Tuesday, April 26, 2005

“It’s a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest I go to, than I have ever known.”

The Movie: A Tale of Two Cities, 1935 (W. P. Lipscomb and S.N. Behrman, screenwriters, from the novel by Charles Dickens; Jack Conway, dir.)
Who says it: Ronald Colman as lawyer Sydney Carton
The context: Carton sacrifices himself in the place of Charles Darnay (Donald Woods), for the happiness of the woman they both love (Elizabeth Allan)
How to use it: To make a big deal of self-denial.

I'm fixated this morning on a small news item that's almost the complete opposite of this quotation:

Man Says 7-Year-Old Joke Led to Killing

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A man shot a former co-worker to death on Easter because he was offended by a joke told seven years ago, authorities said Monday.

Stanford Douglas Jr., 29, was arrested on murder charges Sunday after a two-hour standoff with police. He allegedly shot William Berkeyheiser, 62, three times in the chest and shoulder on March 27 at Berkeyheiser's suburban home.

Prosecutor Diane Gibbons said that Douglas told police he had been thinking about killing Berkeyheiser since 1998, when the two men worked at a Philadelphia nursing home and Berkeyheiser told a joke that offended Douglas.

The prosecutor would not say what the joke was.

Douglas hired a private investigator to find Berkeyheiser's house, Gibbons said.

Now, I bow to no one in my ability to hold a grudge. I cherish grudges that date back to middle school, and one that goes all the way back to third grade. But this seems a little extreme, even to me.

Seven years this man was plotting his revenge? Do you suppose that Mr. Berkeyheiser even remembered Mr. Douglas, much less the joke he told?

But I can't wait to hear what that joke was.

1 comment:

Guyot said...

That must have been one unfunny joke...