How To Perfect Your Imaginary Serial Killer Technique

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Your letters:


If you were a serial killer, what would be your crazy motif for your victims? The best answer I've heard so far: My roommate says that he would buy a Guess Who board game, find people who look like the cards, and kill them, leaving their card on their body. Pretty soon the cops would be holding hilarious press conferences, holding up a game piece and urging all women who look like Donna to stay home. Me, I would pick a random actor (let's say John Cusack) and kill an extra from every movie he'd been in, in chronological order of release date, just to see how long it took for the police to put 2 and 2 together.

There was an old Kevin Kline movie called The January Man that I saw once and you never need to see. In the movie, Kline was hunting down a serial killer and trying to figure out the killer's pattern for choosing victims. All the victims lived near one another, and Kline finally sorted out that, if you placed each of the victims' apartment windows on a musical staff, they composed the melody to the song "Calendar Girl". I remember seeing that and thinking to myself, "Damn, that's clever! I'd almost let him go just to reward creativity!" After that, I found myself wrestling with the question Dan just asked.

Like any dish served on "Chopped," I think serial killings should be judged on Taste, Creativity, and Presentation. If you go by those guidelines, it's hard to top what Kevin Spacey did in Seven. I think we all envy a killing spree undertaken with that kind of planning and precision. I know I wish I'd thought of it. I'd almost certainly never come up with something that creative. I'd probably just take a shit on the victim's face. Then they could call me the Brown River Killer. I TAUNT YOU WITH MY STINKY DNA.

If I were a serial killer, I'd be sure to select a new kind of victim. Killing teenage girls is such a cliché. You never hear about a serial killer targeting elderly Chinese people. Well, I would. I'd wait outside the Asian supermarket, wait for some really old Chinese dude to come out with his bag of bok choy, follow him home, and then hit him on the head with a hammer. Then I'd leave a fortune cookie on his body. And inside the cookie would be a vaguely worded, ominous clue that sounded kinda Biblical ("Death is a vessel in an endless sea, and a bloody wind shall forever propel us."), then on the back would be the standard lucky Lotto numbers. Only the numbers would be a CLUE to finding me. It would be the combination to my gym lock, or something. BUT YOU'LL NEVER FIGURE THAT OUT, PIGS! MWAHAHAHAHAHA.

By the way, you rarely see serial killers with a decent sense of humor. They never paint Mooninites on their victim's boobs, or leave an elaborate codex that police think is a clue, only it ends up leading them to a drawing of a dick on the side of a building. I'd like to see a serial killer with a bit of the 4Chan spirit in him. It can't be far off, I tell you.


Who has more pressure on them: an NHL goalie about to head into a game 7, or a woman who is madly in love with her husband, who has also already birthed 2-5 daughters, and knows that her husband is desperate for a son to carry on his sports legacy?

Emmett brings up a long-held stereotype I'd like to take a moment to correct. I have kids, and I know plenty of people who have kids. In virtually all those relationships, it's been clear to me that the wife wanted a daughter way more than the husband wanted a son. But no, men are the ones who are always depicted as desperately needing a son. GRRR GIVE ME AN HEIR. I SHALL FEED ANY DAUGHTER YOU BEAR TO THE WILD HOGS IN BACK!

It's bullshit. Women go batshit to have girls. They like shopping for girl baby clothes way more than shopping for boy baby clothes (go to any Old Navy and you'll see the little girl section dwarfs the little boy section in size). They like doing the girl's hair. They like seeing their little girl do something sassy and then remarking, "OMIGOD! She is SO me!" They eat that shit up. If you see any family with three boys or more, it's because the wife tried to keep having babies until she hit paydirt with a girl and failed. And now she's stuck with three little bastard sons who will climb all over everything and drool uncontrollably and tear everything in the fucking house apart and turn into porn addicts by age 14. Then she'll see a little two-year-old girl run by at a playground and want to slash her own throat.


So my sister is three years older than me, and getting married to a guy named Eric. My name is Eric. This sucks. This guy is probably going to make more money than me over the course of my lifetime (he's a comp engineer with a job in cali) he's taller than me, he went to a better college than me, he's funnier than me, and he's fucking my sister.

