Monday, July 20, 2009

What I Learned from Jack the Ripper

Wrinkle in Time Status: About a third of the way through. Still just as magical. Still crushin' on Cal.

Meet Your Victorian Era Serial Killers...
I was taking Niece S home the other day, and I talked about when we used to live in London. (I don't know why, but most of my conversations usually end up with me talking about London. I'm available for parties.)

Anyway, I told her we went to church in a neighborhood called Whitechapel.

me: "You know what Whitechapel's famous for, right?"

S: "No."

me (pausing to heighten anticipation): "That's where Jack the Ripper did his terrible deeds."

s: blank face

me: "You know about Jack the Ripper, right?"

S: "Should I?"

I couldn't believe it. I immediately picked up my cell phone and called Niece S's mother to complain about her educational upbringing.

me: "What kind of second-rate institution have you been sending your child to?"

E: "Oh, sorry if I don't share your love for everything dark, and I don't tell my children horror stories at night."

me: "Jack the Ripper is a part of world history. He is the truth. He is not a story."

So, Niece S, here is my contribution to your education:


1. If You're Waiting in an Alley for a Victim, Always use Fog Machines

Here's Jack, waiting for an unsuspecting... um... woman of the night to approach, his knife apparently lit from within, like a lightsaber. Personally, I have to wonder what hooker in her right mind would see this man waiting in an alley, and continue to walk toward him. Of course, perhaps Victorian era Betties weren't in their right minds. Anyway, I'm sure the fog can only help his chances.

2. Impress your Teachers by Using "Evisceration" in a Sentence

"Ripper" refers to his mode of operation. Because this is a PG rated blog, I will describe it thusly: Jack took the innards, and put them on the outards.

When the police found the mutilated remains of Jack's victims, there wasn't a word that could reflect such a heinous crime. So, Lt. Bill Pickles, in an effort to impress his boss, looked at the intestines and said something along the lines of, "That there betty seems to have been... vissicrated."

And that's how we have the word "eviscerated" today.
(The preceding may or may not be a complete fabrication)

3. If you want the Police to Waste A Lot Of Time, Leave them A Really Stupid Cryptic Message Written on a Wall.

Police went into a frenzy over a message, written in chalk, supposedly by Jack himself.

"The Juwes are not the men that will not be blamed for nothing."

It prompted investigators to scratch their heads and say, "Oh crap. Was that a triple negative? Does that mean the Juwes are the men that will be blamed for nothing, or for everything, or only non-Juwes will be nothing..." and on it went.

Sort of like a dog, chasing its tail, and then running into a dark alley and being eviscerated.


  1. One of the main reasons that Jack the Ripper was never caught was his use of the triple negative. Cops could never figure it out. As time progressed, he became more sophisticated and used quadruple negatives as well as triple positives and twice removed dangling participles. Cunning.

    I miss the days of Whitechapel. I still remember a 10pm phone call from you and Raina wondering if Brad and I were going to come out and meet you guys and pick you up so that Jack the Ripper wouldn't get you. We all know that Jack the Ripper is dead, so no worries...or is he dead?

  2. I am going to start charging you for inadvertently inspiring blogs. Plus, I am too busy teaching my children about modern day serial killers to instruct them on Victorian ones!

  3. Sam- wouldn't you be a little nervous walking in that neighborhood at night? Especially since they never caught Jack the Ripper...

    btw: did you happen to leave a 12-pack of Rootbeer on my car this morning? Because I came home and there was a 12-pack of exploded cans in our driveway.

    Eden- How do you know I'm talking about you? I know lots of other people named "E".

  4. Is E neice S's mom? I just love puzzles! =)

    Jack the Ripper, I watched many a mystery either about or inspired by this infamous legend. I'm surprised kids don't know about him/it, but then again, my mom relished telling me ghost stories. That and since parents controlled the remote, I would (was forced) watch Midsummer Night's murders or Masterpiece Theater or Mystery! on PBS and you know how much they love to show British shows (who love to feature their legends like Holmes and Jack the Ripper).

    I loved Mystery!, Edward Gorey's cartoons captivated me.

  5. Una- I totally grew up watching mystery! I loved the opening cartoon. My mom used to record every episode of Sherlock holmes. So maybe it is unique to grow up knowing about Jack the ripper.

  6. Um, I'm with Niece S...I don't know who Jack the Ripper is either. Wasn't he the guy in LA in the early 80's who lived with 2 girls, pretended to be guy, and always got into misunderstandings and hijinx with the ladies and his landlord with the boss leisure suites?

    I'm very disturbed about how passionate you seem to be about him...

