David Fitzsimmons: A vat of Purell couldn't cleanse dirty feeling from watching Arias trial

2013-05-25T00:00:00Z 2014-07-02T10:49:18Z David Fitzsimmons: A vat of Purell couldn't cleanse dirty feeling from watching Arias trialDavid Fitzsimmons Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The trash news media swooped down from the sky and like turkey vultures feeding on a flattened jack rabbit on an Arizona back road they nibbled on the Jodi Arias trial for months. The Arias trial was spiced with a tasty savage murder, sex, betrayal, sex, jealousy, sex, lies, and did I mention sex?

Nancy Grace and her graceless winged clones were all over it, plucking away at the carrion, dissecting it bite by tiny bite. We all cruised past to gawk and then sped up. Some of us turned around and went for a second or third look.

For those out of the loop (people with lives) Travis Alexander was a businessman, a motivational speaker and a player. Waitress Jodi, his former playmate, stabbed him, shot him and slit his throat. I've met a lot of motivational speakers. Not even a motivational speaker deserves that fate.

They had a torrid affair that thrilled writers because it's not often you get to use the word "torrid" in a sentence outside of a Mickey Spillane paperback. The word "lurid" enjoyed a revival too.

She claimed she was the victim; an abused woman defending herself from a surly ex. Her story sounded like every Taylor Swift song I'd ever heard. I wonder what Adele tune went through her head as the bullet went through his.

When the trial was broadcast, I ignored it. I was not glued to the set for the grisly crime scene pictures. I was not transfixed when she took the stand. I paid no attention to the detailed descriptions of their intimate life. OK, I'm lying. I did pay attention to that part. A lot. I memorized every lurid courtroom exchange. Sometimes there's no better word than lurid.

I learned so much about how to spice a relationship from those frisky Phoenicians I canceled my subscription to Cosmopolitan.

What the trash news media held up to the world higher than O.J.'s glove had such a nose-pinching tabloid stink I was waiting for the Weekly World's Bat Boy to confess he murdered Jodi's boyfriend. And this exclusive just in: Arias abducted by alien reporters.

Jurors got the case last week after hearing both sides of her story from CNN. They found Arias guilty of murder and I found myself guilty of wasting time when I should have been watching PBS, walking outside or reading to my children.

Now it was time for the jury to go back to work and decide whether Jodi would live out her life in prison or die on the table in Florence. She begged the jury to give her life in prison, claiming she would use her time there to accomplish numerous life goals. If they spared her she would open a Gap Store in the prison commissary, help O.J. find Nicole's real killer, and donate her hair to Nancy Grace. She'd establish a prison recycling program (or what is commonly referred to as "parole"). Holding up a shirt in the courtroom she vowed she would design and market shabby "Take a stab at rehab" T-shirts to raise money for male victims of domestic abuse at the hands of waitresses packing heat. Maybe one day she'd even run a book club. Count me in if the first book she wants to read and discuss is Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood."

It worked. The jurors couldn't agree, a mistrial was declared and the penalty phase will be tried again in front of a fresh dozen. Over in the trash media tent they popped the champagne corks because Law & Disorder just got renewed for another season.

I'm happy someone on that jury couldn't stomach state-sanctioned murder. I like to talk tough about the death penalty, but I could never throw the switch, fire the rifle or release the trapdoor. I could unleash the sharks and cover my eyes. That I could do.

In some ways life in a steel cage is a worse fate. I've spoken at jails and prisons. There's no place more horrifying. I've seen the food. I'd rather die than live out my life in any slammer. Maybe it's because I can't live without throw rugs, decorator pillows and pleasant conversation.

I favor cryogenic freezing in place of execution. Let some future generation thaw out our damaged-in-shipping sociopaths and rehabilitate them with some awesome magical biotechnology. The only snag I see is global warming. One hot day and you have a stickier mess than Gitmo.

Just writing about the Arias trial I feel dirty. I went through two bottles of Purell hand sanitizer just to keep the moral decay off our TV remote and I soaked my soul in Pine-Sol. Now I have to spray Lysol on my keyboard.

I am so done with this kind of seedy, disturbing garbage. At least until the George Zimmerman trial starts.

Email Star cartoonist and columnist David Fitzsimmons at tooner@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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