Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Lights Out -- really

There was an old episode of the radio horror series Lights Out titled "A Day at the Dentist's," written by Arch Oboler. Stephen King remembered it fondly (if fondly is the word), and devoted several pages to it in his non-fiction book Danse Macabre, 25 years ago. It's the one about the hapless guy with the toothache who picks the wrong dentist. Turns out that even though he doesn't know this dentist from Adam, the dentist knows him very well indeed, and has been nursing a grudge against him for years ... and years ... and years ... all the while fantasizing about what he would do, if one fine day, this guy were to walk in, unsuspecting, and climb into that dental chair.

You can guess the rest (the sound effect of a drill was prominent). You've probably read, or seen, countless other catchpenny horror stories involving acts of revenge just that fortuitous, and just that unlikely. But now The Associated Press reminds me that terribly unlikely things do happen, occasionally. According to the police in Charlotte, N.C., a woman who went in for a routine facelift just happened to pick the wrong plastic surgeon's office -- where a nurse anesthetist was one of her high-school classmates, one who believed the patient had stolen her boyfriend 30 years before, and who had been nursing a grudge against the patient for years ... and years ... and years ...

The patient never woke up from that routine procedure, and now the nurse anesthetist, Sally Jordan Hill, is charged with first-degree murder.

It's just like the Lights Out episode!

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