Monday, August 25, 2008

Aggravated Menace 2 Second Life Society

Holy Prepuce! seems to have taken a sober turn of late, which was never my intention. Just as I was preparing to subject the readership to more of the same (in this case a response to Linda Hirschman's Slate op-ed on reclaiming the morality of abortion in the Democratic platform), the Internets coughed up this thing of beauty.

The arrest of 33-year-old Kimberly Jernigan for attempted kidnapping, burglary, and "aggravated menacing" brought my original conception of Holy Prepuce! back to light. And that conception was to provide an outlet by which you, the reader, could gain insight into the astonishing range of expression given by fellow citizens to what Justice O'Connor once described as "the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life."

Jernigan's recent journey into the mystery of existence began when she met a 52 year old Delaware man in the virtual universe of Second Life. This being Second Life, naturally the gentleman did not manifest himself in middle aged, mid-Atlantic human form, but rather as a lion. Based on my limited exposure to Second Life, day-to-day existence consists principally of participants selling each other virtual jewelry, then furiously bonking on "SexGen beds" during global warming seminars at virtual ski lodges. So it should come as no surprise that Jernigan and her leonine acquaintance soon commenced a romantic--and sexual--online relationship.

All was well and good until the couple agreed to meet in the real world ("First Life"?) and the flesh-and-blood Jernigan proved not to the King of Beasts' taste. Not a woman who gives up easily, Jernigan hatched an ingenious plan: she would kidnap her ex-lover, teach him the error of his ways, and start a new life with him "out West." For reasons not made clear in news accounts, Jernigan's initial attempt to abduct her ex at gunpoint from his Pennsylvania workplace proved unsuccessful. Her second attempt, which involved posing as a local postal worker, also failed. (Media accounts differ as to whether Jernigan is legitimately employed as a postal worker in her native Durham, North Carolina.)

Events came to a head on August 21st, when the former beau returned home from work and was startled to find a laser sight illuminating his chest. By the time police arrived, Jernigan had fled, leaving behind a pair of handcuffs, a roll of duct tape, and an adorable Corgi mix named Gogi, whose snout Jernigan had unceremoniously duct-taped shut. Borrowing a page from Jack Ruby's playbook, Jernigan had apparently brought the dog to the scene of the crime, then improvised after she realized his barking might foil the plot.

An all-points bulletin went out for Jernigan's 2008 Kia Rio, which Maryland state troopers eventually spotted at I-95's Chesapeake House rest stop. A BB gun and laser-sight-equipped Taser were recovered from the vehicle, and Jernigan was arrested following the classic "brief struggle."

My delight at these events is of course marred by concern for Gogi, who had the misfortune to be caught up in humiliating circumstances far beyond his understanding. (Fortunately the Delaware SPCA reports that Gogi is none the worse for wear following his ordeal, and is no doubt available free to a good home.) But Jernigan's saga revisits many beloved Holy Prepuce! themes, of which I had lost sight during this recent political bent:
On this last point, may I just add that while I applaud the technical achievement, whichever animator programed Second Life to allow human/lion sexual intercourse really needs a different hobby.

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