Lobster Boy


The living room of the trailer was unairconditioned and smelled of stale cigarettes, whiskey, and death.

Four locutions are exceedingly popular among a certain group of well-educated, highly self-conscious people. One involves the use of the word 'about.' Things are never said to be about something; they are always said to be not about something. People say, for instance, 'This isn't about your parents.' What it is about, on the other hand, is never said, without the risk of acute embarrasrment. To say exactly what something is about suggests and inability to entertain contradiction.

When Detective Willette entered, he noticed the grotesque body of Grady Stiles, Jr., slumped over in a large armchair. His head and face were covered in fresh blood. His massive upper torso supported him from falling and hid his arms from view. Willette put his age at between fifty-five and sixty-five. All the dead carny wore was a pair of plain briefs.

"The victim has no legs," the investigator noted in his report.

Finishing up his examination of the murder scene, Willette signaled the coroner to remove the body. As the body was loaded on to the stretcher and taken outside to be driven to the medical examiner's office, he noted something else. Not only were the man's legs stunted with pointed extremities in place of feet, but his hands appeared claw-like, with what might have been fingers deformed into two large digits apiece.

He'd awed thousands of people by sporting his grotesque deformity at sideshows across the nation as Lobster Boy - Half Man, Half Monster.

from Lobster Boy: The Bizarre Life and Brutal Death of Grady Stiles Jr. by Fred Rosen