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Death, & How We’ll Profit From It

Went to a funeral in Ukiah and most attendees were leaning heavily toward 80 years old. Don’t know how many made it back home from the services, but a lot of them looked due for an appointment with the jolly reapers at Eversole Mortuary. 

It’s getting serious out there. 

Our friends are dying off faster than ever, often for no obvious reasons. Some of them (a lot of them) are younger than us, healthier than us, stronger than us and smarter than us, but we’re the ones still above ground, still eating Doritos, watching Gilligan Island reruns and drinking Old Milwaukee beer. 

It’s getting troublesome. The question arises: How can we make death less fearsome and, since this is America, perhaps a bit more humorous and a lot more profitable? Let’s consider a yearly event in which all members put $1000 into the pot, along with cards with names written on them. 

The black card, for instance, would show the name of the person you think most likely to be first to die in 2024. The pink card is your nominee for second to expire. Blue card is your third prediction. 

Winner gets half the money in the pot, and the second pick gets, say, 20% of the remainder. Etc etc etc. 

Macabre? Well, yes, but that’s why the money will go to some worthy cause or other, as determined by the winner. (NOTE: Choice of charity is subject to neither debate nor appeal.) 

It’s a game that would lead to all kinds of diabolical intrigue. Would anyone stoop so low as to have a friend, or at least acquaintance, murdered for, say, 50 grand? Well of course we would, especially if it was a relatively inoffensive homicide, like pulling a vegetable’s plug a bit prematurely. 

Other scenarios beg to be considered: The killing of a local menace to society and major criminal should result in double rewards, plus bail money. Candidates for extinction would be cleared in advance by DA Dave Eyster or County Sheriff Matt Kendall, and considered “Public Service Killings.” 

Imagine the excitement if names of those nominated for extermination were publicized and it was well known that vigilantes from Redding were here in Ukiah, hot on his trail? 

Side bets everywhere (“$500 says he gets greased in Hopland!”) plus, of course, all money earmarked for worthy charities. Talk about win-win for Mendocino County. 

Hiring co-conspirators, out of town hitmen, getaway drivers and spies willing to lend a diabolical hand in exchange for cuts of 10% or 50% or 90% of the prize money adds to the intrigue. Arrests could follow, and subpoenas issued for Eyster and Kendall. 

And variations inevitably suggest themselves. Shall we set odds of 10-5 on someone in a wheelchair with oxygen tanks and a yellow complexion being next to shuffle off to the morgue in 2024? 

Conversely: What about odds of 1 in 20 on the predicted death of a young, healthy fellow but who uses drugs and rides a motorcycle? 

See the fun? See the potential for a Netflix special “Based on True Events”? 

Is it wrong? Better yet, is it legal? Betting on someone’s mortality seems ripe for legal research. Readers might ask my next door neighbor (Page 4 of today’s and every Sunday’s paper) Frank Zotter for legal advice. Later we’ll tell the judge that Frank told us it was OK, and maybe we’ll get probation. 

News Note: Wife Trophy said her $1,000 is already in the pot, and that she’s betting on me. Such devotion. I only have $250 on her. 

Stay tuned, place your bets, and think how much more fun, complicated and profitable future “celebrations of life” will be in Ukiah. 

* * *

Crime Opportunity 

How soon before criminals start loitering at electric vehicle charging stations for easy pluckin’s among wealthy Tesla and Rivian owners? 

Electric and/or Hybrid cars are 100% owned by wealthy White people who don’t carry guns and will happily hand over purses and wallets to promote Equity and Diversity. 

The two hour wait for your Prius to get its fill of volts, watts, electrons, amps, etc., provides a nice big window for robbers and thieves who like to sleep in before sauntering off to work the night shift. 

(Wife Trophy was exhausted by Ukiah’s nonstop rain so Tom Hine talked her into returning to Los Carolinas where the temperature upon arrival was 17 degrees, and 15 the next day. TWK hasn’t taken his mink coat off since they got here.)

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