Another Dead Idiot

Sunday July 24th, 2011 – Cary, IL

The only real surprise about hearing Amy Winehouse is dead is that it took this long for it to happen. She’s been a consistent favorite in dead pools for several years now, and I’m sure quite a few of those ghoulish bastards scored big points upon hearing of her passing.

Wait a minute, I’m one of those ghoulish bastards myself. I’ve been playing in two dead pools for several years now, and every January 1st I make out my lists for the coming year. I mix them up and don’t submit the same lists to each pool. It’s not easy to pick winners.

I had Amy Winehouse on one of my lists for a couple of years, then I gave up when she outlived everyone’s predictions. It’s harder to pick younger people, and in one pool I’m in there are extra bonus points given depending on how young a person is. It’s like a morbid game of fantasy football or baseball, but there isn’t nearly as much boring maintenance.

All we do is compile our lists by the deadline (no pun intended) in January and then see how it plays out during the year. The one with the most points at the end wins a couple of bucks, no great shakes. I won a few bucks one year, but it all goes back into the game as I used it to pay my nominal entry fees each year. It’s more of a chance to mix with friends.

More than a few tightly wound self righteous do gooder types get highly offended at the thought of anyone even thinking about a dead pool, but I guess I’ve grown a thick callous as a comedian and it doesn’t bother me in the least. Morbid? I guess so, but death is a part of the human experience and we’ve all got to face it – NO exceptions. I didn’t invoke that.

I heard once where Keith Richards chose himself in a dead pool. True or not, that’s very funny. There have been all kinds of jokes about death through the years, probably because it’s a way to soften the fact that none of us alive really know for sure what’s over there, if anything at all. I’d like to think this life isn’t all there is, but I won‘t know until it‘s over.

What I do know is that this one isn’t fair, and  Amy Winehouse is yet another flamingly obvious example. Apparently she had talent, even though I wasn’t a fan. But, I have zero sympathy for the fact she pissed not only whatever talent she had but her whole life away, and for what reason? She was too stupid to stay away from booze and drugs. How boring.

That’s the same thing that killed Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin Kurt Cobain at 27, and a whole lot more of all different ages. Why can’t people stay away from what’s been proven to extinguish lives for many years? If someone is dumb enough to think they are above anyone else and it won’t affect them, tough toe tags. They’re just another stiff.

I have to admit I’m a little irked by all this. Here I’ve spent as long as she was alive out on the road slugging it out night after night with nobody caring if I live or die. There are a lot of other entertainers of all kinds doing the exact same thing. But, some temperamental tattooed skinny booze hag pops up out of nowhere, and the world worships at her feet like she‘s a queen. Now she’ll become a ‘tragic legend’ and a ‘tortured artist’. My aching ass.


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