Sorry I Thought You Were a Serial Killer

The other day I got kind of sick. When I get kind of sick, I get kind of crazy. Anyway, one thing led to another and pretty soon I was accusing my friends of trying to kill me. I’d like to explain what happened and issue a formal apology for my behavior, here and now.

Thursday morning a few weeks ago, I received a cryptic message via Twitter from my friend Glen, who lives in Wales, that said,

That was it. No explanation, no expansion, and no excuse for his sudden departure. Twitter, with its 140 characters, can be cruel in that way.

Now, a normal, healthy person would have read this message and thought, “Oh, gee! My friend thought of me and is sending me something in the mail. I wonder what it could be! It clearly means he cares about my feelings and in no way implies that he wants to murder me in my sleep.”

Unfortunately for Glen, I was not a normal, healthy person that day. I didn’t know it then, but the insanity of illness was slowly creeping into my brain. There were a few signs throughout the morning that something was wrong, but I ignored them all because it was Thursday, and I have no time for weakness on Thursdays.

Signs Which Should Have Been Red Flags

– Getting out of bed that morning was a particularly awful experience.

– I spent an hour at work glaring at a stapler (and I love staplers).

– I read a strangely familiar chapter of my textbook for two hours before I realized I was re-reading the previous week’s assignment.

– My thinking process was getting a little bit… odd. For example, I’d had a dream about Godzilla the night before and spent the next hour half-awake, convinced that Mothra was outside my window and that I probably ought to get out of bed to save humanity. I even texted someone to ask if she knew where I could buy a large light bulb. When she texted me back “WTF? Why?”, I didn’t even bother to respond because the answer was so obvious. How else was I going to lure a giant moth off the front lawn? Duh.

While the moth can be shooed with a large lamp, the only way to get rid of radioactive lizards is King Kong, and from there it’s all monkey business.

So instead of reacting to the message in a pleasantly surprised manner, my initial reaction was, “Oh, %$@#! My friend thought of me and is sending me something in the mail! It’s probably one of my relatives’ fingers! It clearly means he wants to murder me in my sleep and in no way implies he cares about my feelings!”

I spent the majority of my first class worrying about the serial killer who was definitely coming after me. I spent the majority of my second class writing a list containing sporadic capitalization and excessive exclamation points. Reading over it now, I’m forced to admit it has a touch of the crazies.

Reasons I Think You’re a Serial Killer

– You don’t seem like one… BUT NEITHER DID TED BUNDY!!

– I haven’t spoken to my family for nearly a week… THEY COULD BE DEAD!!!!


– I am exactly the kind of person one would expect to be kidnapped… YOUNG AND FEMALE, WITH WEAK NOODLE ARMS!!!

– You have a British accent… SO DID HANNIBAL LECTER!!!!!!

– If you were making a suit out of human skin, mine would be perfect for… A CREEPY WHITE DISCO SUIT!! (A note from sane, healthy Stephanie: I don’t know where this came from. It is both the scariest and most hilarious thing I’ve ever written.)

– You once asked me if my head… WAS FREEZER-SIZED!!!! (Another note: This is patently untrue. No one has ever asked me that, especially not Glen. I think I was trying to make the serial killer case more substantial. The crazy had taken over my whole brain.)

Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter in The Sile...

Anthony Hopkins is also from Wales. So is American Psycho’s Christian Bale. See?!

I had an hour-long break before I had to go back to work. I spent it standing in the hallway by the vending machines– just staying still in the corner, staring at people.

