A man fell into a wood chipper in southern California last week. According to the news story, another worker noticed that he was missing. That’s it, missing. No blood-curdling screams. No human limbs dancing around in the maw of the machine like a fork in a garbage disposal. The man was simply gone. The chipper was apparently very quick, not to mention very hungry.
I really shouldn’t make light of this tragedy. The victim was probably a decent, hard-working guy who could only be faulted for losing his balance at the worst possible moment. He surely did not deserve this fate. If only the same could be said for all of humanity.
This is not an endorsement for capital punishment. Far too often, we kill the guy who we think has committed the crime rather than the one who actually did. This bothers me far more than whether a particular method of execution is humane. When you think about it, there really is no nice way to take someone’s life.
If we as a society are going to sentence people to death, we should resign ourselves to the fact that whatever method we use will be both cruel (judging from the low morale of the condemned) and unusual (we’re not killing everybody). Execution is a nasty business, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.
That’s where the Dip ‘n’ Chip™ comes in. Easily assembled by placing a carnival dunking booth over a large wood chipper, this innovation in capital-punishment technology will leave the competition exhausting their appeals. The red mist billowing into the exercise yard from the death house provides an even more effective deterrent to other inmates than those dimming lights from the bygone days of Ol’ Sparky. Victims’ families, long relegated to the role of spectators, can now be active participants as they are handed softballs to throw and encouraged to “win one for the chipper.”