A Big Twinkie

When I die, I don’t want ceremony. I don’t want the beating of breasts and grand gestures of grief. I don’t want people who barely knew me at all to make claims to deep connections with me, although I guess this will only happen if I die tragically and young. I definitely don’t want the Westboro Baptist Church to show up at my memorial, because cripes, I just died, now I already have to come back and smite a bunch of people?

Before I die, I’d like to live well. Not loud, not large. Just well. Ideally, I would like to live the way Harold Ramis lived, by being able to create and contribute in such a way that made the people he liked look as talented as possible, and that inspired people I know to express their grief at his passing in the following ways:

“Thank you, dude. You fucking ruled.”
“Personal hero. Changed the game. Rest in peace, sir.”
“Now, practically nothing is funny.”
“A 21-proton pack salute for my favorite ghostbuster…”

And this…

ripharoldramis

I’ve said before that every now and then, someone dies and it feels especially sad, the new void especially empty, because in some way, it felt like that person or their work made them a part of your team. Correctly or not, you feel as though they thought they way you’d think, that they’d created the things you might have, and like if you ever got to meet them, you’d probably get along. They’d be on your side. And when they die, you sigh and think “another one bites the dust.”

For me, my team included people like Kurt Vonnegut, George Carlin, and Jim Carroll. And seriously, look the fuck out if it turns out Tom Waits is a mortal, because if he dies I. Will. Freak.

Harold Ramis was another member of the team. Even from a very young age, I knew that the stuff he wrote and the way he told stories was a blueprint for what I thought was funny. He was a guy who was just smart as hell and didn’t feel the need to dull that intelligence with easy, idiotic jokes. Sure, his jokes were silly and a lot of his scenes were absurd, but there was language there, and the ability to make even the most repugnant characters (Bluto, Venkmann) seem lovable in an unconventional way.

And of course I cannot ignore that while the first of my movie star crushes was Indiana Jones, my second was Egon Spengler. Indiana had my dream career, but I’ve always had a thing for the nerds. Especially when they’re Jewish.

Thanks, Harold Ramis. Thanks for writing all that stuff. Thanks for some of the greatest comedies the world will ever see, and god help anyone who doesn’t agree with that because I do not want to be friends with them. I hope you can rest in peace, but if not, please come back and haunt Aykroyd. Make him experience feelings of dread in his basement or attic until he a) stops talking about aliens and b) shuts up about making a Bill Murray-less Ghostbusters sequel.

I’m not saying I believe in all of that, necessarily, but if part of it turns out correct and I could possibly meet you sometime in the weird future, just know…I want to party with you, cowboy.

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About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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