“Stop!” I yelled.
She hit the Pause button on the TiVo. “What?” We were watching a documentary on a rape and murder in a Bible Belt state. I’d asked her to freeze the picture on a man talking to camera.
“His name, it’s hilarious.”
“I don’t get it. Explain.”
“Randy Wood. He sounds like a porn star. I know you understand the ‘Wood’ bit, because that’s American slang for erection. ‘Randy’ in Britain means horny. So to a Brit this guy’s name means ‘Horny Erection’.”
“Yeah, I see that. God, that is funny.”
“You know on my website I have a section of words in foreign languages which are offensive in English, as well as English words which can be offensive in other tongues. This guy’s photo is going on it.” I tooka photo and we resumed our viewing. (Click to see unintentional foreign humour.)
Then we found that — although Randy Wood took part in an horrific crime when a drunken teenager — he’s an honourable man. He helped the prosecution build a tight case against the instigator, who brutally murdered a former girlfriend of Randy’s. Even the chief prosecutor and the victim’s family urged him not to go down a particular legal route, and to take a plea bargain instead. But Randy did it because he had a strong sense of wrong and right. As a result, he’s in jail without parole for forty years. Had the murder taken place just yards away, in his home state of Oklahoma (thanks for the correction, Mo), he’d perhaps be serving ten. But it took place in Texas — the one state that can make Mississippi’s justice system look liberal by comparison. For more information: read this.