I like him, but already I am torn because the family doesn't know what to call him. Can there be two Erics in the family? I think not. I have suggested that we call him "Eric Jr." but that quickly backfired because then my family suggested he be "Eric Sr." and I be "Eric Jr.". I don't want to be a fucking junior. Should I just try to break up the marriage?

No, no. Don't break up the marriage. Surely, there's a solution here that could work for both of you. What if he were to change his name to Erik, with a K? Then you could call him Special K. Normally, I separate people with the same name based on size. For example, if you have two friends named John and one is fat, one will almost always go by Fat John or Big John (Studd?), if he objects to Fat John. In your case, you would be Little Eric or Small Eric to his Big Eric. I suspect that wouldn't sit too well with you.

I suggest you refer to him by his last name only, or as "Eric F", or whatever his last initial is. Or you could force the dreaded "E" nickname on him in a preemptive move, before someone tries to apply it to you. Or you could murder him. And then take a shit on his face. THE BROWN RIVER KILLER STRIKES AGAIN.

I once had a crush on a girl who had the same name as someone I was related to, and it fucked me up. I told myself I liked her for her, but then my brain would be like, "Hey, you don't like her because she reminds you of X, do you?" And I'd be like FUCK YOU, BRAIN. I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'D ASK A QUESTION LIKE THAT. I AM NOT A SICK FUCK. SHE IS PRETTY AND LOVELY AND YOU ARE TWISTING THIS INTO SOMETHING UGLY AND HORRIBLE. Not a fan of my own brain.

Anyway Eric, I think your sister is in love with you.


Do you ever find yourself granting clemency to spiders and other insects when by yourself so that when other people notice them and freak out you can rush over and save the day by killing said insect?

I grant clemency to spiders a lot because they kill other insects. Cats will also kill and eat insects, but owning a cat makes you a fucking lunatic who spends all day knitting. So the spider will have to do. I'm also far more likely to grant clemency to an insect with other people PRESENT because I like to show others that I have the capacity for mercy. "Well, let's just leave Mr. Spider alone. He's not bothering anyone." But if I were alone? That spider would be fucking DEAD. I'd stomp on it, and then I'd shit on its face.

I also rarely kill insects when outside. That's their turf. Totally changes the equation. If the bug is in the house, that means the little fucker willfully broke in and wanted to terrorize me and my family. HE FUCKING DIES. But if I'm just walking outside and see that same bug? Hey, that bush is his house, man. I'm not violating the Geneva Convention and turning hypocrite by invading his domicile. That would be unethical.

I'm also less afraid of insects when outside. I see a cave cricket in my basement, I fucking freak out like a little girl and do that thing where you try and kill the bug while simultaneously attempting to stay as far away from it as humanly possible. It's impossible to do this without looking like a complete pussy. The fact that I AM a complete pussy doesn't help matters. But if I see that same cricket jumping in the grass, I'm nowhere near as freaked out. No idea why. I may have issues.

Young Rockwell:

License plate holder says "just..." above the plate and "keepin it real." below.

On a Subaru?


All right, I just cracked open a Dr. Pepper. First thing I do: look under the cap. Back in the day? Every so often god would smile on you and it would say 'free 20 oz' X40P V573 is that....Looking under bottle caps WAS my childhood....i would literally siphon through trash to look for dumbass people who threw away winner caps....HAHA SUCKA, i got a free pop.

The codes are fucking annoying. Oh, you want me to go ONLINE to see if I won $10,000? You go to Hell. That's one extra step of effort I have no interest in. I want my easily earned prize NOW. If I have to go online, that means I have to do work to get it, and that defeats the purpose of winning free shit.

When I was a kid, Coke had a promo every summer with Six Flags or some local amusement park where they'd give out free passes and shit. To find out if you won, you'd have to look for a code word on the bottom of the INSIDE of the Coke can. So if it said ROLLERCOASTER, that meant you won a free ticket to Six Flags. If it said COKE, it meant you won a free Coke. If it had a dollar amount, you won that amount. If it said SORRY or something, you lost.

