Breaking Bad’s Walter White, TV’s Methamphetamine Mastermind, got punked by a 20th Century free verse poet.
Walter has outmaneuvered or flat out killed kingpins, drug dealers, killer cousins, prisoners, hit men and annoying girlfriends, but season five’s mid-season cliffhanger left us with Walt’s brother-in-law, DEA Agent Hank, in Walt’s bathroom, reading an incriminating copy of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.
My mother always said it was tacky to leave reading material in the bathroom when it’s inscribed by a dead chemist killed by your meth cooking partner. As you get older, you start to realize your mother was right about a lot of things.
As the second half of Breaking Bad’s final season rolls out, Hank tries to throw the book at Walt, when instead, he should probably remember Walt Whitman’s immortal words: “Yo, be curious, not judgmental, bitch.”
Hank should have scoured Walt’s library to find more evidence. It was everywhere.
The Joy of Cooking (Meth): A quick flip through this meth cook classic will reveal such classics as “Blue Sky,” “Baked Castor Beans” and “Ricin Burritos.” Hopefully Hank isn’t too much of a Southwest fan; Walter has scribbled out all the recipes with chili powder.
How to Save a Choking Victim: This lifesaving pamphlet has clear enumerated instructions:
1. Identify the victim: Is it the meddling girlfriend of your meth cooking partner? If yes, skip to #3.
3: See #1.
RV Repair Guide: No meth cook worth his methylamine would be caught dead without this comprehensive guide to keeping his rolling meth lab functioning. Sadly, the chapter on “key ignition buzzer repair” has been torn out.
Lingerie Catalog: Hank might have enjoyed finding a copy of this underwear catalog, if it weren’t for the fact someone has drawn a pair of tighty whities on all the models.
How to Choose a Street Name: Page 330 has the name “Heisenberg” circled in red ink with giant arrows pointing to it and “That’s Me!!” written in block letters.
Care and Cleaning of a Super Lab: Including such chapters as “Everything is Contaminated,” “Flies are Major Problems” and “Wipe This Down.”
Seven Habits of Highly Effective Meth Cooks: This well-worn copy helped make Walter the stone cold killer he became, inspiring him with quotes like “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” and “make it 99.1% pure and kill everyone who gets in the way.”
The Great Big Book of Knock Knock Jokes: Walter keeps this book under lock and key so no one else can use it, because Walt is the one who knocks.
And the most incriminating of all:
How I Overcame Cancer to Become the Most Successful Meth Cook of All Time by Walter White (self-published ebook)
Independent publishing is just so easy nowadays. How could he resist?