I should be set off by commas. It is a big deal!"
And he grabbed a souvenir scrimshaw engraving tool, which I'd gotten at the New Bedfor Whaling Museum gift shop several summers ago, and he plunged it into his left thigh, I'd say at least two to three inches deep.
"All right, I'll put the commas in," I said.
Dad evinced no sensation of pain, impervious as he was, thanks to the PCP. If anything, impaling his thigh with the scrimshaw graver seemd to mollify him. He certainly made no attempt nor manifested the slightest desire to remove it, and later, while we were trying to come up with a more colloquial way of saying "bound to the wheel of endless propitiation of an unloving and blood-hungry divinity," Dad absently twanged the embedded tool as he mused.
Another fascinating and potentially mitigating factor emerged during my father's trial for killing a security guard who'd apprehended him shoplifting a Cuisinart variable-speed hand blender and a Teflon-coated ice-cream scooper from a vendor's kiosk at an outlet in Secaucas. (The imposition of the death sentence in New Jersey requires "first degree murder with heinous circumstances." In this case it was determined that the weapons used in the commission of the homicide were the purloined instruments themselves--the hand blender and the ice-cream scooper. The lower torso of the security guard, who'd pursued my father into a subterranean parking garage, had been almost totally pureed, the upper torso rendered into a hundred neat balls.) Unbeknownst to me Dad had an extremely rare hypersensitivity to minute levels of gamma radiation. An eminent astrohygienist from Bergen County Community College testified tatonce a day there's a 90-minute gamma ray burst originating from colliding comets within the Milky Way. She was able to link each of my father's most violent episodes (including the grisly murder of the security guard) to a corresponding gamma-ray burst. My father's intolerance was so acute, she contended, that exposure to as little as 15 picorads of gamma radiation resulted in extreme neurological disturbances.
Alright, fine, I went SLIGHTLY onto page 24. So sue me.