This was great, but there was one problem with the whole enterprise. Trying to read ANYTHING on the bottom of an aluminum can is a real bitch. You hold your eye up to the opening of the can and surprise! Your big fat head has now blocked out the light required to read the word on the bottom of the can. I spent 54% of my childhood staring into empty Coke cans trying to see the word, thinking I had seen the word ROLLERCOASTER when I really hadn't. Fucking Coke.


What was worse when playing sports video games growing up: having the actual players in the game without the official team names (such as a red white and blue NEW YORK vs a blue and orange LONG ISLAND when playing Rangers-Islanders in NHL 93) OR having the official team names, logos, etc. But not having the players (you can play Cowboys vs 49ers but QB#8 is tossing TD's to WR#88)?

This was back when the unions would separately license out player names to video game makers and the League wouldn't always do likewise with team names and logos (Madden was this way in '95 or so). Either way, it SUCKS. It sucks to not have player names. And it equally sucks to not have official team names or logos. And it really sucks when the game manufacturers wouldn't even bother (or for legal reasons) to not use at least the same color scheme for every team. Who the fuck wants to play with San Francisco if they have blue uniforms? That's retarded.

It's why the NCAA games will never quite be as popular as the pro games. I used to play Bill Walsh '94 all the time, and Tyrone Wheatley was fucking INSANE for Michigan. Of course, he didn't go by Wheatley because that would have corrupted his amateur status and made him impure or something. It's stupid. Just put the kids' names in the college games and give them an extra $15 for food when they play a road game. They're college kids. They're stupid. They'll be so jazzed to see their name in a video game, they'll happily accept being paid in Ring Dings.



So, I have my first child and it's great. When he was a newborn I loved him but always told myself, "Oh it'll get better when he can crawl." Then he started crawling and going places I didn't want him to. Then I figured, "It'll get better when he can walk, I can just take him to walk outside."

Problem is he decides to walk wherever the hell he pleases and then would throw fits when I didn't let him. So then it became, "Oh it'll get better when I can communicate with him." Now all that means is him saying, "Mine," and "No". So my question to you is…. Does it ever get easier? Because the wife and I are planning on trying for another one.

No. It never gets easier. In fact, when you have more than one, it gets exponentially harder because now you have to keep the young one from walking off a bridge while the older one is simultaneously trying to beat the shit out of him with a rake. There's this whole sibling dynamic you have to manage in addition to managing each child, and that makes it fucking HARD.

I don't know how most kids live past the age of 10. I really don't. I consider myself a decent parent, and Lord knows how many times I've nearly let one of my kids fall to their death, or wanted personally to throw them out the fucking window. (On second thought, perhaps I'm not such a decent parent after all.) And this is the 21st century, the era of horrible overparenting. How the fuck did I live past 12? How did my parents not end up murdering me? And shitting on my face? I totally deserved it.

Anyway, kids evolve from being physically exhausting to mentally exhausting. I have a one-year-old. He is physically fucking debilitating. Like Erick's kid, he wants to walk off a cliff and then gets PISSED because I pick him up to prevent him from doing so. Then you have feedings and changings (the child never sits still) and this constant picking up of the child over and over again until your back is fucking ruined. That's tiring.

Then I have a four-year-old, who can do most everything on her own. But mentally, dealing with that kid is almost MORE taxing than the younger one because you're constantly trying to get the kid to NOT be an asshole. And the kid never listens because the kid is four. So I've gotten rid of the diaper changing and all that only to be confronted with this whole new set of problems that I can't possibly solve. And that's before the teen years, when the kid will turn into a sullen bastard who's constantly asking for money I don't have. Again, I don't know how kids live past age 5 or so. When my kids are 30, I will constantly remind them how lucky they are I didn't kill them. And then shit on their face.

But no one becomes a parent because it's fun, unless you're a naïve idiot. You become a parent because most people have an instinctive drive to reproduce (like animals do), and because parenting is rewarding in the long term. I read a book by Frank Bruni, in which he details having to go on some shitty Outward Bound trip. Bruni wants to quit the trip and go home, because he's out in the woods and it fucking blows. Then his team leader says to him, "There are things you enjoy doing, and things you enjoy having done. The latter is better." And it's true. That's what having kids is. It's worth doing, but not terribly fun to do.

