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I used to use a specific piece of grisly imagery when cautioning people I knew about ruthless people: Somebody finding your bones somehow.   “Don’t hang around with those guys or one day your girlfriend will find your bones stacked in the shower.”  “If you try hitchhiking then the cops will find your bones in a hole someday.”  “….. find your bones laid out on the kitchen table.”  You get the idea.

It’s something I read in a book as a boy and it stuck in my head as a young man during my time in East Vancouver.  In the beer parlours you’d rub shoulders with a few petty criminals you knew and the occasional not-so-petty criminal too.  I suppose that in rough neighbourhoods, rough characters are over-represented.  Pickton the pig farmer was on the news,  I was a pretty tasteless guy and it seemed like a colourful way of tapping into part of the area’s collective angst and add a little colour when warning a friend against doing something stupid.

Imagine my surprise, a few weeks ago, when I was listening to a story on the radio about environmentalists fighting against illegal logging in Peru and Brazil:  A group was hiking through the jungle and became divided into two groups:  The stronger hikers and the stragglers.  The story went that the strong group figured they were getting too far ahead and stopped to let the others catch up.  They eventually became impatient and decided to backtrack….only to find the bones of (presumably) their freshly butchered colleagues on the trail.


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