"We all die in threes." That's a line from the Green Day song, "Somewhere Now." It is a sentiment that has been clanging around in the back of my mind for the past week or so, reminding me at once not to take spirits departing this plane so personally as well as helping me rationalize the idea that there is no real scheme to this whole dying thing. Memories of all those science fiction stories with dystopian futures where evil overlords or faceless bureaucrats decide everyone's termination date haunt me. Most of them were begun as well-intentioned attempts at population control. Where will we put all those people? What's more, where will we put all their stuff?
A cynical sort of person such as myself might sigh with relief as each new name is added to that list. Keeping track of Zsa Zsa Gabor was becoming more and more challenging as news of her continued existence was the only news that was available after she had stopped slapping cops and marrying faux royalty, it was hard to keep track of the old girl. She survived Nazis in Hungary. She lived through a checkered Hollywood career and nine marriages. She would have turned one hundred years old in 2017. And depending on how you were scoring at home, she got lumped in with Alan Thicke and Franca Sozzani. Or maybe John Glenn. Thing is, there are always more.
There is that lovely story about the American and German troops coming out of their trenches on Christmas Eve to share a little respite from killing one another. But that's more the exception than the rule. Ninety-two Russians went to heaven instead of flying to Syria this past Christmas Eve. Twelve shoppers in a Berlin market did not get to celebrate the holidays on earth this year. They all died in threes. They all died. And the hits keep coming: Wham - George Michael. Princess Leia will only be appearing digitally in future installments. Alas.
2016 has been brutal for all kinds of reasons, and it would be ridiculous to assume that 2017 will be radically different. There is no rest for the wicked. I'm looking at you, Death.