Luv Doc Recommends: A Behanding in Spokane
Hyde Park Theatre, Saturday, May 14, 2011
People are strongly attached to their appendages, both literally and figuratively. In the literal sense, it's not easy to sever most appendages. You can't just go off half-cocked (unless you're Lorena Bobbitt) and in a fit of passion hack off an appendage – especially when there's (literally) bone involved. To get through bone you need some serious want-to or weaponry. Of course, the first thing you'll want to ask yourself when attempting to dismember someone is, "Am I a psychopath?" Unless you're a Civil War field doctor or Aron Ralston (the idiot James Franco played in 127 Hours), the answer is almost always, unequivocally, "Yes." Keep in mind, Ralston only gets a pass because he was delirious from hubris, stupidity, and drinking his own urine. Point is, if you're considering dismemberment for any reason other than to save someone's life, put down the fucking hacksaw and check in to a mental hospital. Don't wait on the jury to decide that you're a dangerous nutjob. You have your answer. The first step in curing a psychosis is recognizing you have one. No matter how much your friends and family love you, it's too late for an intervention when police start hauling decomposing body parts out of your crawl space. You would think it would be easy enough – statistically at least – to avoid dismembering someone. However, rather disturbingly, it's not as uncommon as you might like to think. For instance: Drunks, while they may seem lovable, entertaining, and mostly harmless, are veritable merchants of death and dismemberment when operating motor vehicles. Letting a drunk drive is like handing him a machete to walk around with at a party. You will get all kinds of assurances that nothing bad is going to happen, but something in your gut tells you it's a really bad idea. Probably the only craft an inebriate is even remotely qualified to pilot is an inner tube down the Guadalupe, and even that is questionable. Fortunately with tubing, the only real skills involved are staying in your tube and keeping your spliff and Flamin' Hot Cheetos from getting soggy. Usually it's an epic fail on all three counts but rarely does anyone kill or dismember someone while tubing – and, at least with tubing, everyone gets an airbag. Of course, along with drunks there are several other groups at high risk for causing and experiencing appendage loss. Sawmill workers … natch. You also have your roughnecks. Anyone who has ever been barhopping in Beaumont knows you don't need 10 fingers to run a pool table. Then there are soldiers. It sort of goes without saying that persons engaged in combat are prone to appendage loss, but civilians in combat areas don't fare too much better. Cancer patients lose a disturbing amount of limbs, too, but perhaps most surprisingly the greatest cause of amputations isn't some wild-eyed serial killer with a chain saw. Rather, it's something much more insidious: sugar. That's right, go ahead and let out a blood-curdling scream, because the limb reaper is in your house right now! Sugar, or more specifically its minion, Type 2 diabetes, is the leading cause of amputations in America. Put down the doughnut and step away from the box before you can't step away at all! That's some scary shit, ain't it? Even wonder why the H-E-Bs keep acquiring more and more shopping scooters? It's not so high school kids on Ecstasy have something to do at 2 in the morning on a Saturday night. Yes, it's difficult to imagine a Big Gulp cackling maniacally and chasing you around with an epidural syringe and a bone saw, but perhaps you should because that's the most likely scenario in which you lose an appendage. Not like you imagined it, eh? Not nearly as fascinating a story as the one you made up in your mind. If you want that story … or at least an inventive and entertaining version thereof, head over to Hyde Park Theatre this Saturday for A Behanding in Spokane, an amputation-themed black comedy by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh about a man's 40 year search for his missing left hand. You might not think you're into black comedy, but it might be just the thing to help you get over your deadly addiction to sweetness.