|Dangerspouse Rides Again|
Garage - Track
Oct. 01, 2003 - 8:27 a.m.
Two plastic garbage bags sent me into a ethical tailspin yesterday.
Normally I don't deal with trash bags - that's NewWifey(tm)'s domain (all part of god's divine order, you know). But they don't normally startle me when I do see them.
However yesterday, while out walking Casey the Unstoppable Corgi in the woods surrounding our house (the "Dangerhouse") two hefty Hefty bags, near bursting at the seams each, were plopped right in the middle of the trail. This was a good mile from anywhere. The dog was confused too. He stood about 10 yards off, barking and growling. At first I thought some Mr. Burns-like character had decided to circumvent those bothersome Nuclear Regulatory guidelines about radioactive waste disposal and just dump the glowing rods in the forest. Happens all the time here in Jersey. But as I got closer I could see, poking through the wall of one bag, what looked like a forearm, devoid of flesh.
Now THAT happens all the time in Jersey too. I just don't usually get to see it.
The bags couldn't have been deposited more than a short while before I got there, since there was not a covering of flies. Flies in NJ are a particulary talented bunch. Generations of them feeding on Mob hits have made them react to the smell of rotting flesh a lot sooner than their winged bretheren in other states. So I figure I just missed the skulking culprit by maybe 5 minutes, no more.
Neither bag was secured tightly at the top, so I took a long stick and wiggled open one of them to look inside. And what did I see? A full rib cage, and the rest of the arm. I put the stick down, called the dog and we continued my walk as I thought about it.
Later that night I discussed it with NewWifey(tm).
"Do you think it was human?" she asked.
"What am I, a comparative anatomist? It was a ribcage. For all I know it was an emu, or a narwhale. Maybe a tapir. Unless it's attached to the rest of the animal, one rib cage looks pretty much the same to me as any other. I think."
That night I dreamed I was wearing a DKNY strapless number to my HS reunion. So at least my dreams weren't affected.
But the next morning I discussed it with NewWifey(tm) again, and that's where my moral compass started spinning wildly.
"Are you gonna call the cops?" she asked.
"The cops? Why?"
"Well, I mean, what if it's a person?" (NewWifey's from Kansas City, where that would be a big deal).
"You know, I was thinking it was probably a deer in those bags. Some hunter probably peeled the meat off a kill and didn't feel like lugging the whole thing back to his truck for a proper burial at home."
"You're probably right...I hope." She is so sweetly innocent!
It got me thinking though. What if it WAS a person Gladly bagged out there? I decided to head back out and check, no matter what the smell.
But here was my dilemma: http://www.fiorellas.com/
I'm ga-ga for good BBQ. And ribs, as far as I'm concerned, are the ne plus ultra of BBQ goodness.
So...what if it WAS a human rib cage I saw there?
If it was someone I knew...would they mind? Would I care if they minded? Would the widow find out? Decisions, decisions....
Fortunately, or maybe not, it was resolved by the time I reached the scene of the crime. I could see that various carrion feeders had torn open the bags for me and absconded with most of the parts, including the succulent ribs. It was easy to tell now that the unfortunate victim had indeed been a deer - not many people I know have hoofed forelocks like the one I saw still uneaten there.
Still, I managed to come away with a rear hock that had amazingly survived the deluge of bears and buzzards. I'll tell NewWifey(tm) they had a sale on veal when I make Osso Bucco tonight. Or make that "Osso Buck-o".