dead or alive?
Dead or alive?
Let's keep with the death theme, shall we? It's just so much fun.
So, John Gotti finally kicked the bucket. It always strikes me as odd when celebrities - famous or infamous - die. At some point, a famous person becomes a bit like a cartoon character or a work of fiction. Once they do a commercial for a long distance telephone company or make a movie with Ben Affleck or appear on the cover of a national magazine, or become part of an urban legend, they cease to be real. They become characters in some great cosmic storytelling contest.
It is said that when a neighbor accidently killed Gotti's young son when he struck the poor kid with his car, that the neighbor subsequently disappeared, poof! just like that. And if you believe the legends, please pick and choose which one you believe. That neighbor was either a) driven to a car compacting place, where he was tied up in his auto, the one that he was driving when he killed Gotti's son, and the auto was placed on the car compacting block where the guy was eventually crushed like an ant under a shoe; b) the guy became fish bait in the East River; or c) he is hanging out with Jimmy Hoffa in that tomb of the unsolved disappearances.
I look at the tv and see Gotti has died and I tilt my head like a kitten watching a goldfish and I think, how can he die? He's not real. Oops. My mistake. He was really a human being. A souless human, but alive nonetheless.
Douglas Adams, Joey Ramone, Thurman Munson. Oh, Thurman. I lived in a state of complete disbelief for days when Thurman died. Your favorite ballplayers just don't up and die on you, do they? Especially not during the baseball season.
And then there are the death announcements of people you thought were long gone anyhow. I mean, Perry Como died last year and I could have sworn he left us ages ago.
I'll be that way when Bob Hope finally goes. Wait, is Bob Hope dead or alive? There are hundreds of those people who, when their names are mentioned, everyone asks, hmmm is he dead yet? I'm not sure, let's check IMDB. Holy shit, he's still alive! Lorne Greene? Can't remember. Did Nixon die? Did Reagan die yet? Does Keith Richards know that he's dead?
And I read the obituaries in the local paper every day. Just to make sure my name isn't there. What a bummer that would be, to wake up dead.