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September 07, 2008

This Perfect World

The older I get, the more sure I am that I've been assigned to the wrong planet. Just for instance: I don't even breath oxygen.

Moreover, it literally never occurred to me that homo sapiens did things like those mentioned in this 1992 Sports Illustrated article:

For a decade the cherubic 30-year-old had made a sporadic living as a hit man hired to destroy expensive horses and ponies, usually so their owners could collect on lucrative life-insurance policies. But no owner had ever ordered Burns to dispose of a horse by breaking one of its legs—that is, by causing a trauma so severe that a veterinarian would be forced to put the animal down with a lethal injection.

Burns's preferred method of killing horses was electrocution. It had been so ever since the day in 1982 when, he says, the late James Druck, an Ocala, Fla., attorney who represented insurance companies, paid him to kill the brilliant show jumper Henry the Hawk, on whose life Druck had taken out a $150,000 life-insurance policy. In fact, says Burns, Druck personally taught him how to rig the wires to electrocute Henry the Hawk: how to slice an extension cord down the middle into two strands of wire; how to attach a pair of alligator clips to the bare end of each wire; and how to attach the clips to the horse—one to its ear, the other to its rectum. All he had to do then, says Burns, was plug the cord into a standard wall socket. And step back.

I only found out about it recently because it was mentioned in stories about John Edwards' squeeze, Rielle Hunter. It turns out she's the daughter of James Druck. She was a show jumper, and Henry the Hawk was her horse—something which understandably put a crimp in their father-daughter relationship.

Also: I think this allusion of this post's title is very clever, and would like someone to understand it and then compliment me on it.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at September 7, 2008 12:58 PM

Consider yourself complimented - Thank you.

Posted by: Richard S at September 7, 2008 02:18 PM

Druck is Cheney, Burns is Bush, and Henry the Hawk is our freedoms?

I see how the song fits in with the story and the theme of bad daddy/estranged daughter, but the made way after the fact 9/11 video was a bit of a stretch for me. Sorry, I don't understand this post well enough to compliment you on it.

Posted by: Mark Gisleson at September 7, 2008 02:25 PM

Richard S,

Thank you. I appreciate being appreciated.

Mark Gisleson,

Actually, I didn't even watch the video. I see it's a little on the freaky side (close up of masonic lodge?), so I'll switch it to another one with the same soundtrack. It's superior, although still...not quite right.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at September 7, 2008 02:32 PM

That was a dreadful version of S and S. I mean, excruciating.

Posted by: Mark at September 7, 2008 02:43 PM

Thank you, and yes, the Masonic graveyard signage really layered in more symbolism than I knew what to do with (altho as a former student of hermeneutics, I tried mightily...).

Thanks for the new video. Betrayal, loss, forgiveness? Yes, I think the song pairs well with this story, and gave me much to think about, especially as I had set aside my distrust of Edwards years ago, and now need to revisit that initial discomfort to see how it fits in with these revelations.

Good riddle — thanks.

Posted by: Mark Gisleson at September 7, 2008 02:50 PM

The allusion is to the BIBLE!!!ELEVEN!!ONE!!

And extremely clever, thanks you!

Posted by: Guest at September 7, 2008 05:00 PM

The video and song are tedious, and I don't get it. Jane Austen meets Dawson's Creek? Possibly I'm just thick.

As far as your not breathing oxygen goes, I highly recommend you try it, while we still have breathable air left.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at September 7, 2008 08:36 PM

I'm sure you're really referencing the 1993 thriller "A Perfect World" starring Kevin Costner about a boy from a puritanical family who strikes up a friendship with an escaped convict after the latter kidnaps him, right?

Posted by: En Ming Hee at September 7, 2008 09:49 PM