Morbid Millie Drops the Ball

Time can get away from us all every now and then. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like it – like when you go into the same  Ruby Tuesday where you worked for two weeks in 1996 but while you’re eating you hear Hootie and the Blowfish, Jewel, Goo Goo Dolls, and Blues Traveler played back-to-back.

If you don’t find yourself immediately demanding your fucking money back for having to try and force your food down while that cacophony was playing in the background, you might have tricked yourself into thinking that no time has passed and the girl you had a crush on who worked there will come out of the kitchen at any moment and comment to someone that she loves the awful, awful music playing in the restaurant.

I realized today that somehow in the last week I lost time. I would never have been aware of this had I not noticed that my RSS feed contained 31 unread obituaries from the New York Times, as well as 48 (48? what?!) unread items in the Times‘s book section that I had not laid eyes on yet.

How is it possible that I – someone whose mother used to call her “Morbid Millie” – could have let enough time pass – without even noticing – to accumulate that many unread obituaries? I scanned the headlines, and was even more sorry.

I’ll just give you a bulleted list with a few facts, since I know people these days have neither the time nor desire to read anything that remotely resembles an actual paragraph of text.

  • a guy died who was referred to in the headline as “the Prince of Chintz”
  • a “Foe of Power Plant and Friend of Fire Island” passed away, and that combo makes me wish I’d heard of him before now
  • one obits headline read, “Dies at 48.” I don’t like those headlines. I’M 48. Ugh!
  • I was not too sad to see that “William Coors, Brewery Chief and Ultraconservative Voice” had kicked the bucket, mainly because his obit contained this sentence: “Coors brewery workers struck in 1977 over many issues, including the use of lie-detector tests to ferret out employees who were gay or whose politics were considered radical.” Oh, well. He’ll soon be wanting just a drop of that clear spring water used to make Coors beer – and he’s going to be wanting it for eternity,  which doesn’t sound nearly long enough to my mind.
  • anyone who was a “Nixon Target,” as one man was described, belongs in a Hall of Fame somewhere
“Miss me yet?”
  • the fact that “Marie Runyon, a Liberal Firebrand Into Her 90s, Dies at 103” was around a year longer than the hell-bound Coors guy has kept things evened out, I’m sure
  • And this week’s “Overlooked No More” features “Annemarie Schwarzenbach, Author, Photographer and ‘Ravaged Angel’,” kind of what the gay community doesn’t really need right now from an obit written 76 years after the fact. (A sample: “Schwarzenbach spent much of her adult life as an addict…attempted suicide twice…she died of her bicycle accident injuries at 34 on Nov. 15, 1942, in the Swiss town of Sils im Engadin — she had been showing off by riding with no hands…” In Jesus’ blessy name!)

I can deal with missing the 48 book review items from the Times. Who cares what they think?