Bobbie's Beat: The story of Artie

Recently a local friend asked me, “Where in the world do you get the jokes and material for your column?” I was almost embarrassed to tell her the amount of mail that comes in from all over the country, which is probably now a good time to remind you readers that I can’t possibly respond to your emails, so please don’t take it personally. I’m dancing as fast as I can.

This brings me to the goofiest day brightener sent in by a reader in the Midwest. My first reaction (after groaning) was to tuck it away in a folder marked “possible material,” but it has been haunting my bizarre sense of humor, so here it is for you today. Are you ready?

•     •     •

Artie (author unknown)

Constantly being broke and stuck in an unhappy marriage, a husband decided to solve both problems by taking out a large insurance policy on his wife with himself as the beneficiary, and then arranging to have her done away with.

A “friend of a friend” put him in touch with a nefarious, dark-side underworld figure who went by the name of Artie.

Artie explained to the husband that his going price for snuffing out a spouse was $10,000. The husband said he was willing to pay the amount but that he wouldn't have any cash on hand until he could collect his wife's insurance money. Artie insisted on being paid at least something up front, so the man opened his wallet, displaying the single dollar that rested inside. Artie sighed, rolled his eyes and reluctantly agreed to accept the dollar as down payment for the dirty deed.

A few days later, Artie followed the man’s wife to the local Costco. There, he surprised her in the produce department and proceeded to strangle her with his gloved hands. As the poor unsuspecting woman drew her last breath and slumped to the floor, the manager of the produce department stumbled unexpectedly on the murder scene. Unwilling to leave any living witnesses behind, ol’ Artie had no choice but to strangle the produce manager as well.

However, unknown to Artie, the entire proceedings were captured by the hidden security cameras and observed by the store security guard, who immediately called the police. Artie was caught and arrested before he could even leave the premises.

Under intense questioning at the police station, Artie revealed the whole sordid plan, including his unusual financial arrangements with the hapless husband who was also quickly arrested.

The next day in the newspaper, the headline declared: (You’re going to hate me for this) “ARTIE CHOKES 2 FOR $1.00 AT COSTCO.”                                   

This is what the Midwest reader added at the end: “Oh, quit complaining. I don’t write this stuff. I receive it from my other warped friends and then send it on to you.”

•     •     •

And that’s all folks, for this week. The sun is shining, and I am now faced with two choices: 1) stay put here at the computer and answer emails, or 2) take my warped mind outside and breathe in some of that incredible ocean air. Since we have so few days like this in March, you can probably guess my decision. 


Bobbie Lippman is a professional writer who lives in Seal Rock. She is the author of “Good Grief: A Collection of Stories As One Woman Journeys From Heartbreak To Healing Through Honesty and Humor” (Dancing Moon Press). The book (with all proceeds going to Rotary International) is available at JC Market in Newport and directly from Bobbie, who can be contacted at [email protected]


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