by Varda Epstein
A 37-year-old mother of three has been arrested and held without bail after smashing 36 televisions in quick succession in Sears’ television department.
When questioned, Natalie “Spike” Connors, of Whynot, Mississippi, said she was sleep deprived at the time the crime occurred. “My youngest is cutting a tooth, my 4-year-old has an ear infection, and the 8-year-old walks in his sleep. Frankly, I’m exhausted.”
Connors was wheeling a triple stroller through the large department store, hoping the kids would be lulled to sleep so she could sit and rest for a moment. But they just whined and cried. Then Connors saw what looked like a light in the tunnel: a television department in which every television on display was playing Bob the Builder.
Hoping the kids would be quietly mesmerized, Connors began wheeling the children through the aisles. “I was so tired, I felt kind of shaky, but when you’re a mother, you have to keep going,” she said. “All I wanted was a couple minutes of quiet, you know?”
Connors’ hopes were dashed when all 36 television sets paused for station identification at the same time. That’s when things suddenly went very wrong, and Connors ran afoul of the law. “It was that damned Kars4Kids jingle. It was bad enough when it would come on the car radio with those kids who can’t sing saying, ‘1-877-Kars4Kids, do-NATE your car today.’
“I mean, it is all I can do to sit in rush hour traffic with that stupid song blaring in my ears and the kids singing along because what do they know about music, which that jingle definitely is NOT. But there in that television department, there were 36 televisions playing the jingle all at once and I’m sorry. I just lost it. I simply couldn’t hold it together any longer.”
Connors describes the next few minutes as being a kind of wild blur. “I remember reaching into my purse, looking for something, anything, to stop the noise, stop the jingle. I must have grabbed my window spike; you know, the thing you use to smash open a car window in case of emergency?
“It was the only thing I had in there sharp enough to do any damage. All I knew was I had to stop that horrible ear worm.”
Stop it she did, smashing some $15,000 worth of merchandise and raining shards of glass over customers and store alike in addition to shorting the electricity to the entire Whynot Sears store. “It was like I was possessed. It will be no lie to plead insanity. Any mother would have done the same. That jingle’s just awful. It was smash the TVs or slit my throat.”
Connors is being held without bail, pending an examination by a team of court-appointed psychiatrists and experts. Her children have been taken into custody as wards of the state. “I don’t mind so much,” she said. “At least I can finally get some sleep here in jail. And there’s no jingle!” said Connors, pointedly.
Mr. Connors declined to give a statement, saying only that he supports his wife fully, having once poured a bottle of vodka into his ear (Grey Goose) on hearing the jingle for the 50th time during a single weekend. “It would have been bleach, but I didn’t have any handy, driving like that. Luckily, I had my flask.
“Anyone would do anything to stop that jingle from entering the ear canals. I don’t blame my wife a bit, even if we did lose the kids. Just don’t know how we’ll pay for all those TVs.”
A representative of Kars4Kids, who declined to give her name, said, “Yeah. Everyone hates the jingle. But we are never pulling it ever. We want it to stick in your mind like the psychedelic aftermath of a bad acid trip. So tough tootsies.”
About the Author
Varda Meyers Epstein is a sleep-deprived mother of 12 (yes, really), who sings (but not jingles) to release tension. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.