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Blog: Wonder Who's Dying Now

(originally written 6/22/10)

Wait, wait—hear me out.


Two high-school teens enjoyed a brief relationship. However, Joey broke up with Christina, leaving her heartbroken. Christina’s mother, Dora, couldn’t stand to see her daughter in such a state and attempted to pay Joey to reunite with her. When he declined, Dora then paid a fortune teller to arrange Joey’s murder, which was sadly carried out. He was 18.


Nothing funny about the murder itself, of course. But when you sit back and try to understand Dora’s thought process—“You date my daughter or you’re gonna die!”—it’s hard to maintain a straight face. Even the Klan and the Latin Kings and Al-Qaida were like, “Damn, that chick is crazy.” So not only was Christina still without Joey, this time permanently—she lost her mama, too.


Tragedies dominate the headlines every day; newscasts often spend their entire first half reporting on people losing their lives to violence, to war, and—as in Joey’s case—ticking off the wrong person. It is amazing that so many people live as long as they do, when you really think about it, because the Grim Reaper strikes in a gazillion ways with little in the way of warning in many instances. Life is lost so easily, you wonder if the average life span belongs in the 40's rather than the 70's. (It was in the 40's about 250 years ago or so, but I’m not here to talk about the past.)


One particular method of death really bothers me to my core due to the plain old unfairness of it—drowning while “saving” one’s dog from drowning. It is “popular”—there have been no fewer than four such incidents in the Bay Area alone in the past year or so; the beaches vary but the chain of events does not:


  • Person’s dog somehow washes out to sea.

  • The despondent person throws caution to the wind and goes in after their companion.

  • The person not only fails to save the canine…they soon need saving themselves.

  • The person drowns.

  • The dog soon swims back to shore on its own, no worse for wear, in three of the four cases.


Dying in ocean water does carry a bit more esteem than dying in tap water, as that radio show contestant did a few years ago. I believe she was from Sacramento, and was dared to drink X-amount of water without going to the bathroom, something like that. Well, she drank so much water that she drowned. Yes, apparently it’s possible.


Medical experts tell us what we should and shouldn’t do if we want to live long, healthy lives. Eat veggies. Exercise. Don’t smoke. Suck this. Bite that. But spend the whole year watching a given channel’s newscast: it will contradict every health tip previously offered by year’s end, guaranteed. “Too many veggies can cause (insert complicated medical term here) and kill you.” Besides, you could be following the health law to the letter and end up dead from a bee sting. 


You would think with all the people dying needlessly in war, all the hiking accidents, all the e-coli, all the plane crashes, all the hit-and-runs, all the drug overdoses, all the lightning strikes, all the structural collapses, all the natural disasters, all the unbalanced psychos waiting outside of Safeway, that one could get in and out of the bank in five minutes or less. Or that unemployment would be well beneath 10%. Or that demand of gas would lessen enough that the price would dip. 


But for every person who dies before their time, there seems to be another two in reserve that they unwrap and put in circulation just to ensure none of us get anywhere on time or get any public task completed in timely fashion.


Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to bite something. Doctor’s orders.

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