The Finley Files have returned and this week the column offers up some friendly advice to those of you thinking about going camping before summer is over….
By Duane Finley — Staff Writer
It was a great worry of mine that the faithful readers of The Nerdcore Movement had come to believe I had been lost to the fates! Yet, fret not my dear friends. I assure you I am alive, and by all measurable accounts just a bit less sane than the last time we chatted.
Three weeks ago I debuted my new weekly column at TNCM titled “The Finley Files” where I promised to hold your hand through all things obscure on the road ahead. With the HBO hit series “The Leftovers” having lured me further down the rabbit hole with a mysterious package and a burner phone filled with cryptic messages, I figured it to be a great place for us to begin our journey together. I mean…with all of the strange things happening and random parcels arriving at my doorsteps, at the very least I figured this column to be a great way to stay visible.
When outside forces are looming, it is very a bad idea to make as many people as possible aware of what you may have gotten yourself into. That was my idea anyway, and something to keep in mind as we roll further down this path together.
While I would love to report my two week absence has been as the result of a kidnapping at the hands of the chain-smoking Guilty Remnant from the T.V. show, unfortunately my brief hiatus had more to do with a hectic schedule in my regular writing field and what I discovered to me a damn near medieval back procedure called a rhizotomy. Hindsight is a always 20/20 and shame on me for not appreciating the information sourcing power of Google.
That said, after a few rods in the spine and some crying in the corner, I am back to share my rambling thoughts with you wonderful outcasts and there are few things I’ve been more excited to do as of late. And while I would love to report more curious adventures from “The Leftovers” things have been quiet…the burner phone silent…in the lead up to this season finale this Sunday night. I’m sure there will be something come through—perhaps another mid-80’s board game delivered to my door—but until that happens we are going to take our time together in another direction.
Since we are just getting to know one another, I believe it’s important to share some information about myself and we can start with the common misconception that I am a paranoid individual. My lovely wife certainly believes this to be the case and my inner-circle of goons all like to hand out a ribbing here and there as those closest to me think I’m a bit on edge when it comes to what may or may not be happening in the world around me. “Oh contraire,” I say (looking out the window and locking the back door to the house,) I am not paranoid but a man prepared for anything and everything that could happen.
Where some may feel my readiness is wasted energy, I am a firm believer in the adage “it’s better to be safe than sorry.” It’s a simple fact in life that most awful things that happen to human beings are not random and can only take place out of the watchful eyes of others. Bad people need cover to do terrible things to someone and there is no place that proves my personal theory more than watching the Investigation Discovery Channel.
For anyone unfamiliar with I.D. it is a veritable cornucopia of “True Crime” programming. Where Dateline and Unsolved Mysteries sparked the genre many years ago, I.D. has taken it to the next level by creating a versatile programming schedule based entirely around personal tragedies. For example: If you live in the South and are used to that particular brand of life only that region could provide then “Swamp Murders” and “Southern Fried Homicide” are the shows you need to watch. Yet, if Cajun criminality isn’t your thing and you are the nosy neighbor type then programs like “Nightmare Next Door” and “Unusual Suspects” would be right up your alley.
With my affinity for all things in the True Crime genre, I’ve given 90 percent of their viewing options at least a test run and I have been pleasantly surprised with their ability to provide consistency. Nevertheless, the I.D. channel’s arsenal isn’t what I have come here to discuss with you fine folks today. Rather, I want to point out some of the things I’ve learned whilst being down for the past two weeks in recovery.
First and foremost, the main thing I’ve decided to make personal rule never to be broken is to NEVER GO INTO THE WOODS…EVER! Now, I can already here the folks chiming in with, “I go camping all the time and I never have issues,” and “I spent my entire childhood playing in the woods with my friends.” To either of these responses I will say you are fortunate to be alive and should certainly tread lightly going forward.
While the premise may seem a bit whimsical, I cannot stress enough that going into the woods is a terrible mistake. Don’t believe me? Watch about two hours of any show on I.D. and I promise that you will see either something terrible happening to a person while they were in the woods or the timberlands being the place their corpses were eventually dumped. Is it a macabre topic? Absolutely it is…but I feel it is only right to extend this warning to the faithful readers of this site.
As I stated above: People can only do terrible things when no one is watching and what better place to unleash evil than the woods? Also…let’s not mistake my ramblings on this topic as being a weird offshoot from watching too many 80’s horror movies. Rest assured I’ve watched more than what most would consider a safe amount of viewing time and those campy slasher flicks have nothing to do with my feelings on this topic.
As a matter of fact, a machete-carrying, hockey masked monster should be the least of anyone’s worries should they find themselves in the woods. Boozed up territorial hillbillies and drifters present far more danger and you are far more likely to encounter these threats than a formerly drowned camper Hellbent on vengeance ruining your day. It’s just my personal opinion, but “Deliverance” was far more terrifying than any of the “Friday the 13th” movies.
Even if you do manage to stroll through the woods and escape running into a wild-eyed killer, there is still a likelihood you will stumble onto a corpse somewhere along the way. With murder rates at all-time highs across the United States, killers need somewhere to dump bodies and “in the woods” has always been a go to in that regard. Trash cans and dumpsters leave traceable evidence and discarding the remains of a victim in a wooded area gives the criminal a solid head start on the forensic team.
Therefore, even if you don’t get clipped on your trip, discovering a dismembered corpse is still enough to do some significant damage to your personal psyche. There are few things worse than stumbling upon something that awful and getting those images out of your mind would take years of therapy. Personally, I once thought I had stumbled onto a dead body while working in Newark, New Jersey, but fortunately it ended up being a grown man who had decided to sleep in an area covered with tall grass at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.
Yet, before I get too far into my crazy ramblings on this topic, I will bring it to a close for now. My care and concern isn’t coming from a “preachy” place, more of a warning to the good people who read this site. If you still don’t believe me think of the movie “The Town that Dreaded Sundown.” While the film took liberties with its storytelling, it is based around an actual series of murders that took place in Texarkana in the mid-1940’s.
While none of the people who were murdered were out randomly roaming in the woods, they were all parked out on a “Lover’s Lane,” and out of plain view from the rest of society, which allowed horrible things to happen to them at the hands of a psychopath. What made matters worse, is despite the first two murders being public knowledge, people continued to put themselves in a position to become victims, and this is the perfect place to bring this week’s column to a close.
The world is a wonderful place filled with wonderful things to experience and eat up, but the evil that men do is nothing to ignore. Bad shit happens to people when they abandon situational awareness for the sudden urge to go on a nature hike or a mountain biking trip for a change of scenery. I’d say dead is a drastic change of scenery if you ask me…but why should you listen to me?
I’m just a guy who has been watching far too much I.D. Channel and waiting by this burner phone for more cryptic messages to come through about a fictional show where 2 percent of the world’s population suddenly vanish. That said, I’m also a guy who appreciates common sense and feels obligated to forewarn the fine people of TNCM to stay out of the woods and keep their lives intact. I say this because I care.
Now excuse me I have to go. I just noticed that my widowed neighbor is digging in her backyard again.