June 20, 2012

In Which My Irony Meter Explodes

Just before I went on vacation, I saw this odd story in the local paper:
A Boone County native was shot Saturday night in rural Montana while hitchhiking across the U.S., working on a memoir titled, ‘The Kindness of America.’

Ray Dolin, 39, originally of Julian, was sitting and eating on the side of U.S. 2 about three miles west of Glasgow, Mont., when 52-year-old Charles Lloyd Danielson III shot him. The shooting appears to be random, Valley County Sheriff Glen Meier said.
Dolin was shot in the upper arm.

His injuries are non-life threatening.
I didn’t give much thought to it, beyond the obvious irony of someone writing a book about kindness in American being violently attacked by a fellow American. But that’s not quite true, because I also thought that the story just feels weird. Whatever our faults as a people, Americans don’t generally just drive up and shoot people for no reason at all. But I put it out of my mind and went on vacation.

When I got home, what do I find but a follow up:
A hitchhiker’s chilling tale of being shot in a random drive-by along a rural Montana highway quickly unraveled when no gun could be found in the supposed perpetrator's pickup, authorities said Monday.
As usual, when something sounds too good to be true (in this case, like a coincidence out of a piece of fiction), it usually is. Dolin has admitted that he shot himself and carried out the whole hoax to promote his book.* Bad as that itself is, pity the poor bastard he fingered as the shooter – he spent time in jail based on this. Which, if anything, seems to ruin the thrust of Dolin’s book.

Or at least his willingness to talk about it:
Since authorities revealed that they think Dolin shot himself, he has not returned telephone messages seeking additional comment.
Ya’ think?

* Those who shoot people to “promote the sale of my book” generally don’t end well.

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