Author: Kara Mae Adamo.
Okay, now I’m just upset.
This is relatively “old news,” but I’m going to complain about it anyway.
My last two “Dead Things” blogs revolved around the disposal (or the lack thereof) of peoples’ remains. Apparently, ashes make a great snack when you’re not wearing them around your neck and matching them with bracelets and high heels.
At least, at that point, we’re really just dealing with charred carbon. It all turns intoplant food anyway, right?
But what about before all that?
Death freaks me out. It’s not the people disappearing part—I’ve kind of squared with that one for the most part and, with a few exceptions, I know I’ll generally always be able to handle it.
I have this huge secret paranoia that I, at some point in time, am going to be stuck with a corpse.
I’ve felt it coming since I was a youngster—searching the elderly with a wary and distrusting eye, always convinced that if I let my guard down they were going to stroke out right there in front of me.
I’m fairly certain it has something to do with growing up in a retirement-focused town where we played yahtzee and went golfing and bowling as teenagers.
Either way, it’s always lurked in the back of my mind. Some soothsayer part of me also must have known I was going to accumulate some terrible karma in the next ten to fifteen years, too, because I was also always worried I’d be blamed for said demise.
Evidently, this fear is not shared by everyone (probably not even most). In the case of Robert Young and Mark Rubinson, being stuck with a corpse appeared to have been the coolest thing since sliced bread.
Please allow me to explain why.
So Young was a 43-year-old dead-beat living with his old college buddy (Jeff Jarrett…more about him in a minute). He’d recently fallen on hard times and began couch surfing with Jarrett to get through it while partying it up with 25-year-old Mark Rubinson.
So at some point, Jarrett stops moving around and talking. Young, in a streak of brilliant observation, decides something is probably wrong and makes a phone call.
Here is where paranoid-me would stray from his path: I would have called the cops and made them fish a corpse out from the couch or lazy boy or what-have-you because Idon’t like touching clammy things—especially clammy things that once had a pulse and are suddenly lacking one.
Young and I, as it turns out, are different people.
Instead of calling the cops or even a freaking relative, Young called Rubinson (who was just finishing up a shift at the bar he worked at). I’m sure you can already imagine this, but Rubinson did not exactly arrive at the scene with a gurney.
These two geniuses lifted their friend up and carried him out of the house.
Now, I know what you’re thinking…okay, well, maybe since they’d fallen on hard times they didn’t want to pay for an ambulance…they’re still trying to get him help.
This would be stupid even if it was true.
As it happens, it isn’t true.
Instead, the two of them decide to reenact the movie Weekend at Bernies and take Jarrett’s freshly cold body on a joyride all over Denver…on his dime.
You know one key thing I really like about that movie? It’s a movie.
They went and drank at a place called Teddy T’s for an hour and a half…then went to Sam’s No. 3. Jarrett didn’t want to go in—he was content just sitting there in the backseat of the car. Don’t worry—he was cool enough to cover the bill, though.
Deciding that it was time for Jarrett to get some rest, the two of them took him home and laid him down in his bed before taking off for a quick bite to eat at Viva Burrito and then hanging out at a strip club named Shotgun Willie’s. At some point they let it leak to a valet (and, subsequently, a police officer) that there may or may not be a dead guy at their friend’s house.
But, you know, no guarantee or anything.
So, naturally, the police raise their eyebrows for a minute or two before arresting the two Larry Wilson and Richard Parker wannabe’s for identity theft, abusing a corpse and criminal impersonation.
And their response?
We didn’t know he was dead.
It’s the type of thing where you hear it and then you get that feeling in your brain like when you eat ice cream too fast and everything blacks out because of the pain in your head.
Dearest friends, here is my published and written out consent: if I’m dead, charge whatever the hell you want on my bank cards. I don’t give a shit. But please–please–don’t take me with you. If I am dead, I am going to be in no mood for partying, I assure you. I will be silent and smelly and probably very antisocial. Do yourselves a favor. Tell the cops. I may be small, but lifting me dead-weight is still going to hurt in the morning.
Which brings me back to their response…you didn’t know? You carried him, for godsakes. How could you not know he was dead? And even if he was passed out (explaining away his sudden escalation in heaviness), wouldn’t he have moved or had a pulse or something?
Actually, scratch all of that. If he was passed out, why would you drag his butt out of the house? I once passed out at a party about five years ago and my jack-ass friends drew all over me with permanent marker. I woke up on the ottoman in the front yard covered in dew.
It wasn’t cool then—and they knew I was alive.
Sooo, what have we learned? Here, tell you what…I’ll set up some simple guidelines for you.
Number 1: Check for a pulse if your buddy isn’t moving or breathing.
Number 2: Call the authorities and a close relative.
Number 3: Back away from the corpse.
Number 4: Stay away from the corpse.
See? It’s so easy. Just keep these four steps in mind and we won’t have to go through this again, okay?
Also: stop using comedies as guidelines for what to do in sticky situations.