I was at my local Pacific Coffee shop reading the paper when I saw the headline, “Accused killed mother in 150 chops, court told.”

I immediately thought of that powerful and unexpected scene in the movie I saw last night, Rachel Getting Married. In it, Debra Winger slaps daughter, Anne Hathaway. Then Hathaway returns Mom’s slap with a right hook. Somewhere John Travolta laughed out loud.

My mind wanders on.

Why use the word chop? Why not cut or slice? Hell, dice? Did the son count his chops? If so, why 150? That seems like an awful lot of times to “chop” someone, especially when most of the wounds were on the head and neck. Didn’t his arm get tired? Surely his mom died after the seventh or eighth chop.

I read on.

It happened in my apartment building!

“Oh my GOD.” I said out loud.

It happened on the 27th floor, but the article didn’t specify which tower.

I read on.

The son believed his mom was a spy from Japan–rikery story. He runs some import/export company here in Hong Kong. What the fuck does that mean anyway? One of the supervisors on duty discovered the woman on the floor after he entered the apartment–the front door was ajar. I guess it’s good to know that they patrol the building looking for murderers when we’re asleep.

When I got back to my building, I asked the doormen if he knew about this. He played dumb. His English isn’t very good so it was easy. I showed him the article. He immediately said, “Tower One! Tower One!”

Hmmm, I bet it happened in Tower Two.

This evening, I’ll ask one of the doormen who speak English about the incident, the murder. Nothing like someone else’s drama to take your mind off the ho-hum of your own dull life.

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