Not Dead. Yet.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
Not Dead. Yet.
Yesterday I received the following two emails about four hours apart:
I'm not kidding. Some time in the last two years both my wife and I swear that we heard on the news that you died. I guess that's not true, huh?
St Louis, MO
Awhile ago I heard you passed away. I was very sad. I am glad that you are still alive. I always loved your Motel 6 commercials. Take care Mr. Bodett, and again, I'm glad you're alive.
This raises two immediate questions -- 1) Who is telling people I'm dead? 2) What happened yesterday to indicate I wasn't? More important, I suppose, than the answers to those are the concerns it raises for the dearly not-so departed. For example, should I get a publicist? I have never been much of a self-promoter and always assumed I was just as famous as I deserved to be whether up or down. But, I never figured I'd be one of those "I thought you were dead" guys. Granted, my professional output is down during these child-rearing years, but it's not like I'm, well, dead.
I suppose it's possible my publisher or a speculative bookseller [there's a redundancy] started spreading the rumor of my death in the hope of stimulating book sales. They severely underestimate my fans. If you, dear reader, were to learn of my death most certainly you'd figure my back list of titles would be out of print within a year and you would be able to pick them up at discount booksellers for twenty cents on the dollar. That's what I like about you.
Motel 6 might keep my death a secret for awhile; propping me up in the radio saddle like Attila the Hun until the whole thing started to smell. That scenario does raise the question of whether AFTRA and SAG require producer pension contributions for deceased performers.
I could go on and on about this, but it's Sunday and I have a lot of chores to do around the house. The trash needs hauling. The perennial beds need to be raked. The tractor needs grease. I've no time to be dead. In fact, to save time I've already composed a list of Last Words and today could be my lucky day. My favorite so far: "That jack looks a little wobbly".