David Bruce: The Funniest People in Books, Volume 2 — Death

Death

• Gay author Michael Thomas Ford had an uncle named David who was also gay and whose lover was named George. David and George lived together for many years in a committed relationship, but after they died together in a car accident, they were buried hundreds of miles apart. Mr. Ford was sad because no one could tell by their grave sites that these two people had ever had a loving relationship, so he was happy when he learned that David’s sister had placed a headstone for George near David’s grave and had buried some of George’s ashes there as well. Now, people walking in the cemetery may see the two headstones next to each other, notice that the dates of death are the same, and guess that the two men had a relationship.

• One very cold night, children’s book author Gary Paulsen was in a sled being pulled by his dogs when they suddenly stopped and began to growl. He got out of the shed and walked up to his lead dog, then saw in the light of his head lamp a perfectly still doe standing upright and seeming to look at them. This was eerie because no doe will knowingly allow dogs and a human being to come that near to her and no dog would be afraid of a doe — instead, the dog would chase her. Mr. Paulsen walked up to the doe so close that he could touch her, and he saw that she was dead — she had frozen on her feet in an upright position with her head up.

• When she was a young woman, Edna St. Vincent Millay started swimming in the ocean toward what she thought was a small island. The “island” was further away than she had thought, but she persisted in swimming toward it. Unfortunately, when she arrived, exhausted, at the “island,” she discovered that it was merely a mass of seaweed. Fortunately, she managed to swim back to land, although she feared that she would drown. This experience may have influenced the images of death and rebirth that appear in such poems of hers as “Renascence.”

• Anne McCaffrey, author of the Pern novels about telepathic dragons, was working as a dessert chef when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died of a cerebral hemorrhage. The two chefs who ran the restaurant looked at each other, and then they turned off all the burners in the kitchen before telling the customers that out of respect for President Roosevelt, the restaurant was closing. No one argued with the chefs. Everyone was too busy crying.

• In 1973, William Goldman published a humorous fantasy titled The Princess Bride about true love. In it, a farm boy named Westley pursued his true beloved, named Buttercup, even coming back from the dead in order to rescue her from the bad guys. One of the great moments in Mr. Goldman’s life was seeing a young couple obviously in love wearing matching T-shirts that bore the legend “WESTLEY NEVER DIES.”

• Jack Gantos is the author of the Newbery Honor book Joey Pigza Loses Control. On Jack’s tenth birthday, fellow writer Ernest Hemingway committed suicide. Previously, because it was a fishing story, Jack’s father had read Mr. Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea to young Jack. After reading about Mr. Hemingway’s suicide in the newspaper, Jack’s father said, “I’d have shot myself, too, if it took me that long to catch a fish.”

• After humorist Art Buchwald’s kidneys failed, he decided to enter Hospice and to decline dialysis. He also, however, decided to write a book about dying titled Too Soon to Say Goodbye and was able to continue joking while dying. When his lawyer, Bob Barnett, visited him, Mr. Buchwald told him, “If you can get me seven million dollars for my book like you got for Hillary Clinton, I’ll start dialysis.”

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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Music Recommendation: Childbirth — “Nasty Girls”

BRUCE’S RECOMMENDATION OF BANDCAMP MUSIC

Music: “Nasty Girls”

Album: WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Artist: Childbirth

Artist Location: Seattle, Washington

Record Company: Suicide Squeeze Records

Record Company Location: Seattle, Washington

Info:

“Childbirth is Julia Shapiro (guitar, vocals), Bree McKenna (bass, vocals), and Stacy Peck (drums, cool mom). They are a supergroup.”

“Childbirth is a ‘supergroup’ in the sense its members are all in other hit bands (Julia Shapiro of Chastity Belt, Bree Mckenna of Tacocat, Stacy Peck of Pony Time) and also that they do good for the world while in costume.”

“Childbirth’s […] album, WOMEN’S RIGHTS, is piss-your-pants funny — subject matter includes a trashy friend bringing coke to a baby shower (‘Baby Bump’) characteristics that warrant an instant ‘swipe left’ on Tinder (‘Siri, Open Tinder’) and dating vapid IT douches (‘Tech Bro.’). Lyrics on WOMEN’S RIGHTS are highly quotable — from ‘Tech Bro’: ‘I’’l let you explain feminism to me / If I can use your HD TV.’”

Price: $1 (USD) for track; $8 (USD) for 13-track album

Genre: Feminist Punk.

Links:

Childbirth on Bandcamp

https://childbirth.bandcamp.com

WOMEN’S RIGHTS

https://childbirth.bandcamp.com/album/womens-rights

Suicide Squeeze Records

https://suicidesqueeze.bandcamp.com