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April 15, 2024


By Charlie Brice


Remember the electric chair,
the odor of rancid barbeque
in the death chamber,
doc in braces and fedora
fanning smoke away
before placing the stethoscope
on the poor sod's chest,
the buzzing and dimming of lights
all through the prison,
down neighborhood streets,
then the cooling period
before the undertaker,
wet cigar lodged between lips,
unstraps the luckless miscreant
from the grip of Old Sparky?
Remember? Ah,
those were the days!

Now they wheel the condemned
into a room that looks like
the office of a doctor who couldn't
decide on gynecology or Scientology
as a career. They strap the doomed
down and take an alcohol swab
to his arm before inserting
a needle to start a saline IV.

Let us pause here.

They take an alcohol swab
to a condemned man's arm
because? Because they're afraid
he might suffer an infection
in the last ten seconds of his life?
And what about the IV drip?
Installed to prevent dehydration?
The guy who needed that
was the one with electric current
coursing through his veins.
The prisoner is then given
a drug that puts him to sleep,
another that stops his breathing,
and finally one that stops his heart.

Where's the drama?
Are we at the vet's here?

This whole megillah is so PC.
Next thing you know,
they'll have to give the poor bloke
a trigger warning:
When the man in the hood
inserts a needle into your arm
you may experience anxiety
should it be your execution.

I say, bring back beheading.
What could be safer, cheaper,
and render the condemned
deader? There's only a millisecond
of pain, no one needs to swab anything
(except the gory aftermath),
and the money saved on medical
equipment would be substantial.

Or, of course, we could do away
with the death penalty altogether.
But where would be the fun in that?

Article © Charlie Brice. All rights reserved.
Published on 2019-11-04
Image(s) © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
1 Reader Comments
11:43:52 PM
I've always thought that getting my head chopped off would be the best way to be executed. Funny poem.
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