I don't know about you but personally, I'm glad Baby New Year ('09 Remix) finally kicked the bucket and the '10 Extended Remix is in full effect. 2009 was a rough year; sure the economy was/is absolute shit, but more pressingly, SO MANY PEOPLE died in 2009!! And not just random schmos to flesh out the Oscar In Memoriam package (like the Grip in The Fly), but big names. Natasha Richardson! Farrah Fawcett! Patrick Swayze! Ed McMahon! Billy Mays! Michael Jackson!! Bea Arthur!! And once we all started breathing a little easier in December, Brittany Murphy ups and dies on us last minute. 2009 took as much as it could before it went softly into the night. Which makes me worried about what 2010 has in store for us.
A large part of my shock regarding the death of everyone above comes from my complete unpreparedness for their deaths. As a Boy Scout (for a week and a half), I should have known to be prepared. But how is that possible when you didn't even know Billy Mays was a cokehead! Or that Farrah Fawcett had colon cancer! But I refuse to let 2010 get a jump on me and start picking off celebs like a carnival game. Which is why I'm getting a headstart on the Grim Reaper and have created the following list of people who are likely to buy the farm in the coming year. (Ed. note: Casey Johnson, though I still really have no idea who she is, had to go ruin my foresight by dying while I was writing this last night. Alternatively, thank you, Casey, for making this post that much more relevant.)
1. Dick Clark. Sad, but true. Since his stroke back in 2004, he's been only peripherally on the New Year's Eve scene. Frankly, I'm surprised he wasn't the last to go at the end of December '09, slowly counting down to his own demise. #inappropriate He may have only just turned 80, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Seacrest has become the new permanent host of the Rockin' New Year's Eve special (and that Seacrest mastermined Dick Clark's death from day one).
2. Bob Barker. Like Ed McMahon, Bob Barker is 86 years old. He has also apparently had bouts of skin cancer due to his frequent tanning. I would be devastated if Bob Barker dies this year, but I think the balls of our nation's pets would rejoice.
3. Clint Eastwood. This is not based on any conclusive evidence other than the fact that he was on the cover of my GQ Men of the Year edition, and it took me a full minute to realize I wasn't staring at a grizzled orangutan. His skin looks like a pair of cowboy boots, which I guess is only fitting. Apparently he's nothing but healthy, but good gravy, does that man look old!
4. Rue McLanahan. God forbid. I mean, we're down to our last two Golden Girls, but heart problems at the end of last year make me unreasonably nervous about losing Miss Blanche Devereaux. There isn't enough cheesecake in the world.
5. Amy Winehouse. Would anyone be surprised? Didn't think so.
6. John Travolta. Scientologists are just itching to get him out of the fold one way or another. An accomplished pilot? More like a convenient accident.
7. Phyllis Diller. Bitch is 92 years old. I think that about says it all.
8. Lindsay Lohan. Because it's not physically possible to be that skinny, do that much coke, and live to tell the tale. (see: Heath Ledger, Brittany Murphy)
9. Leslie Nielsen. Not based on hard evidence, but the man has had a pretty impressive career, so he might as well go out on a high note. Once you downgrade from Airplane! to Scary Movie 3, it might be time to move on before you end up in Meet the Spartans 2.
10. Spiedi. If only..amirite?!
11. Tonya Harding. I bet you haven't thought about T. Hards since the 1994 Olympics. Unless you've caught one of those "Worst Celebrity Sex Tapes" specials that airs her honeymoon video with Jeff Gillooly. Either way, she's apparently fallen into a routine of domestic violence, alcohol, and car accidents. Adding to that, she recently set a new land speed record for a vintage gas coupe (thank you Wikipedia). Ten to one odds she tries to recreate that on the highway whilst intoxicated.
12. Larry Flynt. Hef would have made the list, but considering all the sex he's getting, I imagine his heart is stronger than an ox. Flynt on the other hand is kind of obese/sweaty looking. Exactly what you'd imagine the founder of the sleazier Playboy to look like.
13. Maya Angelou. I kind of love Maya Angelou, for no real reason, having read nothing she's written. I think it stems from an episode of Sesame Street she was on once when I was little. Anyway, her death is highly unlikely, as writing poetry is not a high impact profession. Neither is narrating movies about the Big Bang. Also, black women age so gracefully/well that you could tell me she's 52 and I'd believe you. But I'm just trying to prepare myself for any freak accident that could take Maya out of our lives.
14. Angela Lansbury. If you had asked me, I would have said she was already dead. Because for far longer than I care to admit, I confused her with Agatha Christie. That whole Murder, She Wrote series really screwed up my perception for mystery authors/actresses. Regardless, she's old.
15. Michael Douglas. Catherine Zeta-Jones has got to be tired of lugging around that sack of skin, right?
16. Madonna. As we all learned at the VMAs, she and Michael Jackson led very similar lives. Therefore, it only makes sense that they would have very similar deaths. (Yea right, with all the yoga and Kaballah, Madonna will be making bad music long into the 2000s. Cher on the other hand....)
Like I said, maybe I am wildly speculating here. But as Casey Johnson just proved, you can never predict these things. I'd rather have some expectations in my head so that when Tim Allen mysteriously drops dead tomorrow, I won't be nearly as torn up as I was when Heath Ledger passed.
(Ed. note: Don't worry, folks, Meg is just sick. Hopefully she'll be feeling better in no time.)