Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Death watch: Two down and one to go edition

Death is a famously holiday averse fellow, and while you've been opening presents, stuffing your face with food, searching for after-Christmas bargains and preparing for New Years, the beat goes on for the angel with no body-fat and a scythe.

Last night Death snagged himself the biggest holiday prize of all: A United States President. Gerald Ford had already captured the
admiration of Death Watchers everywhere with his grace and resilience* in face of mounting evidence of his impending demise. At 93, Ford was and will remain the longest living President in US history. George Herbert Walker Bush edges Jimmy Carter to grab the title of "oldest living President."

Like he always does, Death came in on Christmas. This year it was
James Brown who paid the ultimate price for Death's workaholic tendencies. I don't have a lot to say about Brown because he was the "Godfather of Soul" and I find too much soul overwhelms me -- and by too much soul I mean any more than is in that Backstreet Boys' song you hate to admit is pretty good.

Nevertheless, James Brown's over-the-top style spawned some solid parodies I was able to appreciate, including this
classic skit from Eddie Murphy.

Any Death Watcher worth his or her salt knows death comes in threes. Taking the star-power of Ford and Brown into account, the chances of Fidel Castro and Dick Cheney both making it to 2007 would now seem quite slight.

But I see that Castro's doctor, after months of stonewalling, has claimed the Cuban leader's health is improving. And, since nothing clears the arteries like the thrill of a lesbian birth, the US Vice President is also likely in the clear.

Over the next few days I'll be watching Donald Trump, who could be
cracking under increased stress, Vladamir Putin, who may have handled poisonous material, Terrell Owens, who craves attention at all costs, and Beyonce Knowles, whose face is falling off.

* In a finale tribute to Ford's sticktoitness, the author of his Washington Post obituary died, himself, almost a year ago.

Bonus video: More fun with Gerald Ford obits from Dana Carvey.

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