Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Big Three Killed My Baby

This just in:

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Some mentions around the blogosphere about going to Vegas with roughly 100 "strangers" and how those near and dear to us find it odd, how our explanations are met with uncomprehending eyes. "You don't KNOW these people?" is a common refrain. And I guess the answer to that is yes. And no.

I've not actually met the vast majority of you, but there is a sense of "knowing" regardless. As talented as you are, I doubt you could completely conceal your real being--or a reasonable facsimilie thereof--thoughout your entire blog canon. It's a personal medium, so, while I've never shaken your hand, it doesn't mean I don't have some idea of what you are like, if not who you are.

But, communication being a largely physical endeavor, I'd be blind if I fashioned a whole person out of the ether. This is where the skeptics have a point. And this is where I've come across an idea.

I propose we go around the room and introduce ourselves. I've spent a couple days trying to think of a fun way to do this. One idea I had was to have you all compare yourselves to a Real World cast member. I decided that was unworkable. Back in the day, the Real World had definite types, two-dimentional characters slotted nicely into an easy description: The Cowboy, The Gay Guy, The Musician. That changed right around the fifth season, I'd wager, when MTV decided the best way to induce drama was to limit the cast to sociopaths and those who aspired to be sociopaths. As such, reaching so far back into the annals seemed like it would be a little too esoteric.

I encountered the same problem with my next idea, that of picking ANY reality show contestant. Sure, this would be right in CJ's wheelhouse, but I'm not sure there is enough attention paid to All That is Reality, certainly not as much as at my house. For the record, I'd go with Ian, from the just-completed season of "Survivor." Not entirely for the personality type, though there are similarities, but for the look. Not only would I waste away to near nothingness after 39 days on the Island (I'm a mere 175 pounds with a full belly), but I would also end up with an exact replica of his facial hair after all that time. Wispy in most spots, but those furry patches high on the cheekbones.

But I digress.

Here's what we're gonna do. Write me the lead paragraph of your obituary (either in comments or on your blog). It's not just fun! It's timely, since there is a reasonable expectation it will pass though your mind at least once that you're gonna die while in Vegas. Most of us will reach that rare level of intoxication that spawns such thoughts. Remember, obituaries are not morbid, they are tributes, celebrations of life. And, we're prepared, just in case, kinda like how I gave the dear and patient wife all my Neteller information last night.

There are, obviously, many ways you can go about this little exercise, all of which will shed light on the person you are. You could go with something currently fictional, but one which expresses your goals and dreams for the future:

Joe Speaker (not his real name), who parlayed $30 into a World Series of Poker Championship, international fame and repeated erotic adventures with Salma Hayek, has died.

I don't think I'm gonna go that way, though. Too close to the whole WSOP fantasy exercise, not to mention carrying pretty steep implied divorce odds.

Let's come back to reality, find a real description. Personal characteristics might be a good way to go.

Joe Speaker (not his real name), whose unnatural attachment to turtleneck sweaters led many to question his sexuality, has died.

Um, true, but lacking in panache (just a warning for you kids: use of "panache" in casual conversation could have the same effect as turtleneck sweaters). We need to grab the reader, need to find something noteworthy.

Generally obituary subjects need to have a certain standing. They might be famous, but just as often, they're not. But if you spent 18 months as CFO of Ford, you'll probably qualify. Or if you're one of a few remaining survovors of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, you'll get in. So, have you ever done anything newsworthy?

Joe Speaker (not his real name), the original drummer for seminal underground rock group Dissemblance, who once performed at LA's famous Whiskey A Go-Go on a Tuesday night, has died.

Yeah, that was cool, but hardly registered on the public conscience. Hmmmm, I have gotten my name in the paper before.

Joe Speaker (not his real name), an All-Section sweeper who led his Granada High Matadors to league and section titles in 1985, has died.

No, that doesn't measure up, either, though it might get me a brief in the hometown paper.

