42

08Apr16

Forty two. The answer, according to Douglas Adams, to life, the universe, and everything. And also the answer to the question “What age do stupid losers not get to live to?” Because now that I’m there, let me tell you, I’ve buried a lot of losers. The list just keeps getting longer and longer, the same way their lives don’t. Sad!

Let’s start by giving out a little credit here. Big Boss Man, 41 is a pretty venerable age for a professional wrestler, especially a Southern fried three hundred pounder. Remember the time your wife left the room for a minute and, in the brief time it took her to return, you just sat there on the couch and died? Classic rib. And remember that angle where you crashed the funeral of The Big Show’s father and tore around the cemetery with the casket chained to the back of the Bluesmobile? Your own funeral was just like that, and you can’t tell me otherwise.

And you, Nate Dogg, you almost made it to six in Dogg years, so don’t feel that bad. Losing to Young MC on a rap-themed edition of The Weakest Link, though? That you should feel bad about.

Patrice O’Neal, you shouldn’t feel that bad, either. You almost made it to 42, just like you almost became famous. Given your almost-breakout performance as a Comedy Central roaster, the easy joke is to say that you’re now roasting in hell, but the fact is that your final and best-known TV appearance was with Charlie Sheen, Mike Tyson, and Dog the Bounty Hunter, so yes, that is its own special kind of eternal punishment.

And you, Kirsty MacColl, you were more than just a tremendous voice. You were, in the words of Shane MacGowan in “Fairytale of New York,” an old slut on junk, lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed (much like Terri Schaivo, who also died at 41 but at least far outlived then-governor Jeb Bush’s presidential hopes). Hmm. I got a little off track there. Let’s try again: You, Kirsty MacColl, you were more than just a tremendous voice. Why, Morrissey, of all people, thought you had a great rack, paying tribute to your “crackin’ bust” in the liner notes of your greatest hits album. Of course, in the end, old Moz wasn’t the one who actually motorboated you.

Wow, that was a boner killer. And speaking of which, there’s you, Andrew Koenig. I assume that, much like Playboy Playmate Julie McCullough, your “Boner” nickname was too sexually provocative for Kirk Cameron. After you did go on to play an apparently decent Joker in a critically acclaimed Batman fan film. Isn’t it sad that both you (dim-witted teenage sitcom sidekick turned comic book character) and Kirk Cameron (born-again Christian turned straight-to-video star) basically add up to one Willie “Bibleman” Aames? Yes, it’s sad, for everyone.

What about you, computer science pioneer Alan Turing, you nerd? What is the Turing test, anyway? Something about encountering a fatal error involving an apple? If the Turing test involves living to 42, you definitely fail.

And how about about that Northern Calloway, who was the beloved character David in the Sesame Street neighborhood and a not-so-beloved character in the suburbs of Nashville, where he went on a glass-smashing rampage clad only in a Superman T-shirt after viciously beating a woman with an iron rod? Of course, he wasn’t so beloved on Sesame Street either, after biting a musical director, stalking a teenage castmate and proposing to her at her high school, and going even crazier after they wouldn’t let him fake-marry Maria on the show. After his well-overdue firing, rather than give a frank accounting of his absence as had been done with the late Mr. Hooper, Sesame Street literally explained his disappearance by sending him off to “live on a farm” like a dead pet. The book Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street says, however, that he died of a massive heart attack during a struggle with psychiatric hospital staff. Well, how about that Northern Calloway! I’m actually coming around a bit on this madman.

You know who no one cares about now, though? You, Louis XIII of France and Charles XI of Sweden. Kings? Once. Now? Chumps. But you, Richard I of England, aka “Lionheart,” at least Jean-Claude Van Damme cares about you. Enough to lift your nickname for one of his series of identical films about doing the splits and kicking guys in the face, at least. But that just makes me wish you’d been nicknamed Richard the Timecop or Richard the Cyborg or Richard the Universal Soldier. Of course, your nickname in Occitan, which you actually spoke instead of English, was Oc e No, (“Yes and No”), supposedly because of your reputation for terseness but really because it’s the answer to the question “Were you really any good as a king?”

I bet you never saw your death coming, Jeff Healey. All the chicken wire in the world can’t protect you from … heart cancer? That’s a thing? Well, at least you did something original, you glorified cover band hack. Did they hire you to play at the Double Deuce because you could grunt out turds in both blues and jazz styles? Hey, did you even know you had a mullet?

Hey, Jane Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged that you wrote the part of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies that was super-boring. That movie bombed hard, too. Maybe it should have contained a rotting corpse who people were actually happy to see dead, likeoh, I don’t knowyou.

Ugh. I’m getting bored. You people all bore me. You, Mata Hari, Margeaux Hemingway, Paula Yates, Eric Carr, Neal Cassady, Louis Riel, and Anne of Clevesyou’re all just so stupid and dead and boring. And you’re never going to get any more interesting, and you’re never going to get to be 42. Or will you? Here’s an interesting fact: The number 42 is considered unlucky in Japanese culture because the numerals sound like “unto death.” So I guess you losers do get to be 42, in a way. A bad way!

Wow, you suck!



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