A few night’s ago, I watched a “true crime” show on TV about some of the world’s worst wives. I didn’t watch this show by choice. My sister Michelle tends to be a bit bossy about what we watch, and she keeps a death grip on the remote, so I was stuck. (Don’t worry; she knows I’m talking about her. In fact when I read this to her, she laughed and clutched the remote a little more tightly.) I don’t usually like these types of shows because they’re filled with negativity, and they make me feel angry. But the plus side was that I woke the next day with an awesome new book idea! Anyway, I digress.
The episode we watched was about a wife in Austria who owned and lived over an ice cream parlor. She got fed up with her German husband and shot him. She left him sitting where she killed him for six days until her new boyfriend expressed an interest in coming to visit, so she bought a chainsaw, hacked him up in the living room, then wrapped his parts in plastic and hid him in one of the ice cream freezers. She told people her husband had moved back to Germany.
The boyfriend eventually moved in, and at one point, the woman saw him hugging a female friend. She became livid and shot him that night, then cut him to pieces in the bedroom and added him to her freezer collection.
A few months later, she married and became pregnant. Her freezer was full of man parts, and she needed the space, so she mixed the parts in concrete and stored them in the basement with the plans to later dump them in a lake. However, before she got the opportunity to dispose of the limbs, the city was called to investigate a burst water pipe. They had to go into her basement where they discovered the bodies, and at that point, she was finally arrested.
Now, although I’ve never actually killed anyone, when I saw this, I immediately thought of all the things the woman did wrong. She should’ve moved the bodies to the freezer right away and frozen them before she cut them up so there would be less mess. She should’ve used a hacksaw and not a chainsaw so it would be easier to clean and dispose of. She should’ve disposed of the body parts immediately, preferably with lye or at a pig farm so there’d be no evidence. People always get in trouble because they dig a shallow grave – they plan and plan to commit the atrocity of murder, yet they then have no patience to complete the job correctly, then they act surprised when they get caught. If I would’ve read this story in a book, I would’ve assumed it was fictional, and poorly constructed fiction at that. It was unimaginative and left a lot of open-ended questions. But of course, it was not fiction, but fact.
What gets to me is when I hear of other writers who’ve written what I believe to be fantastic stories, then I hear how they were given a bad review because “their story is unbelievable.” It’s just fiction, folks! It’s supposed to be enjoyed, not picked apart.
Case in point: I recently read a review of a book I enjoyed wherein the reviewer said the grammar and writing prose was fine, but he over all didn’t like the story because a certain scene was “simply not believable,” and he couldn’t get it out of his head throughout the remainder of the book. (Actually, the scene he referenced was mild and not what I would’ve even considered out of the ordinary, much less “unbelievable.”) The funny thing was that the scene he referenced actually happened to me as well as numerous people who I personally know. I thought it was a little comical that sci-fi books* about lands with two suns and people that are nine feet tall with blue skin and four eyes apparently are plausible, yet this author’s actual real-life scenario was not. Oh, well.
(*I mean absolutely no offense to sci-fi authors.)
So now, tell me, do you have something in your life that is so far-fetched no one would actually believe it really happened?