But it beats doing Outward Bound. Sleep in a wet tent? FUCK THAT.


I know if I'm ever confronted by a carjacker I'll just soil myself, but I came up with a plan to either get ignored during the attempt or to get shot as soon as possible.

Anyway, it got me thinking...what's my plan. Here it is in all of its retarded glory. Step 1: Make sure door is locked. Step 2: Recline seat as quickly as possible. Step 3: Clean the windshield...hopefully the car jacker will swallow some of the windshield cleaning solution. Step 4: Turn the radio volume up as loud as possible. Step 5 (and most crucially) Shake uncontrollably like you are having a seizure. I think I can pull these 5 steps off in 5 seconds before scaring the carjacker or getting shot. I think getting a carjacking plan is this decade's fire drill...what's your plan?

You'd never remember that plan in the middle of a carjacking. You'd just shit your pants.

I had a friend once who was held up in his car in New Haven, Connecticut. He was walking to his car when a man who said he was a reverend approached and told him he needed a ride to a Church. My friend believed him and LET HIM IN THE FUCKING CAR. This was New Haven, mind you. New Haven makes Baltimore look desirable. But my friend was 17 and a moron, so he ignored the warning signals and let him in.

So anyway, the guy gets in my friend's car and immediately pulls a gun on him. And my friend, despite idiotically allowing the man into his car, redeems himself by calmly saying to the man, "I'm going to leave the keys in the car. I'm going to put my wallet on the seat. Then I'm going to get out of the car. You can take the wallet and the car. Just please don't hurt me."

Then the man with the gun freaked out and inexplicably ran out of the car without taking the wallet or stealing the car. I never would have handled the situation as calmly as my friend did. I would have freaked out and been like OH JESUS FUCK YOU HAVE A GUN! FUCKING GUN! GUN GUN GUN! Then he would have panicked and shot and killed me.

And then shit on my face.


I ended up buying Mastodon's Crack The Skye album cover shirt after one of the shows and ended up wearing it this past Saturday.

I decided it was a great decision to eat mushrooms at the bar that night (it was). After they started to kick in, I was in the bathroom pissing. Typical situation, just watching the stream hit the back of the urinal. After a while I dipped my head down a bit farther and my eyes hit the album cover design on the shirt. The blue around the wizards was flowing in the breeze, their mouths were glowing more and that vortex was spinning.

I don't think anyone else was in there when I was in there but I'm sure I looked like a maniac trying to piss and look at my chest at the same time. That and I was probably talking to myself.

Well shit. Now we all have to go eat mushrooms and stare at this album cover.

/eats mushrooms



One time, I smoked a lot of pot and closed my eyes and saw a purple swan swimming across my eyelids. That was about as close to a hallucination as I've ever gotten. I've never taken acid. I've never eaten mushrooms. I had a friend go out to Utah and drink mushroom tea out in the wilderness. He said it was awesome. ONE DAY, PEOPLE. ONE DAY I WILL GET HIGH IN THE WILDERNESS AND THEN PASS OUT WITH A HALF-EATEN BAG OF MUNCHOS ON MY CHEST.


I was just on vacation with family and driving back to the airport using a Garmin. Anyways, I see the signs to get on I-95 ahead but Garmin tells me to take a right beforehand; which I do because I trust Garmin over some stupid signmaker. Now we're on a two-lane country road in the woods and Garmin tells me to take a left onto a dark, deserted, one-lane dirt road where I can't see past ten feet. The name of this road: Candyman Lane. Needless to say, I got the fuck out of there. Was Garmin trying to kill me?

Yes, AND shit on your face.


How do you think you would fare if you had to pitch against the worst hitting team in the MLB this year (I guess its Seattle, but I'm too lazy to check) for one inning, with the best defensive team behind you playing their asses off? All you had to do was get three outs and of course they would tune you up, but you have to assume that some of the scorching line drives would miraculously find fielders, am I right?

