This is Why I Fear Celebrity Deaths and Why I Shouldn’t Have Made a Joke Today
I don't have a very good track record on days that uber-celebrities die. Today, I was reminded of this after a smartass Facebook post about a troll dying caught the attention of a co-worker with whom I'd just shared my story.
It was in late November of 2001 that the first celebrity death led to bad things happening for me personally. It was on the day George Harrison (A Beatle, for God's sake) died that I was "let go" from a radio job in Waco. Being "let go" is what a radio DJ refers to when "getting fired" sounds too embarrassing.
I worked on a rock station with my older brother at the time, and the death was big news for us throughout that morning's show. After the show. we were blindsided with our dismissal. Politics? Post 9/11 drop in revenue? Salary dump before the end of the year? Whatever the reason, it sucked. I was a month away from my wedding, and I was dumped on my ass. Luckily, I had a job later that afternoon in Temple.
Fast-forward three years and you'll find me in Alaska doing a radio show with my brother once again. This time we'd been tipped off to our dismissal the night prior to it happening. "It" being "let go" again. This time it was Marlon Brando that kicked the bucket. Despite the 12-hour heads-up it still sucked.
This time around I was three days away from a vacation to the Outer Banks in North Carolina for a week at the beach. Luckily, I got a new gig after interviewing for a job (the same job in Temple I'd gotten the day after being fired in Waco) on a payphone at a truck stop in the middle of Nowhere, Virginia.
In the 11 years since, I've perked my ears up at the death of any significant celebrity death. I shared this story with a co-worker this week because (for the first time since 2004 when I was fired right before the vacation) I'm going BACK to the Outer Banks. I've been very stressed preparing for, not only the vacation, but the possibility that fate will strike again. Sucks to live this paranoid a life, eh?
I've kept a low profile at work today JUST IN CASE. I've made sure in the 11 years since the last surprise to make sure that, if they fire me, they're going to have to hire five people to replace me. That's the reason I run 3 radio stations, do 10 hours on-air each day on two different stations and generally put my nose in everything I possibly can. I'm the Sam's Club of radio.
Still, despite all those facts above, I was terrified about hearing about the death of a Lord of a Ring and a Golden Girl. I was even more terrified when I remembered the bad karma I brought my way with this Facebook post: