400 Lightbulbs

Charles “Choo Choo” Justice built Ohio’s on­ly elec­tric chair at the turn of the last cen­tu­ry, a bright ma­chine of sea­soned hick­o­ry, stiff leather and the gun­metal smell of fear. Unlucky thir­teen years lat­er he was ex­e­cut­ed in the same chair. Here lies Chuck Justice, killed by irony. The best way to per­form a hu­mane ex­e­cu­tion dur­ing the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry was no longer some­thing with such an hon­or­able pedi­gree as be­ing hanged by the neck un­til dead; tech­nol­o­gy im­proves every­thing, and some­one had a bright idea. What if, and try to stay with me here… What if you strap a felon in­to a chair, se­cure his arms, head and legs with broad straps, place an elec­trode on his tem­ple and an­oth­er on his leg and then send 400 light­bulbs in one ear and out the oth­er? We can zap him again and cook him up to one hun­dred and thir­ty eight de­grees Fahrenheit, just to make sure. Now that’s pro­gress, and as easy as flip­ping on a lightswitch. So easy, in fact, that a record sev­en men in Kentucky rode the light­ning one evening be­fore the stock mar­ket crashed. That sev­en­th son, sat in a chair still steam­ing from the six­th and smelled what seemed to be fried chick­en of all things. Some last meal. The ef­fects of elec­tro­cu­tion are neg­li­gi­ble. Some burned, ooz­ing skin, a pud­dle of urine on the floor, shit­filled pants. Just af­ter World War Two, Willie Francis was electrocuted,and sur­vived. Although lawyers ar­gued that Francis had al­ready been ex­e­cut­ed, he re­turned to the hot seat a year lat­er and did his job right this time. Contrary to pop­u­lar be­lief, the elec­tric chair was not in­vent­ed by Thomas Alva Edison, but by one of his as­sis­tants. Louie the Lightning Bug says: “Remember gang, you’ve got to play it safe around elec­tric­i­ty.

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