The Case of the Savage Spam

Dad and I spend almost every weekday morning watching episodes of Perry Mason and marvel at the clothes, cars, cigarettes, booze, furnishings, vocabulary (peculations anyone?) and of course, convoluted plots of murder and well, peculations.

One of the regularly occurring plots is the callow and conniving younger male relative who masterminds a murder of a rich older (male or female) ornery relative to cash in on the inheritance.

Okay, here’s my idea for a Perry Mason: a greedy layabout and step son caring for his rich,arrogant invalid uncle wants the geezer to croak so he can raid the bank account before the will goes to probate. The geezer is on a strict diet but craves only one food, Spam, a staple from his days in the Army and mucking about in the jungles overthrowing various elected socialist governments.

His doctor has forbidden the geezer to eat Spam. The step son decided he can’t wait for the old timer to die so he starts feeding him Spam three times a day, in eggs, sandwiches, in mac and cheeses, on pizza, whatever. Two months later the geezer kicks the bucket and the coroner rules it a heart attach. But his long lost daughter who lives in a far flung city comes for the funeral and notices all the Spam cans in the garbage. She calls Perry Mason, the geezer’s lawyer, and he investigates, and well, Paul and Della get into action, as does, Burger and Tragg, who don’t think there’s any reason to suspect the step son. In one scene, Perry takes them all to a fancy restaurant for dinner, and the waiter serve them slices of Spam with sprigs of sage on a white plate. They look on with utter horror and Perry dares Burger and Tragg to try it. They do…gag, wash down the vile taste with a triple scotch and…

Okay, it’s all a little rough. But the idea came to me when I was sizzling up some Spam for Dad the other day because he requested it. I thought: Jesus, I am killing him by serving this shit! It’s murder.

But he made it to 90, so he gets to eat what he wants dammit!