When someone finally asked what I was doing, I gestured to the security camera over head and said, “It’s a long story, but I think there’s a serial killer after me.” It’s beyond me why he let that one go, but he walked away and I kept standing there until work started. Instead of doing anything productive, I made this list:

Stephanie’s Bucket List, or, Things To Do Before Being Killed

  1. Fix my car’s bumper
  2. Go to Yellowstone
  3. Tell someone who my killer probably is, possibly through a rigged game of Clue (It was the Welshman! In the post office! With a bomb!), or a fun, posthumous treasure hunt
  4. Clean my room
  5. Make sure someone can sort the building’s mail once I’m no longer around to do it

I’d like to say my bucket list was only five really lame items long because I was thinking crazy, but the truth is that it’s exactly what my sane bucket list looks like, too. (Except the part about the treasure hunt. I’d probably replace that with “Re-watch The Princess Bride“.)

After another extended period of stapler-glaring, I received a message from Glen, who told me he hadn’t meant to be cryptic and asked if I was intrigued. Serial killers on TV always do this, and I was ready.

I said, “Yeah, as long as it’s not a bomb or a finger belonging to one of my family members.”

He (jokingly?) said, “Damn, would that not be good?”

It took me a while to calm down after that.

I managed to make it through work and my three hour night class before losing it completely. I fell asleep, woke up with major flu symptoms, slept some more, and woke up again completely recovered. It was around 3 a.m., while I was sitting miserably on the bathroom floor, that it occurred to me that Glen probably wasn’t a murderer and that there definitely hadn’t been a giant moth outside the night before because someone would have said something by now.

When the package showed up the next day, I was 98% over my flu-induced paranoia, but that remaining two percent was still kind of convinced the box contained Gwyneth Paltrow’s head. (It was a thin package, but she’s notoriously slender.)

And that explains what I was doing hiding in the mail room while my friend Jeff gingerly opened a box containing a book of nursery rhymes.

Here goes.

Dear Glen,

I’m very sorry I thought you were trying to kill me. My only defense is that I was crazed with illness. Please accept my sincere apology. Thank you for handling my paranoid accusations like a champ. If it makes anything better, I really love the book.



Normally, this is where I would put a picture of Glen and me being all buddy-buddy, but he lives too far away, and Photoshop would make ME a good serial killer candidate.

Edit: My friend Mary just made these rather excellent illustrations for this particular post. I like that my stapler is red, Office Space-style, and that she even got my absurdly large eyeballs right.

From left to right, me glaring at a stapler, me and my freezer-sized head, and me worrying about Mothra. Click to embiggen.


  1. Mr What's His Name

    Meh, I can see how you came to that conclusion. That Glen guy sounds like an idiot.
    I’m in fact very impressed with your attention to detail, records, and drawing skills (although my hair parts slightly to the right). I enjoyed this post immensly, and have never been so proud to be called a Serial Killer. Thank you kindly. :-)

    • Stephanie

      That Glen guy sounds pretty nice to me, but what do I know? Thanks for complimenting my drawing skills. Microsoft Paint and I are a potent combination, really. I’m glad you liked this post, because I was afraid you really wouldn’t. I promise I don’t think you’re a serial killer any more. You’re just a guy who doesn’t know what a Pop Tart is.

  2. Ashley

    So first of BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! It was so hard not to burst out laughing while I’m currently working at the hotel. 2nd off, don’t worry I completely understand, that weird snap awake & you don’t understand that you were dreaming before. I once thought Dan was in the process of turning into a warewolf. (I could see the full moon through a crack in my blinds, and dan was snuggling up to the back of my neck so I froze thinking if I didn’t move maybe he’d think I was dead already.)

    Secondly it says to put in my website, so i did, even though it really has no relevance. :)

  3. Mara

    They seem like good reasons to me.
    And yes “- If you were making a suit out of human skin, mine would be perfect for… A CREEPY WHITE DISCO SUIT!!” — most hilarious thing I have ever read.

  4. theliteraryhorse

    Whew. So glad I’m not the only person who has had a crazed serial killer after them, even if only in my own mind.

    I kept finding dead animals at my front door, and, uh, called the police. I mean, really, almost ten dead bodies in a row? Doesn’t this sound like TOTAL serial killer material?

    They refused to arrest my cat.

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