Yesterday in the early morning hours, just about maybe eleven miles from my house, a well-known-around-town-couple were shot. The couple ran a funeral home out of their own home. This is where they were shot, in the comfort of their own home and business.

Not only were they shot, but their house and business was invaded by three large men, the biggest one with black, matted hair. That's the only description given, and frankly, in this town that description doesn't narrow it down any. The fact that they had on dark tshirts and camoflauge pants doesn't narrow it down much either.

The men's race is unimportant, because this could have happened anywhere, to anyone, by any man of any color. Stuff like this happens everyday.

The three intruders wanted the toxic embalming chemical formaldehyde. I suppose that soaking rolling papers in formaldehyde gives a person a rush. But instead of just breaking in and demanding the formaldehyde, they shot the man five times, and shot the woman in the back of the head. The bullet came out of her eye.

That formaldehyde must pack a damn good punch if it's worth trying to kill someone over.

How cracked out does a person have to be to do something like this?

Did they go smoke their formaldehyde soaked joints afterward?

Did they shower? Eat a meal? Watch tv?

What does a person do after doing something so ... horrid. Horrid isn't even the right word.

They are still on the loose.

What was I doing while this was happening? Was I safe in my bed? Was I dreaming of Paulie? Was I awake for a moment, looking at the clock wishing I had more time to sleep?

It's just strange how things can happen so close by .. anywhere, anytime.

Of course this does not make me live in fear, because I can't fear things that haven't happened yet .. and I won't base my life on that. And while I won't live in fear, it is still interesting to think about.

I realize people get killed over drugs everyday, and it used to be a rarity in this town but now is becoming increasingly more common. At least once a week I hear of a meth lab being found. Sometimes mobile meth labs, which I didn't even know existed until recently. I've been told that the show 60 Minutes once named this town the meth capital of the world. I have no resources to back that up, however.

The man and woman are still alive, amazingly. Even in stable, but still serious, condition.

They probably would have died if the neighbors had not heard the shots and called 911.

I'm just intrigued in a negative sense by the whole story. It makes me feel creepy to drive down that street on the way to school. I hope they catch the people involved. Maybe someone around this sometimes hellish little town knows some answers. I'm sure probably lots of people do. This town is full of "undesireables," as my Gramma always puts it. I always laughed at how stupid that term sounded when referring to people .. then I saw the light. It really IS full of undesireables.

People that you wouldn't even want to come and take out your trash for fear they would case your house in the meantime.

Not everyone. But a lot.

* * *

I was driving home from work today. It was about 3pm, broad daylight.

I am on a relatively busy road.

A clunker of a vehicle pulls up beside me at a red light. Two guys inside, maybe high school age or just out of high school. Thuggish.

One starts saying, "Hey .. HEY ... HEY!! Hey I'm talking to you!" trying to get my attention.

I quickly glance to the side, made brief eye contact, but also gave a look that let them know I wasn't playing around.

The red light turned green, and I got up ahead of them a little. They sped up beside me. Again the passenger started the "HEY!" stuff. This time I just stared straight ahead, an obvious sign that I wasn't interested. The driver started to honk his horn, and the passenger tried even harder to get my attention. I made brief eye contact again, and he winked at me.

They then cut me off at a very close range, enough for me to roughly put on my brakes, and the passenger started throwing trash out the window, piece by piece.

I grabbed my cell phone, and just as I was about to call 911 on them for reckless endangerment, they sped off the next exit.

It wasn't 911 worthy, it wasn't an emergency. As Paulie said, 911 probably wouldn't have even sent someone to respond.

Now that I work at a job where we do news releases, and with a woman who is a local radio personality, I hear a lot of things. A lot of things have happened here just in the past few weeks.

It's enough to make me program the police's number into my cell phone for those non-911 moments, and just hope it's a number I never have to dial.