Sunday, 25 May 2014


He died doing what he loved. 

 Cold, frightened, choking, desperate and terrified.  Drowning.
 Right. Lovely.

I'd rather someone had kicked his stupid arse and he was still alive.


jgm2 said...

Always a good one that.

'He died doing something he loved.'

Unless it's sleeping, drinking or fucking then you can count me out of that eulogy.

It's a favourite of born-again bikers. Forty-somethings who find they can now buy a Suzuki Death-blade or whatever the fuck they're called for only 8,000 quid. And then they remember the fun they used to have on a nicked moped on the piece of scrap land out the back (who me, fuck no) and wouldn't it be just great to buy a 1200cc, 0-60 in 2.3 secs, suicide machine.

First day of spring there they are parked in a dry-stone wall with and all their fat, leather-clad mates are at the funeral giving it 'At least he died doing something he loved' while the widow holds the hands of the six and eight year old kids he's left behind.

Fucking imbeciles.

Jeffery Bernard. He died doing something he loved. Oliver Reed - he died doing something he loved. These poor bastards died because the keel snapped clean off their boat in a gale.

They must have really loved that.

call me ishmael said...

I struggled with Berbardism, myself, mr jgm2, but only for a while; as with Paul Gascoigne, Jeffrey's friends were also his enemies.

Setting aside the mind-paralysing stupidity of it all, the boy-skipper or the mid-life biker, that odious and nonsensical phrase is used as an act of absolution by the bereaved.

I don't have a son in his twenties but if I did he would have received a very, very severe talking-to from me about this lunatic behaviour and if that failed to save his life my response would be He died doing something I didn't love. These Luv'Em2Bits parents, what are they like, eh? So often that is exactly what they do, love their kids into bits. So keen to be friends, so swift to abjure parental responsibility, these, fuckwits, these are the New People.

There's been a tsunami of yachties on the comment boards, nearly all eulogisng these fools and praying for their foolish families; all of them insisting that - as with MediaMinster's MagicMoney War Chest - these search and rescue ops don't actually cost anything, in this case because the USCG is a branch of the armed forces and so technically lunatics like these are merely providing a training opportunity. I accept that we have a duty of care, I accept that such a duty is more imperative at sea but I do not accept that the results of this recklesssness are cost-free.

Maybe they'll make an album, the relatives, maybe of sea shanties, and donate the profits to the RNLI; maybe, instead, they'll just shut the fuck up and reflect on the fragility of life, everybody's.

Enoch said...

Mrs Enoch has been sailing since she was eight, and has been in charge of a boat out of sight of land how many times? Yep, not a single time. "That's the ocean, dear."

As per Mr Jgm2, she also says that the keel either just fell the fuck off - which happens with weekend sailors sometimes but it shouldn't out there with the big boys. More likely it hit something semi-submerged and was broken off. In either event, those lads were in big trouble.

Anonymous said...

Some people don't want to collect stamps or spend the weekend pruning the wisteria. As a middle-aged motorcyclist and former paraglidist there is something satisfying about a hobby that entails a small physical risk. Being 50 this year the big bike has been replaced with a small one and the paraglider has been sold. Time marches on and reaction times decrease; if someone is going straight from a Superdream in 1982 to an R1 with no gradual steps they're asking for trouble likewise sailing in a small vessel far out to sea. I'm sorry they were killed but not surprised.

call me ishmael said...

Whoops, seem to be offending you rather a lot, recently, mr richard. Mr jgm2 was only being characteristically robust in his depiction of the perils of spontaneous middle-aged super-bikerism and I do believe that there is a stretch of road - Leek/Macclesfield area? - which annually harvests a rich crop of such men; indeed I knew one man recently killed on the A9, his pillion wife cruelly injured. He had only recently retired and decided to go biking. It is, of course, as you say, a matter of choice, my gripe is with the almost industrial-scale mawkish sentimentality which arises when these things happen, on land, at sea, up mountains, down potholes, falling out of balloons or off Suzukis, if, indeed, these people died happy, then why should I be unhappy?

My dad, incidentally, in his twenties, raced a Brough Superior in the Ulster TT, at some then phenomenal speed, down what I remember he called the Dundrod Straight. But he'd given it up long before I was born.

Time for me now to jump on my Honda vee-twin, automatic 17h.p. mower, ride down the lane and trim the hedges.

Get yer motor ruh-nin, head out on the hi-ee-way.

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed, I know that course, just up the road from me. Your old dad must have had a pound or two if it was his, the bike he rode cost the same as a house when it came out, and they aren't much less now.
You have never offended me for the simple reason that taking offence is a choice and I choose not to. I vehemently disagree with, and (given your firm grip on reality re. politicians) am surprised at your view on taxation. But given the vast amount of entertainment and hitting nails on heads you mostly come up with, it wouldnt matter. What's one piece of gravel in pan after pan of gold?
The idiocy at deaths occurring following some high-risk activity is at it's worst when soldiers get killed. What, you didn't realise that the enemy shoot back? All the MOD's fault, never the parents who didn't say "Killing people for money is wrong and very highly dangerous."
If he was your best friend as you claim, missis, why did he feel the need to join up if you did your best to stop him? You didn't? At least you get a nice photo of the passing-out parade, worth the lack of ability to call things by their proper name no doubt.

call me ishmael said...

THank you for your kind words, mr richard.

He had a Square Four, too, I sat on them both, as a tiny infant. I believe he did have some money but it was gone before I was born, my older brother and sister having piano lessons, for instance, and me not. I never knew, and I guess I never will, now.

It is difficult, the army thing, for many, because such a part of us is steeped in the - real or otherwise - heroism of historical, conscripted or pressed armed forces that we tend to apply that natural admiration to today's career, professional soldiers, whose choice it is to go and slaughter Sambo or Seamus or Ahmed, maybe torture him a bit, too, for fun, sorry, in the heat of battle. And I wonder why it is that people such as those who run Help For Heroes do not understand that when all are heroes, none are heroes, do not understand that they devalue the very idea of exceptional, selfless bravery at least as much as do the whining, bereaved squaddieMums erode such dignity as their late sons possessed.

Anonymous said...

You're welcome. As for military courage, yes it's true enough. My old dad joined up when the average lifespan of a pilot was two weeks, and I used to read (and still do occasionally) of courageous fellows. Cheshire, Johnson and others, and their opposite numbers. The end result was a lot of dead men though, and I wonder if a conscientious objector in prison, who ignores the flags, speeches and social opprobium and his own loss of liberty, didn't have bigger balls than any of them as well as cleaner hands.
PS. 17bhp lawnmower is twice as much as my bike makes, you power-crazed lunatic. Keep her between the hedges!

call me ishmael said...

I was disappointed that 17 bhp was the biggest I could buy, fucking thing does about five miles an hour, a thousand pounds per 1mph.

Pilots, airmen generally, submariners, Christ, these days people'd want counselling just thinking about it.

The Conchie thing is perplexing; I would be one in an instant, now, not so sure about 1939 and I guess that the class sytem was so rigid in 1914 that you really would have needed a big pair, more than that, you would, as I believe was the case, have to have had an unusual, perhaps privileged upbringing to even frame the concept in your mind much less opt for it, I shouldn't think that the Pals' regiments left much room for moral manouvreing.

Whichever side of Heroism's balance one comes down on, there's not much of it about, these days. I wouldn't, for instance, want to be in Clegg's platoon.