I recently devised a test to tell if one's spouse is a serial killer.
This happened entirely by accident. To give you some background, my husband and I were married in May. We've been pretty happy together so far, but ever since the wedding there has been a question floating around in the back of my mind--the very same haunting, nagging doubt that haunts all women who are both married and overenthusiastic consumers of TV shows like CSI and Law and Order.
Namely, is my husband sneaking out at night to brutally murder people--most likely in a way that will result in a heart-pounding season finale in which at least one team member is killed in the final stand-off?
Now, I was reasonably confident that my husband--who we shall call Technomancer for the purposes of this blog, due to his preternatural computer skills--was not a serial killer. He spends most of his time working or playing video games, and he isn't terribly fond of strenuous physical activity, so things like chasing victims down and dumping bodies would probably be out of the question.
Yet I couldn't help but notice that he has some unsettling habits. He occasionally ponders out loud the possibility of science someday conclusively disproving the existence of the human soul. Sometimes he starts singing to himself in a creepy, high-pitched cartoon character voice for no reason at all. Besides, how many times has television warned us that it's always the quiet, unassuming secondary character who turns out to be the culprit?
Unfortunately there is no clear-cut test for determining whether the man you're married to is responsible for one or more of the bodies in the local morgue. A few weeks ago, however, a random sequence of events propelled me closer to certainty. I'm happy to say that Technomancer is almost certainly not a serial killer.
Here's what to do, in simple step-by-step form:
1. Get some nice sharp knives for a wedding present.
2. Have some potatoes you need to cut up.
3. Realize that all the knives most appropriate for cutting potatoes are dirty.
4. Don't bother to clean them because you hate housework.
5. Use a knife that isn't really intended for potato cutting instead.
6. While cutting potatoes with the inappropriate knife, fumble and badly cut yourself by accident. (note the underlined words--they are a very important part of this step. Even if you're doing it purely for research, it's kind of dangerous and messed-up and weird to cut yourself on purpose.)
7. Realize you can't stop the bleeding on your own and call your husband for help.
8. Watch his reaction.
If he seems pleased by or overly interested in your predicament--well, I hope you didn't plant any flowers or trees you care about in your backyard, because the FBI's coming to dig it up soon.
If he blows you off and won't help you at all--he may or may not be a serial killer, but he's certainly an asshat. Either way, you're probably better off without him.
If he gets the bleeding under control quickly, calmly and efficiently--probably not a serial killer, though people who are perfectly calm in a crisis like that are always a bit creepy.
If he tries his best to help you, but is having a hard time of it because he can't look at your gushing wound for more than ten seconds without puking--not a serial killer.
Technomancer's reaction most closely fit the fourth option. He was twice as freaked out as I was; I seriously thought he was going to faint. My bandage was all crooked and lumpy-looking because he was staring at the ceiling the whole time he wrapped and tied it. No way that man would ever go through with stabbing a hooker or eating a kid's heart. If your man's response is in any way similar to his, you're in the clear.
Just be warned that this test has a margin of error. I was feeling pretty good about myself until Technomancer pointed out that he could be the kind of serial killer who poisons people.
Good thing I'm always the one who cooks dinner.