Perhaps it's holy week, or just my casual observations about writing today . . . but whatever happened to the obituary writer? Time was, the obituary writer was a staple on every newspaper staff . . . a creative writer who could make anyone's life sound interesting. I've got a couple of books of obituaries on my shelf at home . . . obits that were published in the New York Times some years ago, obits about ordinary yokels whose lives sound truly remarkable in the hands of an obit master.
I guess the obit writer has gone the way of the dinosaur, along with toothpaste without fluoride and chamber pots. Still, it would be an interesting profession, I think. Just look what I can do with my own death!
Some guy named Alleycat died this past week, and we hear tell he was a bit better than average. For example, he still had a full head of hair at the time of his death, although most of the males in his family passed away with cue-balls for brains. He could do ten and a half push ups and still had most of his teeth. His dress shirts were dry-cleaned once a year (and he saved enough money through this method to purchase two additional belts, including a yellow one). He drove junk cars and had fifteen at the time of his demise, including a 1991 Caprice wagon with 987,499 miles on it (the oil was last changed at 811,838 miles). He is survived by several people, none of whom are on solid food. Mr. Alleycat was laid to rest in a cardboard box, and, according to his wishes, his underwear was donated to Goodwill.