People I used to like that are dead now
By: Alex Sandell

Ah, Memorial Day, that time where all of America thinks about dead people. Well, most of America drinks too much beer and eats hot dogs, but I guess that's good, since it will cause even more people to be dead even quicker and then everyone can drink beer and think about them.

The reason I rank Memorial Day up there as one of my favorite holidays is because it's the only one that Hallmark, and the rest of the card-dealing vultures, can't sink their grubby claws in. I mean, who are you gonna give the card to? Dead people can't read.

So, in keeping with the Memorial Day spirit (get it, "spirit?"), I'm gonna write about great friends and wonderful relatives that are now super stinky. So as not to play favorites with the corpses, I will simply rank (get it, "rank?") the deceased in the order they died. Enjoy!

October 1987: Josh Vigoren. Age: 15. Who was he?: Josh was a great friend throughout my childhood years. Toward the end of his life, he became my second-cousin. But that's a long story, and since he's dead, kinda pointless to tell. Josh was the first genuine punk rocker that I knew. He had his hair dyed orange and shaved into checkerboard shapes. Historic Moment: The two of us masturbated over "Smurfette" one Saturday morning. It was sorta funny. Why he was a better person than me: He didn't have as many zits.

October 1990: Mark Leonard. Age: 19. Who was he?: Mark and I were as close as two friends could be throughout high school (outside of a two month period of time where we got into this big fight over who was taller). Mark showed me that there was somebody as "off the wall" as me living in the putrid small town where I grew up (if you can call what I did "growing up"). We would get up on the tables in the lunchroom and (mockingly) sing along with crappy Van Halen songs. We'd unbutton our pants and casually walk down the hallways as they slowly worked their way down to our ankles. And, we skipped lots of classes. We skipped science, we skipped math, we skipped the detention we got for skipping class. Truancy wasn't a bad habit for us, it was a way of life. When he got killed in a head-on collision, it felt like he took half of me along with him. "Beat off or die," brother. Historic Moment: Take your pick. Why he was a better person than me: He could blow big globs of snot from his nose like a bullet.

October 1992: Robert Sandell. Age: 74. Who was he?: Bob was my grandpa. I lived with him for a year before his death. He was a great, great, great, great, great, great person. If I inherited this bizarre personality of mine from anyone, it would have to be him. You would see him pointing at some speck on the floor. He'd point for minutes, without saying a word, and then, after everyone had been driven nearly insane by wondering what he was doing, he'd finally say "there's a part of the floor that you'll never look at again." Other times, he'd sit, silently reading the newspaper, and then, out of nowhere, look up and say "bowwow." Immediately, he'd go back to reading the paper, without another "word." He was out there. Historic Moment: Anytime we played ping-pong. My grandpa had Parkinson's disease, and during the last year of his life, he could hardly walk without some kind of support. His hands would shake uncontrollably, and he was on so many prescription drugs he could've started a pharmacy. But, if you ever played double with him in table tennis, he'd stand straight, hands perfectly still, and tell you to "move a little faster" if he ever thought you were in the way of the ball. The guy was a pro. Well, I guess if he was a pro, he'd be super-rich, and in the Olympics and stuff. So, I'll have to say, the guy was really good. Why he was a better person than me: He had a way bigger penis. One time he froze up in the bathroom (due to his Parkinson's) and I had to help him get his clothes back on. Although I tried not to look, it was impossible not to notice . . . that thing was HUGE!

October 1996: Marie Brown. Age: 76 Who was she?: Marie was my grandma. She died on Halloween night, while my grandpa (on my mom's side) said the Rosary for her. She was very religious. The romance her and my grandpa had was straight out of a fairy-tale. They weren't just in love, they worshipped each other. They would do anything for one another. Just last month, my grandpa found a note my grandma had hidden away, telling him how much she loved him, and thanking him for helping her out, so she never had to go to a nursing-home. He also found birthday cards made out to all of her children, and grandchildren, for the upcoming year. She even had each of our birthdates written upon the envelope, so my grandpa wouldn't forget when to send them. Why she was a better person than me: I'm lucky if I even get people their birthday cards a day in advance.

So, those are the people I was close to that died. As I was writing this, I realized something; I really don't care much for the month of October. Have a happy Memorial Day, and before you go and dig somebody up, remember, they won't come back to life, no matter how hard you slap them.

These dead people are giving me the creeps, send me back to the table of brains