Sunday, November 06, 2005

In Which I Mock Things That Ought Not Be Mocked

This young woman went missing from ISU in Normal, Illinois; she eventually (and tragically) turned up dead in Mississippi near a chicken house of some sort. This has been a huge story not just in Bloomington-Normal but in Peoria as well, because a disappearance and murder of this sort is unusual in central Illinois - at least when it happens to someone who's not a hooker turning tricks for drugs. (I believe the term is "crack whore," but that just sounds so perjorative.)

At any rate this has been dominating the local news for the last few weeks, and I'm having huge problems, because while I know this is a hugely tragic story and I feel for the young woman's family and friends and it's a horrible thing, well, every story includes a line like:

"Normal police said they were expanding the investigation to include ...."

And I think, "Well THANK GOD they're not using the abnormal police on this one!"

or, "A Normal woman said, 'These things just don't happen here!'"

And I think, "Good thing they didn't quote a weird woman!"

Every single time Normal is in the news for ANYTHING and they use "Normal" as a modifier to describe a "Normal police officer" or a "Normal resident" or a "Normal parade" I just crack up. This never gets old to me. It is ceaselessly funny.

When I lived in North Carolina, I was near Person County, which occasionally resulted in some doozies - my favorite was when an elderly man with dementia wandered off from his nursing home and the headline read, "Person man missing." It took a good five minutes before it dawned on me they weren't just being redundant. (Notice how again the funny news bit comes from things that really aren't funny. I feel I ought to sing the Conan O'Brien "Ima gonna go to hell when I die" ditty for finding such tragedies hilarious.)

But Person County really just has nothing on the City of Normal. And it sort of tickles me that every night on the news I can look forward to a new knee-slapping story about a Normal store opening or a Normal building demolition or a Normal school holiday.

Because THANK GOD we're not dealing with the abnormal ones here, folks!


snazzzybird said...

This one may be an urban legend, but I still love it: the newspaper headline announcing the wedding of two Illinois residents --

"Oblong Woman Marries Normal Man"

Eyebrows McGee said...

That's hilarious!