  7. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

    (name that show)

  8. Have I left enough comments yet?

  9. Cam- thanks for boosting the comments up to the double digits. I always feel uncomfortable at 9 and under.

    Nice references to both Three's Company and Seinfeld. Although if we're judging, which we always are, I'd say referencing those two shows is tons weirder than having knowledge of one of the most notorious unsolved mysteries in the history of the world.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.

  10. I remember that show Cam! But Brodi beat me to it, curse my job I could check in her faster! Well, wait a does pay me.

    Do we get bonus points for the more posts we do Brodi? *evil laugh* I could start posting a LOT more, but I'm not sure about the content....

  11. I dont know what you're talking about. The light saber knife is totally cool and not threatening at all. But only if there is fog present.

  12. Una- of course more comments equals more bonus points! Of course, I'm not sure the bonus points mean anything, but I hereby award you 200 bonus points.

    Debbie- I concur. If only the knife had been dripping blood. Then the picture would have looked foreboding.

  13. Of course I said Of course twice. Naturally, naturally.

  14. You are not the only one who believes my knowledge of history (and politics, current events, and religeon for that matter) fall WAY below the list of Seinfeld and Bob and Tom Radio...and if you are thinking, "Who's Bob and Tom" we SERIOUSLY need to talk.

    But, it shouldn't be a surprise since I said that Ralph Ferly wears leizure suites instead of suits...That doesn't even make any sense!

    Perhaps you should give a weekly history lesson to ejucate me seeins how I went to the U!!! HA, HA, HA!!!

  15. That was way harsh, Cam. I can only assume that when you are dissing your education at the "U", you mean at the "U-niversity of Phoenix".

    Secondly, who are Bob and Tom? Are they characters on Seinfeld? Did you name your Ta-Ta's?

    Let me know, and we can ejucate each other!

  16. Woo Hoo, 200 bonus points! That's just fantastic! Nothing like scoring points to make a gloomy (and overly hot) Tuesday bearable!

    The U? Goodness, that was what we called the student plaza at my state college I attended. Of course, before that it was what we "lovingly" *snicker* called our City College...the 'U'. It was, of course, originally our college before they moved to the bigger better campus and thus became the City College, or also referred to as silly college.

    Is that some ejumacation for ya'll or what? =)

    Oh, I used of course twice, don't they say the greatest form of flattery is mimicry?

  17. First - U of Phoenix was Ben :)

    Secondly - I have better taste than to name my ta-ta's Bob and Tom....Flopsy and Mopsy are offended because "They are real, and they are SPEC-Tacular!" (Couldn't resist...sorry).

    Do yourself a favor and put down Enders Game once in awhile and turn on KBER 101 (the good news West Valley up-bringing isn't showing through in the least!)

  18. Una- the "U" for us stands for the superior educational institution University of Utah.

    BYU is our form of the city college. AKA "Silly" college.

    Cam- KBER... as in, The Bear? I doubt Bill and Ted could even read Ender's Game.

    Flopsy and Mopsy- lol!

  19. Cam - your naming beats mine, there is "Left" and "Right" which makes sense to me, but everyone else gets them backwards! (hehehehe)

    Brodi - seems everywhere there is a "silly" college. I wonder if they are all in partnership?!?

  20. Jack the Ripper is one of my favorite historical people ever. I know he's evil, but I love to read about him and what happened or watch any movies about him. The things you learned from him have made me love him even more!

  21. Uh believe the U is the superior educational institution in Utah?

    As a BYU grad, I'm prepared to hate you on principle.

    Of course, I can't dispute your classification of BYU as a "silly college." That place is crawling with weirdies!

    I will table my undying hatred of you...for now.

  22. Maybe Brodi shouldn't have discussed Jack the Ripper as it appears she is MIA today.

    I hope you are okay and not being driven crazy at that internet/salad cafe again!

  23. Or worse yet, the ghost of Jack has kidnapped you! *gasp*

  24. I'm here! I'm here!

    Una- Internet/salad place redeemed. Brain a little clogged today.

    Jenni- Totally agree. Even if he's evil, there's so much we can glean from history.

    Jessica- If I promise to mail you a book, will you disregard the BYU statements? Pretty please?

    There's nothing worse than a BYU coed who's mad at you. I've heard they're brutal. :)

  25. They're only brutal if their roommates/best friends get engaged before they do. Trust me, I know.

    I got the book (and already read the entire thing and LOVED it), so we'll call a truce for now...until fall rolls around and we can loathe each other over sports about which we know little and care little. It IS a rivalry, after all, and who am I to flout tradition?

  26. Jessica- lol! I'm glad you liked the book.