Even Shakespeare can’t help make ‘CSI: Ashland’ easier to swallow

image As you might’ve noticed, police dramas involving any type of forensic investigation are extremely popular. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this type of crime show because you only watch “reality-based shows” like Amish Mafia, it’s when old-fashioned detective work — in combination with high-tech science — is conducted by really attractive people who would otherwise be getting into water balloon fights at the Playboy Mansion. This formula has proven so popular that every major network now carries at least one of these shows (Not counting The WB, which cancelled its plans for CSI: Pennsylvania after test audiences complained that watching Quaker detectives chase villains in pony carts was “really boring.”)

In spite of this, talks are continuing about a new spin-off from the CSI franchise that would take place in Ashland, Ore., which, in real life, is home to the world’s only forensic crime lab dedicated exclusively to cases involving wildlife.

For example: When a squirrel’s death is deemed “accidental” after attempting to retrieve a loose walnut from Interstate 5 during the city’s annual Shakespeare Festival, it takes a highly-trained forensic detective to unravel the ugly truth.

“Hmmm. Judging from this buzzard feather I found near the scene of the crime, I think the victim was PUSHED in front of that Volvo!”

I think it’s worth noting that Ashland is also home to a free-flowing fountain that spews naturally-occurring mineral water from an underground spring. Apparently, this is a huge attraction that draws tourists from throughout the world for a chance to drink this mineral-rich water. It is also a huge attraction for Ashland residents, who come to watch tourists gag and then rub dry grass in their mouths after actually tasting the water that comes from the fountain. I’m not saying that everyone thinks it tastes bad; but there’s a reason it’s not in a squeeze bottle next to the Evian.

Which brings us back to the city’s unique crime lab, and its potential as a new police drama. Although I’m not at liberty to divulge my source, I was able to get my hands on a page of script from the pilot episode — which opens with David Hasselhoff standing over a 60-foot-long indentation left in the grass by what detectives believe was a severely undernourished boa constrictor.

Hasselhoff: I want this area completely sealed off. It’s going to take a while to process this.
Coroner: What are you doing?
Hasselhoff: I’m going to sift through all 60 feet of this indention, starting here at this water faucet and all the way across the yard to the vegetable garden. I WILL find out who starved this poor snake and just left it out here to die.
Coroner: You DO understand that this was left by the garden hose after we moved it, right?
Hasselhoff: Hmmm?

As you can see, there’s plenty of potential here for some riveting television drama. Granted, it isn’t Shakespeare. But I don’t think it’ll be hard to swallow.

Unless it’s with a glass of mineral water.

Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.

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I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

42 thoughts on “Even Shakespeare can’t help make ‘CSI: Ashland’ easier to swallow”

  1. I saw the title and thought of Ashland outside of Richmond. Same difference, minus the cool fountain.

    1. In this case, being minus the cool fountain is a good thing. Unless you like water that smells like a fart. Which, by the way, was one of the slogans Evian passed on.

  2. Just the way to start my day, Ned! I’ll head off to the dentist now, my mind crawling with thoughts of very long, very skinny reptiles, and the addition of nitrous oxide will make the whole experience unforgettable, I’m sure. 🙂 Good thing my experiences with alligator wrestling have taught me that ALL reptiles are infinitely better than most people…especially if the people in question are dentists! Have a great Moon’s Day!

  3. Love Ashland, this is going to be a good one! Happily they don’t take themselves ferociously seriously so they should get a good chuckle. Have you ever read The MacBeth Murder Mystery by James Thurber? One of my faves, Ashland should do a production with David Hasselhoff and Angela Lansbury.

        1. Yeah. Google it or, even better, cue it if you have Netflix. I think they only had two seasons. My wife and I watched it because it was so odd. You should check it out. Not that I’m saying you’re odd…

  4. It’s in the water isn’t it? Our alien lizard overlords simply must have put something in the water. People can be quite nutty all by themselves, but I’m starting to suspect they may be getting some help.

  5. As a former forensic show addict, I’m here to tell you–you can break the cycle. There’s more to TV than dusty finger prints and hotties in lab coats. Step one, listen to the dialogue. Step two, push the power button. You’ll never look back, I promise.

  6. I would like totes watch CSI starring The Hoff! I think they’d need to make it a 1 and a half hour show to allow for all the slow mo and close up shots though.

  7. I can see it now: someone will post on Facebook that: “We survived even though our parents told us, under penalty of death, that we had to go outside and play and not come back till dark, and we would drink straight out of the boa constrictor, too!”
    (Sorry, it’s all I’ve got.)

    1. Exactly! We’ve definitely earned the title “The Second-Greatest Generation” for surviving all that plus lead-based paint and no car seats or helmets.

  8. I don’t watch any CSIs . They are so gross and predictable. “It’s obvious. He lost all of his fingers petting the neighbor’s dog.” What????
    Love Hasselhoff!!

    1. But only on CSI shows will they take you on a slow-motion trip with the fingers down the dog’s esophagus and through the stomach contents before exiting… well, you get the idea.

  9. That’s Derek Jacobi as Hamlet. I recognized it from watching his performance in high school, back when the teacher needed a requisition and forklift to bring the VCR player into the classroom. Nothing to do with your post. Just wanted to demonstrate that I’m sofisticated.

  10. If I had been drinking whilst reading this, I am sure I would have short circuited my keyboard from spitting whilst imagining the Hoff in red budgie smugglers resuscitating a garden hose!! I’m sure he could take acting lessons from David Caruso. 😉

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