It’s been a long time since I blogged about books and that makes me sad. For this reason, I feel I should tell you the story of my Bedhammer. Before I explain its connection to books, I want you to take a moment to observe Bedhammer in its natural habitat.
Bedhammer is a simple creature. It waits on my bedside table every night just in case I need it. Sometimes it joins me in the office, resting beside my computer. Why? Because I read a book, that’s why. Specifically, this book:
I bought it as a Christmas present for my stepdad last year. His interest in true crime made this book an excellent gift. Before I wrapped it in a tacky paper grocery bag and stuck it under the Christmas tree, however, I cracked it open. I randomly flipped to the section on Jeffrey Dahmer and my curiosity got the better of me.
See, Jeffrey Dahmer was caught in 1991. I was four years old. As a result, I heard his name a lot as a kid – it’s hard to avoid big news stories about necrophiliac serial killers – but I never understood why. Over the years I gathered small bits and pieces of the story. I knew that murder and cannibalism were involved, but I didn’t really know what had happened. Mapping the Trail of a Crime filled in my knowledge gaps.
The real problems occurred when I kept reading. It was kind of like reading a scary Stephen King novel, except completely freaking true. I read about Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka. I read about Andrei Chikatilo. I read about David Berkowitz, Fred and Rose West, Ivan Milat, Richard Trenton Chase, and – scariest of all – Richard Ramirez.
The true stories of serial killers scared me and kicked my paranoia into overdrive – which brings me back to Bedhammer. Bedhammer was born on a night when I felt particularly paranoid. I had read about Marc Dutroux and Michel Fourniret earlier in the evening, and my imagination got the best of me when Hubbles left the house to run some errands.
I share a tumblr site with my little sister named Creepy Face A Day, and I think my “creepy face” from that night most effectively conveys my state of mind. I have copied and pasted the post for reference. (The picture itself is a link to the original post.)
Katy Bug. Thursday, December 19, 2013.
I’ve been reading a book about serial killers, so now I’m sitting in the middle of my house and holding a hammer. You know, just in case Richard Trenton Chase or The Boston Strangler drop by to poop in my bed, strangle me, or drink my blood. Two of these are obviously worse than the other, but involving poop is just adding insult to injury.
Because I felt so on edge, I kept the hammer nearby when I finally went to bed. I was ready and willing to use it if the need arose. Over the next few weeks, it stayed on my nightstand or under the bed. Hubbles kept needing the hammer, though, and it pissed him off that he never could find it. This despite the fact that I explicitly told him multiple times where I kept the hammer, but I digress. After I got annoyed with his annoyance, I simply requested that he buy me another hammer for my birthday.
Enter Bedhammer: my bestest friend in the whole wide world.
Yeah. I went there.
My new best friend was perfect. It was smaller and lighter than Hubbles’ hammer, but I figured I could wield it menacingly enough to defend against a Ted Bundy wannabe. Since then, we’ve only used Bedhammer on a few nails. I haven’t had to use it against a serial killer. I hope I never have to, but it’s there just in case.
If it weren’t for that book, I wouldn’t have my lovely Bedhammer. I also wouldn’t have obsessively checked all of our locks or become even more afraid of parking lots, but whatever. Good with the bad.