LIFE is unfair, and then you die. Right? You'd think that after the well-documented torture I've put my body through that I would be a physical wreck. But I went to my doctor for my annual physical and it turns out I'm a perfect specimen: cholesterol 161, pulse in the high 40s, blood pressure 126/74 before they lubed me up and made me yodel. Meanwhile as I write, Gary McCord, who has always kept himself slim, fit and mentally acute, and by comparison, a paragon of virtuous sobriety, is at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale with pericarditis, an inflammation of his heart and the sac around it, which has filled up with fluid. In other words, he has a dodgy strawberry. The irony of his having a sac full of fluid, and it being the wrong one, is not lost on him. Apparently, his sense of humor is alive and well.
It's hard to know how to react when a friend becomes seriously ill, especially when he's a sick bastard to start off with. In this case, sympathy would alarm McCord, so I thought while he was still around to read it, it would be more appropriate to write his obituary, a luxury typically afforded only to the great, such as Mark Twain. So, in case he goes tits up on us, the following is what I would say at the funeral of one of my dearest friends.
"Gary McCord had many endearing qualities, but my favorite was his seemingly limitless propensity toward an idiocy that made the rest of us feel intelligent. He once was striking bets with the Wadkins brothers and John Jacobs on the first tee of a practice round. He was gleefully pointing fingers, getting in faces and announcing his imminent cash winnings, and, some moments later, while he was looking for his ball in the edge of the left rough, Lanny asked him what he was doing. When McCord asked Lanny what he meant, he was informed that he had, in fact, neglected to hit a tee shot. Now that, my friends, would be a lost ball, in every sense.
"We will always remember Gary for his sense of style. He once starred in an episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy that never aired, because the Fab Five couldn't find a single thing to change. To call Gary anal would be an understatement. If he was riding in a vehicle in which the driver (who, for the sake of argument, we shall call "Dave") broke wind, rather than inhale the perpetrator's intestinal vapor, Gary would stick his head out the window like a golden retriever, at which point Dave would (accidentally) accelerate, causing Gary to be violently whipped by his own mustache. Gary bore the tears of mirth from his fellow travelers with all the dignity of a mentally unhinged early-round victim of American Idol, and we loved him for it.
"The accompanying illustration commemorates the last episode of our minus-rated Late Night Highlight Show, which ran on CBS for eight years during the Tour's West Coast swing. George Lopez was the host, and Gary chose the wardrobe from his signature Brokeback collection. I always admired his buttocks (in a manly way), as they looked so much more comfortable than my own, and in a final act of kindness, he has bequeathed them to me in his last will and testament. 'For posteriority,' is the term he used. It is a measure of the man's devotion to his friends that he spent the last 24 hours of his life sitting on a 50-pound sack of crushed ice, so that said buttocks would be perfectly preserved and I could have them fitted ASAP. Goodbye, my dear friend. The greatest tribute I can pay you is to say that every time I sit on your arse, I will think of you."
Footnote: The author and the subject believe that if you or anyone you care about is seriously ill, you could probably use a laugh. If either Gary McCord or David Feherty is actually dead at the time this piece appears in print, they both believe it would be pretty damn funny. Both of them would get over it.
Got a question of a comment for David Feherty? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.