To date, what should be the most infamous death in San Francisco (certainly, the circumstances surrounding it are the most godawful) is that of the late, lamented Lynne Spalding. How does a good, blooming, hearty Englishwoman die so shabbily at the hands of those to whom we all of us as a matter of course entrust our lives? Two weeks in a godforsaken stairwell, unfrequented even by quotidian rounds of security guards I had expected our tax dollars hired. I hope her family musters all the umbrage blood loyalty and national chauvinism will allow, and that they sue the pants off of the attending physician, nurses, and the county hospital's (in this case) arm's-length benefactors. She was slandered in the Chronicle article, for crying out loud! That article gratuitously mentioned that she sought treatment for a urinary tract infection (shit-talking if I've ever heard it.) My mother recently pointed out also that issue had been made of the good woman's tippling (a forgivable and culturally specific indulgence -- and by the way, do we not inhabit a three-sheets-to-the-wind city?)
Something dreadful and, not to her but to us, shameful is at work in this case. Offensive enough is San Francisco's miserable track record at solving homicides. This case, though, is an especial affront -- tragedy plus insult. My heart weeps for Ms. Spalding and her I hope soon-to-be-avenged family. Here's a prayer that her bereaved survivors come here from jolly old England with lawyers in tow and packing enough inconvenient questions to make my sordid little hometown pop like a full tick. Godspeed, Spaldings, godspeed.