I think if I could limit the walks, pitch to contact, I would give up somewhere in the 7 to 8 run area. I have a wicked 70 mph fastball and if I could avoid taking a line drive off my noggin I think I could make it happen.

You are INSANE. Utterly fucking insane. The worst hitting team in the major leagues would destroy you. They would get runs off of you in perpetuity. Keep in mind that even the worst hitter in Major League Baseball is still a better hitter than 349,999,000 other people in America. He got to the major leagues by kicking the shit out of high school and/or college and/or minor league pitching. Do you really think they'd get less than 500 runs off you in half an inning?

Not only would they clobber you, but they would indeed hit line drives right off your face. You'd toss up an eephus pitch and it would rocket back at you at 150mph and nail you in the fucking EYE. That's right. Not only would they get unlimited runs off you, they'd also permanently maim and blind you.

If I were pitching to major league hitters, I would throw my pitch and then IMMEDIATELY fall into a nuclear fallout position to avoid getting hit in the head with a line drive. Every pitch. I'd be terrified.


Good God. Perhaps he's a "Scrubs" fan. Although that might only make it worse.

Finally, a couple stories for you today.


In seventh grade P.E. class, our activity for the day was full court basketball. Being fat, running up and down full court was torture. Just shooting free throws usually got me out of breath. But anyway, my team was currently on defense. Well, the rest of my team was. I was around the half court line and sucking air.

One of my buddies just happened to steal the ball, and looked up and saw me. He decides to heave the ball to me so I can take it down and just jam the shit out of it. Well at least that's what I had in my mind. He probably threw it to me so they could watch me miss a wide-open layup. So I get the ball and I just take off. I'm sprinting wide-eyed, ready to get my team another easy two.

Right when I was about to jump, my feet went straight out from under me and I banged my head on the floor. In a daze, I started looking around to see what I slipped on. I lifted my leg up and stuck to the bottom of my shoe was a motherfuckin' honey bun. My first thought was not, "What asshole threw a honey bun at me?" My first thought was, "What piece of shit wasted a perfectly delicious pastry?" All this to say, am I the only one who gets extremely angry when good food is wasted?



I was a customer service supervisor for a little while, and I tried to be as decent a boss as I could. Meaning, get your work done and I could give a crap if you spend the rest of your day sleeping in your cube, and if you need to take a long lunch to go to the doctor or an interview for another job, just be quiet about it and don't let the VP catch you.

So, one day I'm printing a report over at the communal printer, and I accidentally pick up someone else's stuff, too. This happens all the time, of course, but this was a little different. 10 pages of high quality color printed gay orgy porn.

And I'm not talking about a threesome, I mean there are like 20 bodies in this thing. So it occurs to me, I have two problems. One is, of course, I've got an employee surfing (not a big deal) and printing (a very big deal) this stuff. The second problem is, I'm now in possession of it, how the hell am I going to get rid of it? Can't just toss it in the recycle bin, what if someone sees me and it doesn't get covered up? Can't toss it in the trash can in my cube, for the same reason.

I finally decided to carry it (inside a folder, which was inside an interoffice envelope) into a windowless conference room right before lunchtime, tear it up as best I could (shredder was too public), then put the bits back into the folder/envelope, toss it in my backpack, drive over to the local McD's (where I was eating anyway), and toss the offending material in the dumpster hidden inside that day's newspaper. I figured taking it offsite was the only way it couldn't be traced back to me, and the concealment was necessary so nobody could say, "hey, you dropped your folder…"

Back to the first problem. I didn't care that this had happened, really, but I knew if anyone else found it, there'd be a federal investigation, and I'd probably get in trouble for not keeping my employees in line. But I felt bad, because there was only one gay guy on my team, and it felt like profiling to single him out, and if he got all complain-y about it, again, I'm the one in trouble. So the next time I walked over by the printer, which was next to his desk, I got his attention, nodded over in the direction of the printer, and said very quietly "No more." He exhaled and looked like he was about to cry, because he wasn't sure who had found his stuff, and he was relieved to hear it was me.

Oh, Christ. That's just painful. At least no face-shitting was involved.

Click to view