Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Requiescant in pace. Keep off the grass.

I was listening to the BBC World Service in the 0700 GMT hour today, and heard them announce that Alistair Cooke passed away. Most of us USians probably know him from "Masterpiece Theater", but the past couple years I found and really grew to like his "Letter from America" segment. As an American, it was like having kind Uncle visit once a week to tell stories about all the little things you know to be true but just never stopped to think of before. I was kind of resigned to not hearing from him ever again already, since he stopped recording a month ago on the advice of his doctor. I feel let down easy, but it's sad just the same. Me, I would like to live to 95 and be as sharp as Mr. Cooke was. (This would require a marked improvement.) It could happen — I have a Grandmother who's 91 and was telling me a few weeks ago how she had a nice time "visiting with the elderly" just the day before.

I remember one Sesame Street episode with the Cookie Monster where they had "Monsterpiece Theater". The host was Alistair Cookie [sic]. The feature was "Me, Claudius", which consisted of a half minute of two monsters in togas, each pointing at himself and arguing, "Me Claudius;" "No, me Claudius." Then a third one enters and shouts "No, me Claudius." Curtains fall. How this was supposed to educate kids is beyond me.

In re the title, requiescant is the plural of requiescat (I had to look it up), the R of RIP. Also, Peter Ustinov passed away recently and he often said he wanted his epitaph to be "Keep Off the Grass".

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