Stalking the Dark Lady: An Investigative Journalist's Tale

“What about all those houses across the street?”

“The one on the end?  Mother Jones,” she said.  “Next door to that?  Harper's.  And then Le Monde.  And then some fella from Hollywood who says he's writing a miniseries about her.  And at the other end of the block, this nice German boy who writes for a newspaper which I think is called Der Spiegel.  I'm afraid they all got here ahead of you, darlin'!  In fact, the boy from Der Spiegel came over to our place for dinner last night.  He was especially interested to hear about Sarah's collection of Nazi memorabilia, which is the most extensive this side of the Mississippi.  You know, of course, that she and Todd used to hold parties where they dressed up as Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun, sang the 'Horst Wessel Song' in German -- she's really much better in foreign languages than she lets on -- and encouraged their children to laugh it up over films of the death camps?  And that's just scratching the surface, I'm sorry to say.”

“Oh God,” I said.  “This is amazing stuff!  Everything you're telling me just confirms that I absolutely have to write about this!  It's urgent!  I've got to get to the bottom of this story!  My career -- I mean, the future of the republic -- depends on it!”

“Sweetie, believe me, I hear you.  Nobody understands what you're after better than I do.  We're talking about a woman who used to go down to the hospital and pull out the plugs of folks on life support -- and on the way out, she'd stop at the maternity ward and stick razors in the newborns' diapers and spray mosquito repellent in their eyes.  Poor little innocents!”

“That reminds me,” I interrupted.  “Is it true that she's not really Trig's mother?”

Silence.  The real-estate lady cleared her throat.  Then she said, her tone decidedly cooler: “Come on now, son.  Let's not be ridiculous.”

(Photo of the Palins by Steve Broer / Shutterstock also source of venetian blinds image)