"Well, gentlemen, you are about to see a baked Appel."
Those were the last words of one George Appel, a cop-killer electrocuted by the state of New York back in 1928, and it might just be the greatest such utterance of all time. Not that Appel hasn't had some competition over the years.
At his 1966 electrocution, James French offered the reporters in attendance the following (amazing) editorial instruction:
"How about this for a headline for tomorrow's paper? French Fries."
Not bad. Not bad at all.
Then there was Christopher Scott Emmett, who waxed political just before his 2008 lethal injection. "Tell the governor he just lost my vote. Y'all hurry this along. I'm dying to get out of here."
So far, no Texan has reached such immortal heights, though some have come close.
Earlier this year, 47-year-old baby-killer Jesse Joe Hernandez became the second Texan to use his last seconds on the planet to cheer on the Dallas Cowboys, and another Texan rooted for the Texas Rangers. Presumably the baseball team and not the law enforcement agency.
Houstonians have never seen fit to praise the Rockets, Astros, Oilers or Texans. I guess Dallas really is a better sports town than Houston.
North Texas cop-killer Randall Wayne Hafdahl was executed in January 2002, and perhaps bested every Texan before and since when he offered these words of inspiration and referenced two great songs to boot:
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"Let's get going. The road goes on forever, and the party never ends. Let's rock and roll. Let's go, Warden. Me and you, all of us. Remember Wet Willie -- keep on smiling, keep on smiling. I love you. It's on the way, I can feel it. It's okay, baby. We have a party to go to. I can feel it now."
And with that, I am out of here. (The Press, not the planet.)
It's been a great 12 years, folks.