I see they've dug up John Dillinger's corpse again in order
to make a few bucks off popcorn and soda. Which is fitting,
in a way, as he was killed while leaving a movie theatre.
In other words,
he robbed banks to watch movies and they made movies
of him robbing banks and getting killed in movie theatres.
I'm not planning on seeing this, the 4th major
iteration of his life (yawn). I only mention it in passing
since, while re-reading Richard Brautigan's Trout Fishing
I chanced upon an amusingly surreal short story that referred
to Mr. Dillinger. And here it is.
Prologue To Girder
Mooresville, Indiana, is the town that John Dillinger came
from, and the town has a John Dillinger Museum. You can go
in and look around.
Some towns are known as the peach capital of America or the
cherry capital or the oyster capital, and there's always a
festival and the photograph of a pretty girl in a bathing suit.
Mooresville, Indiana, is the John Dillinger capital of America.
Recently a man moved
there with his wife, and he discovered hundreds of rats in
his basement. They were huge, slow-moving child-eyed rats.
When his wife had to visit some of her relatives for a few
days, the man went out and bought a .38 revolver and a lot
of ammunition. Then he went down to the basement where the
rats were, and he started shooting them. It didn't bother the
rats at all. They acted as if it were a movie and started eating
their dead companions for popcorn.
The man walked over to a rat that was busy eating a friend
and placed the pistol against the rat's head. The rat did not
move and continued eating away. When the hammer clicked back,
the rat paused between bites and looked out of the corner of
its eye. First at the pistol and then at the man. It was kind
of a friendly look as if to say, "When my mother was young
she sang like Deanna Durbin."
The man pulled the trigger.
He had no sense of humor.
There's always a single feature, a double feature and an eternal
feature playing at the Great Theatre in Mooresville, Indiana:
the John Dillinger capital of America.
Yeah, that's Rich all right.
Brautigan's life and his books would have, in my most
humble opinion, resulted in a much more entertaining, and deserving,
feature film than one about Dillinger
short, violent, one-dimensional
life. But gobs of money is made endlessly sating the public's
unending need to see blood gush and objects explode, so fat
of seeing "Loading Mercury With a Pitchfork" at
the local googol-plex anytime soon.
PS, and don't forget Trout
Fishing in America.