One way to die

We watched Dog Day Afternoon on the television last night.

We watch television most every night, kicked back on recliners, with salads and hot tea in hand.

Al Pacino as Sonny, John Cazale as Sal, and Chris Sarandon playing the crazy gay guy, Leon, a role that I had forgotten since my last viewing ages ago.

Of course, Sal ends up with a bullet in his forehead, and Sonny winds up in cuffs. Sal got the better end of the stick, a clean, swift demise, which got me thinking about death.

Just last week we watched Sea of Love, which also stars Pacino and is also set in New York City. Pacino’s love interest here is not the gay Sarandon but the spectacularly straight Ellen Barkin. Oh, mama!

She’s getting long in the tooth now, as we all do, but when she was young . . .

She was spectacular.

One wonderful way to die would be in my sleep, totally unaware, lost in an indecorous dream entwined in the lovely arms and lopsided smile of Ellen Barkin.

Now that would be heaven — and a death worth dying for.

13 thoughts on “One way to die”

  1. My father’s mother died Saturday. It was not pretty. The only good part was she died at her home with her family about her, but it was a painful death that seemed to me as unneeded. Both of my grandmas died the slow death that ran on for weeks — it will not be my way if I have the ability at the time to avoid that kind of passing.


    1. Norm: My mother died at age 90, and she just plain wore out. No pain involved, nor for my father years earlier either. Let’s hope that you and I check out suddenly when the time comes, preferably dreaming of Ellen Barkin.


      1. Gram was 96, her body was fine but her brain shut down — her last breath was spent begging for help. She did not go peacefully into the night. The old men in the family die from heart problems, sometime 50 years too early but fast. The whole thing has been on my mind more than I like this past month. I was so happy to see her go.


  2. I just hope and pray that I have the strength to be able to pull the trigger or enough brain power to facilitate a quick exit. I am saddened by what the families go through. One of my wife’s family members was in a vegetative state for almost nine years, a real toll on the family.

    Dr. Kevorkian should have not been jailed, in my opinion. At least Oregon has some decent laws pertaining to euthanasia.


  3. I want to go quietly in my sleep like my grandfather. Not screaming and crying like the three other people in the car he was driving at the time.

    Seriously though, I agree with Trancho. A move to Oregon (or Switzerland) when I am 90 might be in order.


    1. You’re a funny guy, Croft.

      But I’m sticking with the Hemingway technique. Just have to take care with who is in the general vicinity. The middle of a desert would be good, where only the buzzards would notice (and enjoy) the mess.


      1. Good plan but tough for those of us who do not like guns. I would probably miss (a surprising percentage of those who try this method only succeed in wounding themselves into a vegetative state). Maybe an overdose of marijuana…


        1. Croft: While a pistol or rifle might leave some margin for error, the Hemingway technique does not. A shotgun blast to the head will always do the trick, but it is messy, which is why you must take care that loved ones will not be first on the scene.

          Hemingway, quite selfishly, did not take that precaution. His wife found him near the front door. His head was splattered all over the place.

          I have never heard of someone overdosing on pot, and I doubt that it is possible.


  4. I have been fascinated with death since I was four. Two stories I wrote that year about a rabbit being eaten to death by rats, and a doctor bunny being wrongly executed stand as proof that death is the core of most of my tales. And I still know as little about it as when I was four. But I am certainly getting a lot closer to climbing into Emily Dickinson’s coach with him.


    1. Steve: Being in your 60s now, you are much closer to solving the mystery than you were at age 4. But let us hope that the full revelation does not come too very soon.

      With luck, Ellen Barkin — or someone similar — will be waiting for you.


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