This past week has been something, hasn’t it? First we heard of Ed McMahon’s passing and all I could think of was how he was the greatest second banana — ever. He was eighty-something. Then, Farah Fawcett died. There wasn’t a teenage boy who didn’t have that red swimsuit poster of her above his bed. She embraced her sex-symbolness unabashedly and then went on to surprise everyone with some powerful acting chops (The Burning Bed, for one) and finally her grace and courage as she documented her own brave fight with cancer.
Next it was Michael Jackson — talented, tortured, gifted and genius all in one very odd little package. No one can deny his music, though. It occurred to me that kids could always listen to the lyrics of every one of his songs without having parental controls enforced over the content.
Last night we heard that the ultimate TV pitch man, Billy Mays, died a couple of days after hitting his head in a rough airplane landing. I guess the Sham Wow guy will have to step up now to continue the legacy.
Two not-so unexpected deaths and two bolts out of the blue. I mention this only because I woke up last night with a clattering thought about mortality and fragility and … oh my god, is this a heart attack or the last spaghetti noodle finally sliding its way into my stomach after eating a late dinner? I’m still here so it must have been dinner. Nevertheless, it could as easily have been a misplaced heartbeat. Or an aneurysm. Or a sudden knot in my bloodstream. Or not.
Several days ago, a tiny snippet of a mystery piece I wrote received first prize from a very prestigious website contest. I wrote a short, short mystery I titled, Death by Dust Bunny, about a cleaning lady, or as she would call herself, a Home Management Professional, who watches an unfortunate dust bunny flutter in the breeze of her final breath. I threw it together in just a couple of hours and entered at the last second, knowing the piece was filled with writing boo-boos and structural skinned knees. It was perhaps a writerly thing that needed to be killed, but instead lived long enough to win first prize.
Now we have real life mysteries to solve. Did Michael Jackson take one too many dance steps with prescription drugs? Was Billy Mays killed by his airplane seat? Will I stay away from those late night spaghetti plates?
While I’m waiting for the answers to these very compelling questions, I think I’ll pull out my police procedures and forensic science books. Others will solve the Jackson and Mays mysteries. Me? I’m going to polish up that short little first prize piece because now I’m really curious why someone would kill a nice little cleaning lady (er, Home Management Professional).
Oops, excuse me … I think I hear my next book calling my name — and this time it’s a MYSTERY!!!