Best Celebrity Death Drive-By

Sareeta and I often contemplate one day taking vows and becoming an ‘Academic Power Couple’ in a marriage of convenience. As we were instant messaging today, I complained about my new Ambien prescription; explaining how I feel grateful that I am finally sleeping the full night but wondered if the chemical might be “bigger than me.” I know my way around chemicals, so it’s surprising to feel intimidated. This tangent led, of course, to a discussion of Heath Ledger [some feelings of sadness were felt] and naturally we discussed how she had to navigate around the crowds massing outside the apartment where he died.

“Oh, that’s nothing,” I wrote back. “Imagine trying to park near OJ’s house after he murdered his wife!” Ali, Lauren and I used to get pasta just down the street on Bundy at Viva la Pasta (disgusting; now closed).

We began to contemplate the phenomenon of the Celebrity Death Drive-By.

Obviously, the ultimate Celebrity Death Drive-By was Princess Diana. That’s a gimmie. Dat and I once got caught in traffic on Wilshire, next to the British Consulate. Her mourners packed the sidewalk, massing out into the street. Dat could not contain himself (being unsentimental and in a hurry), but I remember how it was a rare Los Angeles moment seeing as the people in their cars didn’t just drive over the mourners blocking their way. It was … touching.

And I remember, oh God, the whole Nixon funeral being a huge bitch to traverse.

What is your best Celebrity Death Drive-By?


6 Responses to “Best Celebrity Death Drive-By”

  1. Ali Says:

    I remember when Reagan died a few years ago, I was living in Santa Monica. Before his body was sent to Washington for a viewing and back to California for final burial at his his “library,” he was stored in a “Six Feet Under”-like but otherwise nondescript funeral home on 19th Street in Santa Monica.I was unemployed during that time so my main daily duty was to drive Laurel to and from her training “institute” a few blocks away from the funeral home. I was stunned by the amount of car and pedestrian traffic for Reagan. People weren’t allowed inside the funeral home. There was no actual viewing… no services were being held there. He was just being frozen for a few days. But people were taking pictures of the outside of the funeral home. TV news crews were there to interview the picture takers. And the whole scene annoyed me because I had to detour all the way over to 20th Street.

  2. darknessatnoon Says:

    I think the detour and the traffic jam are integral to the concept of the celebrity death drive by. It’s part of the ‘experience.’ Awesome that there were no actual services ongoing.

  3. Ameer Says:

    Does 9/11 count?

  4. darknessatnoon Says:

    Little brother, it counts double! Didn’t you hear? You get two votes this election because of how much 9/11 counts.

  5. sammyinsydney Says:

    I remember the death of Reagan as well, but not because I did a celebrity drive by- no no no, mine was a celebrity RIDE by. We literally rode past his ranch in santa barbara while on the AIDS ride. The director of the LA Gay&Lesbian Center, a wonderfully rebellious and loud Lori Jean, delivered a tirade that evening about his administration. When one of our friends protested to Dat and I later that she had not even waited for the body to be cold, Dat delivered:”You know what, the body was always cold!”

  6. Dat Says:

    Actually sammy, it was that turd James, trying to be a gentleman/asshole who tripped repeatly to defend Reagan’s legacy by protesting “but really guys…the body is barely cold’.. . This in the middle of the AIDSRIDE!!!I whipped only that Reagan’s body was cold when it was alive

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