Monday, April 22, 2013

How Will You Die?

ON the right-hand side of my Facebook page--or sometimes on the left depending on how busy they are over there--is an ad for an app called "How Will You Die?" I never click on it because to be honest, I love a good surprise. Besides, it's awfully personal, don't you agree? When I was growing up, death was whispered about. You certainly could not say "cancer" out loud lest you come down with it yourself. Dignified people died in private, of various diseases. Surely there were still public deaths caused by murders and earthquakes and such, but mostly it was done under wraps.

Not anymore. Today death is all the rage, and what with all the surveillance cameras and new weaponry, the sky's the limit and we get to see it all! A casual glance at the morning paper illustrates a few of the nutty ways people are meeting their maker circa 2013:

Page One: Last week's Boston Marathon bombings left five dead, including the perp and the MIT cop.

Page 2: Five snowboarders were killed in a deadly avalanche in the Rockies. Driving the point home, the article states it was the "deadliest avalanche in 50 years" in Colorado, bringing the number of dead this ski season from avalanches to 24.

In Arizona, five people died in a crashed van during a pursuit by the U.S. Border Patrol agents. Which is not too bad, actually, when you consider that there were 22 people in the van at the time.

Page 3: An explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas killed 14.

Page 7: Two deaths in Indiana and one in Missouri were caused by flash flooding from heavy rains and melting snow in those states.

Page 12: We hit the jackpot for the week, with an earthquake that killed 186 at the top of the page. Below the fold we learn that fighting between Nigeria's military and Islamic extremists murdered at least 185, including civilians, using rocket-propelled grenades and machine-guns.

That's 423 dead and I have not even finished breakfast. I hope I don't die any of those ways, but if I had to choose I'd go with the explosion at the fertilizer plant. It seems like it would be over in a flash, whereas that avalanche probably was really cold for at least a few minutes at the very end.

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