We all want to be remembered for something, if only among our circle of friends and family. It's why we have kids. While being a parent is not particularly newsworthy, it is, I'll wager, the most important thing I will ever do. And probably my best chance for getting an obit in the paper.

Joe Speaker (not his real name), the father of diplomat AJ, the man widely credited with fostering absolute peace in the Middle East, has died.

So, there ya go. Plenty of examples to work with. I leave you with my final answer.

Joe Speaker (not his real name), an eternally optimistic goofball, loved by both mothers and small children alike, who faithfully and consistently over-played Ace-Jack Suited and subsequently cast his family into abject poverty, has died.

Services are pending.


At 11:00 AM, Blogger JasonSpaceman said...

"Jason Kirk, who married above himself, and from whom we expected so much more in his eighty-five years and yet loved anyway for his grammar, vocabulary and comic timing, has died. There will be no funeral per his last request, so you bitches are gonna have to arrange a party on your own."

You tell me how that sounds, Mr. Obituary Writer.

At 2:44 PM, Blogger CanYouSmellWhatTheHawkIsCooking said...

Hawk McGiantCrotch (not his real name) has died. He killed himself in a murder-suicide event after reading this blog entry.

In a related story, DoucheBag Macha (not his real name) has died. He was murdered by an enraged gunman shouting "A 3rd inning?!? WHY GOD WHY?!?!"

At 6:21 PM, Blogger -EV said...

"NegativeEV, a man strangely named after the characteristic associated with long-term losing wagers, died this evening after being choked to death by legendary 'poker brat' Phil Hellmuth. Hellmuth's motivation for the homicide apparently stemmed from an incident in which Mr. EV eliminated him from a World Series of Poker event. The elimination occurred when Mr. EV flopped a full house with a with a famously weak poker hand -- seven-two offsuit, also known as "the hammer" by some in the game -- defeating Hellmuth's pocket queens with an all-in bet. Hellmuth was overheard mumbling "play perfect poker, play perfect poker, play perfect poker" as he assaulted Mr. EV.

At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Otis (not his real name, but you'd be surprised how many people think it is), a man who became so consumed with his pseudonym that he began to question his own heritage, who knew what he wanted to do with his life by age nine but didn't get around to it until age 31, who spent many years swimming at the bottom of a liquor bottle only to swim out and find himself in a Coleman cooler full of the same, who found new purpose in being married and subsequently a father, who was never good at anything competitive until he found poker, who hated himself for several decades before deciding he could be worse, who never really appreciated brevity and lobbied for a Constitutional amendment against whiners and hypochondriacs, who considered friendship the greatest of all rewards died today of old age after a lifetime of tempting the odds and insurance charts. His wife, who outlived him, said his last words were, "Can I just stick around a little longer?"

At 8:26 AM, Blogger Drizztdj said...

"David Aydt died today due to massive heart failure, mostly due to his affection of buffalo wings, McGriddles, and Cap'n Cokes. He led an awkward life of athletic successes and failures due to his hearing disability. Usually with smile on his face, he was never shy to tell you exactly what he is feeling. As a loving father and husband he provided his weird sense of humor where his wallet lacked. Before passing on he achieved his life dream of participating in the WSOP and drinking a stein of beer at Oktoberfest in Munich"

That's me, I think :P

At 9:58 AM, Blogger JohnnyHarp said...

Johnny Harp, caddish raconteur and frontman of the underground rock band "The Sardeenz" died today in a tragic poker accident after winning a hand against Chau Giang in the Bobby Baldwin room at Bellaggio.

Harp had parlayed his winnings at the roulette wheel into a $50K stake, which he shoved all-in against Giang's AA in a NLHE $100-200 game with 6-9 offsuit, Harp's favorite hand.

The ensuing runner-runner straight, coupled with sleep deprivation and 210 ounces of alcohol in the previous 24 hours, caused Harp to have a massive coronary.

He is survived by his lovely wife, who is glad for insurance.


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