Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mental Notes: Kill Bilbil and other ways to die

David Carradine, the actor of “Kung Fu” and “Kill Bill” fame, was found dead in his hotel room Thursday. He was found with a rope around his neck and his genitals, and so far Thai police have not come close to any solid conclusion.

If you don’t remember David Carradine from his “Kung Fu” days like me, you may remember him from the dark comedic gore-fest “Kill Bill”. He played “Bill” of course, and his character did not die in any conventional way.

In Vol. 2, The Bride (Uma Thurman) strikes Bill with the “Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique”. But he had the most peaceful death of all in the movie that shows just how many gory ways a person can die.

Ironically, although we watch many films about death and dying, most of us don’t like to talk about it.

“Fight Club”, a book by Chuck Pahluniuk that got turned into a cult classic thanks to the movie, spoke about how when someone dies, his body is quickly covered with a blanket and hauled away from sight – as if death was some highly-contagious disease.

But the point is, we are all going to die someday, somehow. It is the only thing certain apart from change.

So if you don’t want to read about death, close your eyes or look away and think happy thoughts – but remember – even Bambi’s mother died.

My friends and I used to talk about death. Although we’re not suicidal, the hazard of our job gave us a constant awareness of it. A few good friends of ours passed away of natural causes or because of some other tragic circumstance.

Although we were all half-expecting to die with a bullet in the brain -- we all hope to write 30 in a dignified manner -- and not in some pathetic freak accident like slipping on our pens and accidentally stabbing ourselves in the heart, or being hit by a runaway golf cart or struck down in the prime of life by a blimp.

Another good friend of mine, who has suffered from asthma from childhood, told me he thought he was going die one night due to a severe asthma attack. “I figured, if this is it – I might as well have one last cigarette.”

Surprisingly, the cigarette made him feel better and he survived the night. Indeed, “bad grass die hard,” he told me the next day.

Being Pinoy, it’s easy to tell that most of us will die of some lifestyle disease. Diabetes, heart disease, you name it.

We are told not to eat lechon, but we can’t help ourselves. No crispy pata. We eat it anyway. We love out sweets. We love our beer because as we like to sing, “In heaven there is no beer…that’s why we drink it heeerrreee!” *hik*

We love our gin, even when it smells like rubbing alcohol and was rejected for export because it was found to be “not fit for human consumption”.

We like our street food, though we joke about it being Hepa food.

Another friend of mine, who has been warned by his doctor time and time again not to indulge in lechon, said he doesn’t mind his bulging waistline. “I’d rather die happy”, he said, in a half-joking manner.

Another friend told me a story about an old woman who constantly chewed on tobacco and a man who lived healthily all his life. The young man kept telling the old lady to stop chewing on tobacco or she would die. The old woman outlived the young man because a truck hit him during his jog the next morning. So much for that.