Nothing worse than to be reading something and the whole time it seems vaguely familiar but you can’t put your finger on it. I’ll spare you the suspense and admit that I got the title and part of the idea for this very true story from the movie Groundhog Day. That was the movie that starred Bill Murray as someone who was forced to repeat Groundhog Day over and over again until he got it right. Of course, you could argue that who is to say what constitutes “right” but in the end we are left to assume that there was some omnipotent force that made that decision. Sort of like this story, as it is being written in the third person you can just assume that I am also an omnipotent force. By the end of the story you may come to doubt that conclusion but for now just play along.
You see John Parmalee made a mistake and was forced to repeat all of the days that followed until he got it right … as determined by me.
He was running short on time but needed to run into a pharmacy to get a prescription filled so he parked in the only spot he could see: a handicapped spot. After collecting his prescription he jumped into his car but instead of gunning the engine and roaring out of the spot before he was spotted he took a few moments to pick his nose.
He glanced up and saw ol’ Miss Walker staring at him. Actually, to be accurate, she was more glaring than staring. Glaring at John sitting in a handicapped spot with a giant fresh boogie on his finger.
That was the starting point for John whenever he passed away without figuring out a way to correct his mistake.
You see, upon seeing the gaze of ol’ Miss Walker falling on him and his boogie he immediately realized that getting caught in a handicapped spot is bad and getting caught picking your nose is bad but getting caught picking your nose in a handicapped spot is something that you can never live down so he did the only thing he could think of at the time.
He ran over ol’ Miss Walker.
Obviously he had plenty of time to come up with alternatives to this course of action as he sat for years in prison. To make matters worse, security footage captured the whole thing so he spent that time behind bars known as the “Handicap Boogie Killer.” Not the most fearsome moniker to have in the joint. When he finally died he awoke to see ol’ Miss Walker glaring at him. Knowing that she was, in his mind, responsible for him serving so many years in prison he immediately was swept away in a fit of rage and ran over her again.
This time he remembered to disable the camera so he spent those years in prison known as John.
Much better but still not right. When he died his eyes flicked open to find ol’ Miss Walker glaring at him.
And so on and so forth.
Mind you, sometimes he lived to be 70 or more so it took him a long time to figure out what was going on.
He spent the next 30 lives figuring out a way to kill ol’ Miss Walker without getting caught. Believe it or not it took him three times just to stop immediately running her over. Finally he figured out that he needed to shut her up later but each time there seemed to be one loose end that needed tying before he avoided prison so by the time he was on his 23rd try he was killing ol’ Miss Walker and at least a dozen other witnesses. The headcount was getting unbearable.
Starting to think I might not be the omnipotent force I claimed to be at the outset? Wait until you get to his 30th try. He ends up butchering not only ol’ Miss Walker, a dozen witnesses, eight future jurors and a municipal judge but he finally gets away with it all and I allow him to die in peace.
Not very omnipotent you say?
om·nip·o·tent /ämˈnipətənt/ Having unlimited power; able to do anything.
It doesn’t say anything about good or evil.
I like to think that Bill Murray would appreciate my starting him off with ol’ Miss Walker glaring at him as opposed to a few minutes earlier when he could have just avoided the whole thing.