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2001-08-02

Warren G. (“Sonny”) Harding
B. 11.2.1865 Outside Blooming Grove, Ohio / D. 8.3.1923 San Francisco, California
Pneumonia

What seems to be the problem? I have just a few moments to think of someone dead; think of something to say, preferably in two voices; research the life facts using google.com; post the final product on the internet; and go to bed—it’s very late.
Perhaps it would be best to choose someone dull and uninspiring. And yet it’s also important to choose someone very famous, whose life facts won’t be hard to find.
A president? A famous politician? Too complicated—too potentially interesting.
An athlete? Possibly an athlete—but not a talented one; I don’t have time to fashion praises.
A musician? Is Tony Orlando dead? Maybe, maybe.
Stop! Do you see what I see? Not a moment too soon—I almost picked Sonny Bono!
You DID pick Sonny Bono, then you changed your mind. The little creep already got done in the guestbook—born in Detroit, though, there’s something informative, there’s work that no one else bothered to do. Think of someone LIKE Sonny Bono.
Ringo? He’s not dead.
Do him anyway—please. I can’t, I can’t. They have to be dead.
Okay, regroup. What about—Ringo? The fact is that I could abandon the conversational form at any time—I don’t need you, I don’t need anybody.
Fine. What about Warren G. Harding? He was a president.
But not an interesting one. Well, there was Teapot Dome, you know, there was all that—that scandal surrounding, what was it, land grants, yes I’m sure it was land grants.
I see. And? He died in office.
Anything else? Speak up! He ran a newspaper for awhile, back in Ohio. His wife supervised the paperboys and when they misbehaved she’d spank them.

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