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Tupperware Death Shocks Quiet Neighborhood
MUDCAT FALLS -- In the quiet Heights neighborhood of the city, families are searching their souls and cupboards for answers to the inexplicable violence that erupted and resulted in the death of a forty-two year old mother of three, Edith Pickles-Smythe, at the hands of her younger sister, Sissy Pickles-Parsons. Pickles-Smythe, who had been missing since a planned overnight shopping junket to the Outlet Mall at Pistol Creek Junction last month, was discovered at breakfast time today, dismembered with body parts sorted into forty-three separate plastic storage containers, each labeled anatomically, dated and carefully placed in the basement freezer of Pickles-Parsons' Riverview Avenue home.
"I'll never be able to get the image out of my head of Edith's face pressed against the green translucent plastic bowl in some kind of cruel, mocking grin," said Pickles-Parsons' husband, Peter. "I just went down to get another package of Jimmy Dean's out of the freezer for the hotcakes Sissy was whipping up when I found her."
Neighbors expressed shock and surprise at the horror that had occurred right under their noses in this tidy suburb. "They had a swing set, a spaniel and a sport utility vehicle," explained Hillary Hickums, who lived across the street from the Parson's home. "And to think that her casseroles were always the most popular dish at the annual summer block party . . . " Hickums was unable to continue and had to excuse herself.
Pickles-Parsons' court-appointed attorney, Steve Dallas, explained that relations between the sisters had been tense for many years, a circumstance that is being attributed to an on-going dispute over poached recipes and un-returned kitchenware, including numerous items of Tupperware that Pickles-Smythe purportedly kept after taking home last year's Thanksgiving leftovers. He indicated that his legal team would explore a "diminished capacity" defense.
Dallas had no direct comment on reports that a grocery receipt dated yesterday for fava beans and Chianti had been found tucked into the Pickles-Parsons family checkbook, but noted, "such a finding would obviously be consistent with a troubled woman who was clearly not in command of her faculties. Certainly this society's obsession with personalities such as Hannibal Lector and the adverse effect on innocently unbalanced minds, have to be fully and diligently explored in the service of my client."
Sheriff Atticus W. Moosejowl declared the death of Pickles-Smythe the most gruesome crime he had ever experienced in his twenty-five year law enforcement career. "I ain't seen nothing like it since Nam. Half my deputies blew chow at the sight of it."
Mudcat Falls Community College Adjunct Professor of Psychology, Gunther Uberflassen, advised that parents must not hesitate to assist their children in helping them understand and deal with this tragedy, so that they do not develop irrational and potentially harmful fears of breakfast meals, kitchens, plastic storage containers and leftovers, which might haunt them in later life. Professor Uberflassen noted that he has offered to deploy his PSYCH101 students to the classrooms of the Calabash County Unified School District to offer their social science expertise in this time of crisis. He further urged restraint on the part of the media out of respect and sensitivity for the community's youngest citizens. All MFCC students who participate in Uberflassen's field trip exercise will earn extra credit.
Although a cause of death has yet to be determined, County Medical Examiner, Dr. E. Bob Billingsworth, found the body parts of Pickles-Smythe remarkably well preserved, which was a big help in reassembling the corpse for the autopsy. He noted, "I guess that Tupperware stuff really does the job."
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