Back last winter I mentioned that there are good ways to go and bad ways to go. Is there really a good way to die or a bad way? If you give a rat's about the legacy you leave, sure.
Good ways to die? No one wants to go, but if one must. . . . How about exiting the stage like a true super hero, e.g., 1) rescuing every last child in a burning orphanage and just as you push the last tot to safety, you succumb to smoke. You might get a statue for that one. Another excellent way to go would be 2) just before the cops mistakenly pump you full of lead, you shoot and kill all three thugs that are raping a screaming woman. That just might get a new law passed in your name that makes aggravated rape a capital crime, as it should be. And so on.
Some examples of bad ways to die are: 1) The poor Brazilian man who was swallowed whole by the anaconda (can you guess what the topic of conversation was at that funeral?), or 2) the ninety-year-old man who was killed by an otter here in Florida. Nearly a century of valuable contributions; almost a hundred years of accomplishments and right straight living, and yet, the last thing remembered is “Poor old Roy, all that only to be killed by an otter, of all things!” 3) or, the local motorcyclist that I reported on the other day who rocketed through the intersection and ran into the car. Not only did this old man kill himself and his female passenger, but he flew through the car’s window like a missile and killed the helpless driver. Now, taking innocents with you . . . that is a REALLY bad way to step off the stage.
Recently, there's been a spate of bummer ways to go, among which are:
1) The young Texas fireman who dove for a baseball at the Ranger’s ball park and fell twenty feet to his death--a fuggin’ baseball, for crying out loud! He gave his life for a effin' $10 ball!
2) An 83-year-old Tampa man, who was lured into a motel room last week by a 21-year-old hooker, then robbed and murdered. Now, that is a mighty disgusting way to go. After eighty plus years of screwing like a rabbit you might think that a man’s libido would just chill out and relax a bit, but noooooooo, old Ralph just had to have one more $25 crack whore. Few people will mourn Ralph’s passing, I suppose, save the $25 crack whores he kept supplied in crack.
3) This week three absolute and utter fools fell to their deaths at Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park. Witnesses state that the three, all in their twenties, despite the warning signs and desperate pleas of bystanders, decided to wade into the swift river just yards above the falls to have their pictures taken. It’s one of those brainless stunts that provides bragging rights if all goes well, but if all fails. . . . Soon after reaching the rock the young woman lost her balance and was swept away, soon followed by the two young men who tried to save each in turn. And then, for the final seconds of their short lives each person had ample time, in slow motion, to revisit their folly. Stupid, senseless deaths like this cause conflicting emotions in us all. We are horrified. But we are angry, too. “They got what they deserved,” is a sentiment heard most often. Some among us—like the three above--just don’t get it. So detached are they from the natural world that they honestly believe life is one big reality show in which winning is easy and losing is not that big a deal. One of the witnesses who watched the horrible event said he will never forget the look on the face of one young man as he went over the 300 foot falls (btw--that is about the same height as a thirty-story building). I suspect that the look the witness saw was that of a dead-man-dying—white, terrified eyes, ashy, gray pallor and the awful realization written across the face that this is for real; not a TV show, not a game, but a real screaming death rushing down in Three . . . Two . . . One . . . NOW!
4) And finally, the “Here’s Your Sign Award” goes to that former soldier with no legs who seated himself on one of those death-dealing roller coasters near Buffalo, New York a few weeks back. What in the name of God was he, or the equally idiotic ride attendants, thinking? The man had no legs! Once the safety bar was lowered down on what should have been his lap, there was nothing to hold him in the thing. Absolutely stupid . . . and horrible. Here is a guy who literally gets his butt blown off in war, but survives, only to be shot out like a cannonball from some stupid roller coaster. I’m sure the amusement park will be sued into another zip code over this incident but really, what were those young attendants to do? No doubt the vet’s friends and family put the hammer down on the kids to allow this ex-soldier onto the ride. “Come on, what’s it going to hurt? Fuck the rules! He’s a hero, for Christ’s sake. Let him on!” My sympathy goes out to the damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t attendants since this they will carry forever..
Ironic Ways To Go—Last week, a guy up in New Jersey was struck dead by lightning. This event, horrible in itself, became vastly more terrible when it was learned that 48 years before the victim’s dad had gone the same way. Imagine the thoughts of the woman who lost not only a husband, but a son, to such a rare event. If the most recent deceased has a son, then my bet is that he grows to be one paranoid young man. Who would blame him if he never went outside? (for a look at my own feared ironic death, see blog “Oh God! Not Another!” 11.10. 08)
Memorable Ways To Go—For those of you hoping to exit this mortal coil in an interesting way: How about committing suicide while standing right in the middle of the Four Corners Monument down in the American Southwest (below). Pretty cool, don’t you know, if your tombstone reads: “Born in Mudville, Missouri, 1965; died in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, 2011.”