I’ve been hooked on podcasts for a few years now. “Radiolab” was the first one I listened to on a regular basis (and still do – it’s a wonderful blend of science, philosophy, and current events, and is exquisitely produced). Others quickly followed: “The Moth,” “Sporkful,” “Serial,” “The Inquiry,” “Lore,” “Spilled Milk,” and “Freakonomics,” to name a few. I typically listen to these during my commutes to and from work.
A few months ago, Tara turned me on to “Sword & Scale,” a true-crime podcast that is very intense and graphic. Their website warns, “be prepared to never sleep again,” and they are not kidding. With its frequent use of horrifying 911 calls and interviews with actual murderers and victims, to call it chilling is an understatement. I can only handle it in small doses, and yet I do find myself going back to it again and again. I’ve long found true crime to be grisly fascinating, which probably explains my fanaticism with Dateline. I guess it’s kind of like driving past a bad wreck on the side of the highway: you don’t want to look, but can’t help yourself.
I was kind of late to the “Sword & Scale” game, discovering it around its 100th episode, so I’ve been going back and listening to old ones. Last week, I listened to an episode (#53) that makes me look at my beloved cat in a whole new light.
Unlike most episodes, #53 didn’t cover a particular crime. Instead, it was an hourlong interview with a husband and wife team who co-authored a book titled “Working Stiff” that details the life of a medical examiner. Wife Judy describes, in great and gory detail, what it’s like to perform an autopsy, while husband TJ talks about what it’s like to be married to somebody who performs autopsies. As with most S&S episodes it’s not for the squeamish.
The part that struck me most vividly was Judy’s candid discussion of what happens when a person living alone with a pet dies and the body isn’t discovered immediately. To put it quite bluntly: Fido eats you.
The great dog vs. cat debate doesn’t matter here: both will eat you. Judy says golden retrievers are the exception to the rule, but only for the first few days. They’ll grieve over your death for two or three days before finally succumbing to their hunger. Pretty much all other breeds will treat your body as an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord and waste no time digging right in, buffet-style. Chihuahuas are the worst, she claims.
Any of my readers own a Chihuahua?
I found that more disturbing even than the interviews with convicted serial killers or gruesome play-by-plays of bloody crime scenes. I mean, look at this face. I find it hard to believe Sydney would treat me with the same reverence as a can of Friskies!
And yet…umm…is it just me, or does she look a bit hungry in this photo? I’d assumed she was gazing up at me with love and reverence in this photo, but maybe she’s really thinking how tasty my cheeks would be.
This has really thrown me for a loop, guys.
I’ve decided that if, heaven forbid, I ever find myself living alone in my advanced years, I’m not going to have a pet. At least not one with fur and four legs, because I can’t stomach the idea of ending up as a meal. Pun intended.
Also: this post has taken on a decidedly dark turn.
In order to lighten things up, I’m sharing a photo I took on the way to work last week. And no, I did not take this while driving down the freeway, because that is dangerous and illegal. We had some incredible sunrises last week, and Thursday’s was especially dramatic and impressive. And this was before the sun even crested the horizon.
Those clouds! That light! Pretty impressive, don’t you think?