish his Lasagna Milanese. "I can't panic," he said to himself, lighting his cigar. "I simply must live my life as usual."
So he worked until seven as usual. Drove home fast as usual. Studied business reports as usual. And he took his usual two Seconal capsules in order to get his usual six hours sleep. As days passed, the man fully stuck to his routine. And as the months went by, he began to take a perverse pleasure in his ability to survive. "Whoever's trying to get me," he'd say proudly to his wife, "hasn't got me yet. I'm too smart for him."
"Oh, please be careful," she'd reply, ladling him a second helping of beef stroganoff.

"The Glutton" by ciosuconstantin
The pride grew as he managed to go on living for years. But as it must to all men, death came at last to Grabwell. It came at his desk on a particularly busy day. He was 53.

His grief-stricken widow demanded a full autopsy. But it showed only emphysema, arteriosclerosis, duodenal ulcers, cirrhosis of the liver, cardiac necrosis, cerebrovascular aneurysm, pulmonary edema, obesity, circulatory insufficiency and a touch of lung cancer.
"How glad Grabwell would have been to know," said the widow smiling proudly through her tears, "that he died of natural causes."
~Art Hoppe 

Art Hoppe, columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, died of complications from lung cancer in February, 2000.
If we do not change our direction,
we are likely to end up where we are headed.

~Chinese Proverb


  1. A successful businessman he might have been - intelligent he wasn't. Such a prolonged suicide...

    1. No, and I'm afraid his destructive and self-destructive lifestyle is not an exaggeration nor is it unique, at least here in the states. You'd probably just have to add lots of fast food and other drugs besides Seconal into the toxic mix to make it accurate. And funny you'd say suicide, because it is far more a suicide than a murder (though goodness knows there are plenty of accomplices to help the process along!)

  2. I remember when you posted this last! Such a great story and all too sadly true of so many people. I agree that it is a prolonged suicide. That's very fitting!

    1. I knew you'd be one of my "rememberers." LOL I had fun finding the illustrations for it, which also made it more pin-able. Not that anyone seems to have noticed it there, at least not yet. I'll try to show more patience than Grabwell behind the wheel. LOL

  3. First time I've ever seen this. True as true can be.

    1. Then I'm doubly glad I posted it again! It's really good, isn't it? I'd never heard it before Mary McDougall read it to my "Camp McDougall" graduating class in '07, and I immediately knew it was well worth sharing (even if a lot of people don't care to heed it!)

  4. New to me - But unforgettable! Glad you reposted it. ;)

    1. I am too, Bea! Thanks - I think it's well worth sharing. :-)

  5. This does bear repeating on a regular basis. I love the added art work. I went to the first post to see the difference but you actually had none. My favorite was the first photo. It's a perfect scared looking Grommet.

    I did remember the gist of the story but had forgotten the punchline (the wife's line) and so it was fun to read it again.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it again! I think the added art work makes a great difference, and was thrilled to find so many perfect illustrations. That first one was on a web site somewhere with no name or credit for the artist, but I HAD to nab it for this post. I agree, it's perfect! (Most of the results of my search for "scared," "frightened," or "nervous man" brought up young skinny hotties biting their nails. They only looked afraid that the keg might be getting low or their girlfriend might be pregnant. LOL


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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