Reporter listening to scanner laughs at 28-year-old with pea allergy who has a pea stuck in his throat
‘There is such a thing as a pea allergy, because the youth pastor and his miniature child are both allergic to peas,’ Oliver says matter-of-factly
By Sarah West
Jessica Oliver, a reporter for the Bolivar Herald-Free Press, listens to the handheld police scanner at her desk.
"I just like hearing about others’ misfortunes," Oliver said.
The erstwhile reporter widens her eyes as tones are emitted from the scanner — a medical call requiring the fire department. A shadow of disappointment crosses Oliver’s face when the dispatcher says the call is for a heart attack.
"I was hoping it would be a murder," Oliver said.
When not listening to the scanner for murder and mayhem, Oliver watches "The Office" on her computer or the "Friends" season 10 gag reel on her iPod. Laughter frequently erupts from her cubicle, causing dogs to howl and co-workers to be put on suicide watch.
Oliver’s time at the BH-FP got off to a rocky start when she imagined Michael Jackson dying and promptly got her wish. Then, a feature story subject in hospice died after she got her last wish — a visit and personal performance from Elvis — but before Oliver could interview her.
"My thoughts usually end in death," Oliver said. "I listen to Styx and think about when I will cross Styx. I like hard rock."
Oliver’s obsession with death began when she first thought the world revolved around her.
"I don’t want to die," Oliver said. "I want everyone else to die horribly. Then the world really will be all about me, and no one can deny it. Because they’ll be dead."
When the call came through about a 28-year-old who swallowed a pea, and had a pea allergy, Oliver laughed psychopathically.
"He is 28 and swallowed a pea — and he’s allergic to peas!" she cackled. "What a moron."
When a voice came over the scanner saying the pharyngitis victim would have to wait until another subject could be taken to the emergency room, Oliver suggested picking him up and delivering the pea allergy victim herself.
"I wonder if he has an epy [epinephrine] pen?" a co-worker wondered aloud.
"I do!" Oliver said. "Let’s go pick him up and I’ll give him mine. My apartment building is really close to where he lives. I don’t care about saving his life, I just want to be at the center of something."
Michael Jackson was not the only victim of Oliver’s morbid train of thought. Patrick Swayze, a revered retired professor at Southwest Baptist University, the Elvis lady, Farrah Fawcett and David Carradine are all dead by Oliver’s mind.
Oliver is currently accepting requests to think about people, though repeated requests by a co-worker to think of Lady Gaga all went unreturned as of press time. She can be contacted at (900) MIND-KIL (646-3545)