Every January 19th, a mysterious character drops by the gravesite of Edgar Allan Poe to drop off some roses and a bottle of cognac. A nice way to celebrate his birthday, if you ask me. Apparently, this guy's been doing it for fifty-seven years, which means one of two things:
1. The gentleman got this bright idea in his early twenties and is now in his late seventies or eighties. I doubt anybody younger than nineteen would have had any trouble purchasing liquor back then, but the gesture requires the capacity for reverence and a touch of sublety that is absent in the teen years.
2. It's been more than one guy during that time-span.
Either way, it's a case of "I wish I'd thought of that." So, not to be undone, I tought I'd compile a list of notable birthdays and ways to 'pay props' to those who have passed before us on their birthdays - month by month (for the rest of the year).
FEBRUARY - After braving travel through (yawn) Indiana to
MARCH - There's the old joke, that if Mama Cass would have given Karen Carpenter a bite of her sandwich, they'd have both lived. Anorexia Nervosa is nothing to joke about... so I won't be leaving Karen any sandwiches at her resting place. No Cheetos, either. Karen gets a copy of a Dixie Chicks CD. There's a lesson to be learned from Natalie Maines: a gal who can take getting called "chubby" without succumbing to self-destructive eating disorders.
APRIL - (Goddamnit! Indiana!) Nothing says NASCAR like missing teeth and Schlitz. At Dale Earnhardt's grave I'd like to leave a novelty sticker of a mischievous little boy peeing on the logo and number of the other hick that drove him off the track.
MAY - Though I'd need little coaxing to muster up a trip to Paris, I'd stop by the Pere Lachaise cemetery, stop by (no, not Morrison's grave...) Isadora Duncan's resting place with a feather boa and a bottle of ACME brand axle grease.
JUNE - Norma Jean Baker... Ah... you were so young (sniff-sniff) A candle in the wind, indeed, but a doorknob is more apropos... as is a tube of KY jelly.
JULY - California has cornered the market on notables' graves. Ronald Reagan, whom some consider to be one of America's greatest presidents, rests in Simi Valley. Anybody know where I can get a pair of beer goggles there? Nancy Davis? Even a 'B' lister himself could have bagged himself a hotter piece of ass... particularly after Jane Wyman (grrrrrrowl).
AUGUST - Though there's no real gravesite to visit, I'm sure there's enough fish crap in the waters of the Ganges and Pacific Ocean for me to pay tribute to the ashes of Jerry Garcia. Thanks for the legacy of hippiedom.
SEPTEMBER - Another cremated notable rests in Lake Geneva, Switzerland. To honor the memory of Faroukh Bulsara, I'd like to throw a pair of leather chaps into its waters.
OCTOBER - If anybody ever ventures out to Heptonstall Churchyard in Yorkshire England and finds the knobs to a Viking 36" VGSO near Sylvia Plath's grave, you'll know I was there. The boogers probably belonged to Ted Hughes.
NOVEMBER - At the risk of sounding maudlin, I'd love to leave Rodney Dangerfield (choke) something he always wanted... (wipe of tears)... Respect... Auuugghhh.... (sound of sobbing and scampering feet fading into distance)
DECEMBER - What can you say about Keith Richards... (oh. wait.. he's still alive.) Oh well. I guess that just leaves Heather O'Rourke, who get's a 15 minute egg timer left for her at Westwood Memorial Park along with a dusty VHS copy of Poltergeist III.