As soon as whoever it is — usually, a child or grandchild of some older person shows up clutching a proxy in hand, evil will be done. The old person will be forced out of his home, all his possessions will be stolen right down to and including his most comfortable chair.
The two Barnabys
Soon, a scream will echo through the halls of the lordly manor as the corpse is discovered.
The REAL star of the show, Sykes
Will it be the old person or the young person … or, sometimes, someone apparently completely disconnected from the event? Barnaby and his sidekick Ben will investigate.
A little map of Midsomer
The truth will always surface and that person found dead — who I assure you will not be the only person found dead because no good Midsomer Murder has fewer than three murders in any episode — will ultimately be discovered to have some hidden, furtive relationship with everyone else.
Typical local home in Midsomer
Who is everyone else? Family, of course. And the wealthier and nobler the family, the more murders will have occurred before the show ends.
I always feel short-shrifted if there are fewer than three murders in an episode. And there has to be at least one scream.
The thing about “senseless violence” is that it implies there’s some other kind. The sensible kind.
Everybody talks about senseless violence … but what about the other kind of violence? How come no one talks about sensible violence?
Sensible Violence: Good reasons to kill
— “He needed killing” is still accepted in some American courtrooms as a defense against a charge of murder. If he needed killing and you kill him, you have committed an act of sensible violence.
— “No one was supposed to get hurt.” You found yourself short of money, so you held up the bank. Using automatic weapons. You had a perfect plan which went unaccountably wrong. “But your Honor, no one was supposed to get hurt!”
— “I had no choice.” You could have gotten a divorce, but you were put off by all the paperwork, lawyers, and courts. Not to mention having to share your stuff. So, you killed your husband and shoved his body in the wood chipper and use his remains as fertilizer. Sensible. tidy, and green. “Your Honor, he really pissed me off. And it wasn’t easy getting him into the machine. He was being really mean to me, so what choice did I have?”
— “Anyone would have done the same thing.” Really, no kidding. Anyone. It was the only sensible response. “Your Honor, she burned the roast. I had to kill her. Anyone would have done the same thing.”
— “I lost my temper.” You said I wouldn’t like you when you were angry. You were right.
So you see? Not all violence is senseless. If you didn’t mean it, you had no choice, anyone would have done the same thing, or your plan went awry … it’s sensible violence. The good kind.
I got a questionnaire from some group associated with Blue Cross. They wanted to know if my problem — my trip to the doctor last April — was the result of a work-related injury. Considering that I’m 72-years-old and on Medicare, the odds don’t favor this being a work-related injury, but I’m always up for a laugh or two.
It was just basic “who are you” data until they got to when I started seeking assistance for this problem, listed as “Arthritis” which is very rarely a work-related injury, but I’m a good sport. So I listed August 1, 1965, as the original date I sought treatment since I know I had the surgery that August, but it’s hard to remember which day I went to the doctor. It has been a while.
Back in the day?
It wasn’t work-related then, either. Not only was I not yet employed at anything, but it was horse-related. Riding horses has never been part of any work I’ve ever done, though I wish it had been.
Now, I’m just waiting for them to call me back and ask for additional information. I know. I should be more respectful. Actually, maybe it was 1966?