Ronald Long Is Bad At Construction, AlibisMarch 27, 2008
When I bought my home, the phone company had installed DSL in one room only, and wanted to charge a bunch to run the line to the room next door where my computer was. Being stubborn & cheap, I figured I’d punch a hole between the two rooms and run the line myself. Long story short, I didn’t realize that the wall between them used to be an external wall & I ended up getting an 18″ forearm sized drill bit & a bunch more damage was done than just the dainty, phone jack sized hole I’d originally envisioned.
The point is, like a lot of idiots, I tend to use the biggest tool for the job rather than the best. But never once in my hole creating process did it occur to me to get a gun. And I guess that’s where I’m old fashioned. Ronald Long of Sedalia, Mo. was faced with the need to punch a hole in his living room wall to get the coax line from his new satellite dish inside. So, standing in the living room, facing the outdoors, he fired two shots through the wall, fatally injuring his 34 year old wife Patsy, who was standing outside.
I know there’s nothing inherently funny in personal tragedy, and I don’t post this item for comic effect, but rather as a constant reminder for why I don’t have a gun. I feel sorry for this man, and I feel shame for his stupidity, but more than anything, I feel empathy. The number of times I’ve gotten frustrated trying to do crap around the house & ended up causing a ton of damage in my short temper makes me realize that at some point, using a gun to solve one of the various problems would have occurred to me.
A lot of times in life, the difference between success & failure, or happiness & tragedy, etc, doesn’t come down to the final bad decision (do I use a gun for this? do I sleep with this woman with no condom? do I run this red light?) but rather the decision several steps earlier that eliminates the need for the later choice.
INTRIGUING UPDATE: Fiendish commenter Chuck suggests that Long was potentially deliberately trying to kill his wife, in which case this is the least likely alibi I’ve ever heard. Also, note to Missus Chuck: see how your husband thinks.