Murder in the Age of Expanding Connotation

By Don Hall

A guy walks into a bar. He looks distraught. Angry.

"I can't believe it's possible in this day and age," he exclaims.  "Here I am, walking down the street, minding my own business and this guy comes along and murders me, right there on the street!" 

"You don't look dead to me," replies the bartender. "How did he murder you if you're still alive?" 

"Stop right there. If I say I am murdered, you don't get to tell me I wasn't. Obviously you don't understand what 'murder culture' is. He walked up and asked me the time. I don't wear a watch and told him so. He yelled at me and told me only an idiot doesn't wear a watch. He was very aggressive and intimidating. For a moment, I felt very unsafe. He murdered me. Can I use your phone to call the police?"

A woman with bandages on her head, sitting at the far end of the bar, overheard this. 

"Excuse me," she interjected. "Last month, a man came up behind me and hit me with a crowbar, splitting my scalp open. I fell, the blood streaming into my eyes, and he started kicking me. He broke three of my ribs then stole my phone and wallet. I spent two weeks in the hospital and now I owe them $32,000 for medical bills."

"Ah!" cried the man. "You know exactly how I feel!"