Sunday, May 14, 2017

This Obit Is Better Than Yours Will Ever Be

John Fairfax

This obituary from 2012 is better than yours will ever be unless you lie very, very convincingly.  From The New York Times:

John Fairfax, Who Rowed Across Oceans, Dies at 74

He crossed the Atlantic because it was there, and the Pacific because it was also there.

He made both crossings in a rowboat because it, too, was there, and because the lure of sea, spray and sinew, and the history-making chance to traverse two oceans without steam or sail, proved irresistible....

At 9, he settled a dispute with a pistol. At 13, he lit out for the Amazon jungle.

At 20, he attempted suicide-by-jaguar. Afterward he was apprenticed to a pirate. To please his mother, who did not take kindly to his being a pirate, he briefly managed a mink farm, one of the few truly dull entries on his otherwise crackling résumé, which lately included a career as a professional gambler.

Mr. Fairfax was among the last avatars of a centuries-old figure: the lone-wolf explorer, whose exploits are conceived to satisfy few but himself. His was a solitary, contemplative art that has been all but lost amid the contrived derring-do of adventure-based reality television.... In recent years, Mr. Fairfax made his living playing baccarat, the card game also favored by James Bond.

Perfect, but there's actually more as this is the cut down version suitable for church goers.

New York Times obit writer Margalit Fox told Jim Romenesko that her published piece was actually a condensed and conservative version of the original, and that the bio on the Ocean Rowing Society website, which provided nice details about Fairfaxes' many whorehouse dalliances, was a little too much for modest Times readers. 

All the better!   A life too much for family newspapers? Let us aspire to that.


1 comment:

geonni banner said...

Cafe Press has T-shirts of this...