Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

I'm just trying to develop an online body of work (even if the work is throwaway nonsense) to advance my writing career.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Epitaph 14

I have never seen a full episode of "The Sopranos" or "Jersey Shore" and am therefore clueless when I encounter real Italian-Americans, having no idea how to engage them. This is my failing and I apologize.

I have never watched "Real Housewives of Atlanta", "Desperate Housewives", "Army Wives", or "Wife Swap" and therefore have no idea how to interact with married women. This is a clear abdication of my responsibilities and I apologize.

In my entire lifetime, I have seen about one complete episode each of Rikki Lake, Sally Jesse Raphael, Maury Povich, and perhaps four episodes of Oprah Winfrey, calling into question my ability to communicate through speech.

This is how bad it is for me.

On the other hand, I have seen almost all the classic Tom and Jerry and Warner Brothers cartoon shorts many times over, so I am well-versed in falling off cliffs, hitting others over the head with frying pans, and stepping on a rake so the handle flies up to smash me in the face. And while I may lack advanced linguistic skills, I can say "sufferin' succotash" with a pronounced lisp.

And I know pure genius when I hear it. Anyone who conceives the phrase "sufferin' succotash" deserves as many accolades as those who developed automobiles and antibiotics, those who discovered planets and microscopic particles. Because we need simple joy as much as we need advanced science and medicine; if we're going to live longer, there ought to be more to laugh about.

Mel Blanc's tombstone really does say "That's All Folks." Regrettably, DeForest Kelley's does not read "He's dead, Jim" but I sure wish it did! And evidently, W. C. Fields' epitaph offers no snide commentary about the city of Philadelphia. Again, this is too bad. Speaking of inscriptions, what do you suppose appears on the tombstone of Edgar Lee Masters? You would think if anybody had a clever or profound epitaph, it would be him. Perhaps the best epitaphs are concise and honest. I'd like to see one that said something very straightforward:

Harold Alan Truncate

born 1923 died 2006



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