1. I’m tired of hearing about “if O. J. did it”. I want to consider how the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman would have gone down if *I* did it.
First of all: forget the knife. I don’t want to get blood all over the SUV and the gloves, do I? No, because, unlike certain running backs who will remain nameless, I am not the impulsive type, and if I commit this double murder I don’t plan to get caught and make a public spectable of myself driving down the highway on national TV. I’m a litblogger, man! I would commit these murders with subtlety.
First step: go to Starbucks, pull out the Moleskine, ponder the options. I would draw some diagrams, map out the approach and the exit, and make a list of potential weapons. Poison? Great in theory, but how am I going to get two people who are already terrified of me to eat or drink it? Poison is out. A car accident? Way too likely to go wrong or draw attention. A car bomb? Sure, if I knew how to make one, but I don’t. Hmm … a baseball bat?
Yes, a baseball bat. The mixed metaphor (football, baseball) disturbs me, but I’ll get over that, because this is the right choice. It’s easy and it’s quick. Two swings, two loud “whap”‘s, two dead bodies. Some DNA gets splashed around, sure, but not much.
I go ahead and commit my “hypothetical” murders (home run, triple, done), wipe the bat handle, and then I’m off on the plane to Chicago. My gloves are still so damn clean I can re-gift them to Dan Marino and nobody will be the wiser. That was so easy, I may even do it again sometime.
If I did it, I would never have gotten caught. And if Regan Books had asked me to write “If I Did It”, they would have gotten a better book than the one O. J. wrote (jeez, we all already know how O. J. did it), and they would have avoided a nasty ethical dilemma as well.
Their loss, not mine.
2. Enough of this nonsense. Big congratulations to Richard Powers, who just won the National Book Award for fiction (and here are two good interviews with the author of Echo Maker) and to Nathaniel Mackey, winner of the National Book Award for poetry. Well deserved, both.