I'm involved in an obituary project, so I decided to write one for myself, as an exercise. It's (hopefully) funny, and mostly truthful, but nobody will ever publish it, because it's s'damn long. ;-)
MESA, ARIZONA -- Alan C. Baird died [date] at [an undisclosed location], after [saving the world from certain nuclear destruction]. He was born January 5, 1951 in Waterville, Maine, the son of Chester Alton and Beverly Gilbert Baird, and started talking (swearing, actually) almost immediately. He later won a couple of trips to the National Spelling Bee and pointed out "pointtillist" to Merriam-Webster... a misspelling which appeared in their dictionaries during most of the 1980s and 90s. He attended Chelmsford High School (MA) for three years, then graduated from Westfield High School (MA) in 1969 and won a National Merit Scholarship to Michigan State: a hundred bucks annually, big whoop. But the student deferment allowed him to avoid the body bags waiting in Vietnam, so he joined USAF ROTC to earn tuition, and grew hippie-length hair while wearing a short-hair wig to ROTC drills. After getting a magna cum laude B.A. in 1973, he was (predictably) kicked out of the Air Force and did some postgraduate research in West Africa.
Alan later moved to San Francisco and worked on huge, room-sized computers (remember those days?), while earning extra money in a federally-funded marijuana research study: smoking dope for Uncle Sam. He was also one of the founding members of an urban commune named Bozotros. That's when he decided it would be a good idea to run the NY and Boston marathons, then open a teeshirt business on the Côte d'Azur with a Danish buddy. But after The Year Of Failing Miserably, both partners returned to their respective corners with tails tucked between their legs. Next, Alan drove a taxi in NYC and eventually became an NBC Page on Saturday Night Live, which meant free tickets for his friends, a chat with David Bowie and getting choked nearly to death by John Belushi. Alan harbored a passion for fast cars and motorcycles, and was a licensed pilot (thanks to instruction from his Dad), skydiver and scuba diver.
He had a hand in the writing of five books, all dismal commercial failures and resounding critical flops, but he kept scribbling anyway, right up to the very end. Some say he even wrote an obituary or two, but they were way too long to publish. His first two marriages ended in recriminations and threats of gunfire, but on June 6, 2000, he married Anikó J. Bartos, a smart and exotic Hungarian cutie-pie he met online. So he's survived by Anikó, her kids Anita and Jenő Győrfi, Jenő's mate Kriszta and two grandchildren, Dalma and Lilla. Alan loved (and was loved by) his adoptive family like they were his own blood, but he could never figure out why they chose to put up with him. Al's mother Bev and her hubby Jack Cauley, along with Al's brother and sister-in-law, Chris and Jane, are still around somewhere, too. They had little-to-no choice about having Al as a family member, but they tolerated his curmudgeonliness with apparent good grace and constant affection.
Al moved around a lot: Waterville ME, Oakland ME, East Millinocket ME, Bangor ME, Hermon ME, Far Rockaway NY, Bedford MA, Chelmsford MA, Westfield MA, East Lansing MI, Limestone ME, Cape May NJ, South Haven MI, Saugatuck MI, Lansing MI, San Francisco CA, Boston MA, Nice FR, New York NY, Santa Monica CA, Los Angeles CA, North Hollywood CA, Glendale CA, Indio CA, Budapest HU, Scottsdale AZ, and Mesa AZ. Doctors said it was an incurable affliction, akin to Restless Legs Syndrome.
At various points in his life, Al earned his keep as: potato picker, gardener, fruit harvester, babysitter, handyman, hotel clerk, bellman, busboy, cook, waiter, sommelier, bartender, receptionist, secretary, notary public, proofreader, word processor, paralegal, tv repairman, tv extra, production assistant, tv writer/producer, tv director, filmmaker, photographer, mainframe operator, macro programmer, software designer, webmaster, online editor, search engine optimizer, content manager, blogging professor, blogfest organizer/emcee, plasma donor, sperm donor, hospital orderly, opinion panel member, psychology test participant, marijuana research subject, tour guide, taxi driver, chauffeur, nbc page, olympics security, riviera teeshirt entrepreneur, pyrotechnician, census clerk, marketing assistant, bookseller, crisis counselor, scribe, journalist, satirist, lyricist, poet, copywriter, technical writer, joke writer, microfictioneer, playwright, script doctor, essayist, literary translator, author and newswriter... but he never quite figured out what he wanted to be when he grew up.
For those who are so inclined, impromptu memorials may be held whenever two or more of his friends get together, become roaring drunk and tell funny stories about his tawdry shenanigans.
[Further details in the materials below. Facebook links require free membership.]
Photo for obit - choose one:
Photo for 2 HS memorial pages - choose one:
or 1969 color: http://facebook.com/93574522476
Memorialize facebook account: http://facebook.com/help/contact/234739086860192
Suggestions for disposal of remains: http://facebook.com/89997887476
"The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living." --Marcus Tullius Cicero (03 Jan, 106 BC - 07 Dec, 43 BC; Age 63)
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