Holy Toledo, Batman! A severed head!

What is it about decapitation that gets television news reporters so excited?

“Apparently the boy was trying to re-enter the theme park when he was struck by the Batman roller-coaster ride and (dramatic pause, eyebrows arched, lips lowered) decapitated.”

The co-anchor sitting next to the reporter either shudders in mock disgust or droops her shoulders and frowns as if to say, “I feel your pain.”

Print reporters are no better:

“The teen was apparently decapitated.”

Apparently? Didn’t somebody look? Could the body be lifted by two people or did it take a third to pick up the head?

You never hear of anyone getting impaled. OK, maybe once in a while. Stabbings are stabbings. Shootings are shootings. Only when someone gets their throat sliced so deep that they were “almost decapitated” does a knife wound ever get that much attention. And reporters always say, “After shooting his wife, he later shot himself in the head” not “After shooting a two-inch wide hole through his wife’s face, he later blew his brains out.”

But someone gets decapitated, and for reporters, it’s like a child first learning how to use the F-word. They can’t stop saying it.

“I want my fucking Cocoa Pebbles now!”

Decapitations are rarely ever as clean as slasher movies would have you believe too. And very few people who get decapitated ever get to express that very last overly-acted expression of “Shit! I’m about to get decapitated!” You know the look. The eyes are wide open in anticipation, the mouth is a gaping hole, the top and bottom rows of teeth are exposed, the neck muscles are strained as if to say, “Slice here.” If you forgot, just rent Friday the 13th and forward to the end of the movie. My favorite decapitation scene. Although Andy Garcia in Black Rain is a close second.

Real-life decapitations are usually quite messy. For example, Jane Mansfield wasn’t technically decapitated. That car accident she was in managed to rip off the top part of her head. Call it a partial decapitation. Imagine a blind, drunken native scalping her with a dull machete and you get the picture.

Your friends and loved ones would probably prefer a clean decapitation. That way, if the face is OK, they can have the head glued back on to the body. You’d never know Johnny was decapitated!

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