Obituaries for women never go viral for the right reasons. Last week, an Australian obituary for a female novelist and neurophysiologist made the rounds of the Internet. Given that it began with the words “Colleen McCullough, Australia’s best selling author, was a charmer. Plain of feature, and certainly overweight, she was, nevertheless, a woman of wit and warmth,” you can see why it might have sparked indignation and even a hashtag, #myozobituary.
I did not realize that this was how we were now beginning obituaries. Now that I know, here are some obituaries for men, updated lest we fall behind the new standard.
Teddy Roosevelt: Resembling a fat walrus in little spectacles, he was, nevertheless, president at one point or another.
Charles Dickens: Definitely balding, with an increasingly visible comb-over and facial hair that looked like a sloth had crawled onto his face and died, this gentleman nevertheless wrote a thing or two.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Though he looked like a wrinkly potato that had not slept in six years, some people liked his social policies OK.
James Joyce: Despite a marked resemblance to Henry Bemis in that “Time Enough At Last” episode of “The Twilight Zone,” nevertheless, this unappetizing little fellow wrote a couple of books.
Ernest Hemingway: This man looked like a big drunk cat. Contributed to literature in some way, possibly.
Charles Darwin: This man looked like something that came out of the ice just slightly to your left on the evolutionary scale, which was strangely apt, given what he spent his life doing.
Albert Einstein: Although he looked like a monkey that had stuck its head through an old straw hat and been electrocuted, he was, I guess, OK once you got to know him and might or might not have done some science that doesn’t really make sense to me.
Thomas Jefferson: Although a ginger, this man had good handwriting.
Abraham Lincoln: This man looked like Frankenstein’s monster but with more wrinkles and bigger bags under his eyes. This man had an unflattering chin-beard, and if he went on a dating show where all the other contestants were zombies and people with horse-heads, the odds are high that you still would not pick him. He was so physically hideous I can’t even begin to remember what he did with his life. Probably nothing.