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Blister Pack Bursts Birthday Bubble

MUDCAT FALLS -- A Riverview Heights birthday party ended in tragedy this past weekend when one party guest was killed and two others were injured during a present opening incident that is under investigation by authorities.

Friends and family had gathered to celebrate Merle Perkle III's forty-second birthday, when witnesses say the family patriarch was overcome with frustration as he struggled to open his new Abu Garcia Model 275U spin casting reel from its thermoformed clamshell packaging. Grabbing a Rapala fish filleting knife he had just received from his daughter Priscilla, Perkle began slashing indiscriminately at the package, cutting the carotid artery of his mother-in-law, Clementine Culpepper, in the process. Culpepper was later pronounced dead at the Calabash County General Hospital.

Sadly, the victims also included the family cat, Chuckles, who, due to his over weight condition, was slain when unable to escape the living room during the frenzied slashing and hacking, as well as Mrs. Perkle's father and brother, who sustained some rather nasty cuts and scratches in the melee.

Although Perkle proclaimed his innocence, he was taken into custody by Sheriff's deputies and is being held without bail at the Calabash County Jail.

"Well, he did kill off his mother-in-law and nearly wiped out all the rest of his wife's family," said Calabash County District Attorney Jack Meddlemeister. "If that isn't motive enough, we've also come to learn from neighbors that he really hated that cat."

While prosecutors weigh what charges to file, PETA released a statement vowing to spare no quarter in bringing Chuckles's murderer to justice.

"Actually, I think we have a pretty good case," said Perkle's defense attorney, Steve Dallas. "This is not an isolated incident and I didn't see any warning label on that item. The plastics packaging industry has been foisting their own sadistic brand of mental anguish on consumers for far too long. I smell a wrongful death suit in the air -- with class action potential."



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