Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Don't Let me Be the Last to Know

I'm not sure there are statistics to bear out our beliefs, especially when they are non-scientific. When I worked at 911, there was a commonly held theory that we were much busier during times of the full moons. Then, someone sat down with an almanac, some Hostess Ho-Hos and the daily call printouts, and it turned out that was just supposition, based on the input of the almanac and the stats. The HoHos were just something to make the afternoon go by faster.

Then "they" all said, ok, maybe we don't get more calls during full moons, but we sure get the weird ones. Once again, fact is not as much fun as fiction (which accounts for the popularity of FOX News) because 911 gets weird calls 24 x 7 x 365.

But - how many times have you seen this one? Someone famous dies, and someone says, "Now watch: two more will go soon, too!" Is it that is does happen in threes, or do we just pay attention in triplicate?

Last week, Patrick
Swayze, Henry Gibson and Mary Travers all went home to their rewards. An unlikely triumvirate, they: Gibson, the quirky performer from "Laugh-In" who played plenty of character roles over the years...Swayze, the guy who walked that line between ballet and barroom bouncer so successfully ...and the female member of Peter, Paul and Mary, Ms Travers, all gone now. A shame, I liked them all; and Peggy was such a PPM fan that we often have stewball stew and lemon tree pie for dinner.

But while on this bittersweet topic, I still am interested in joining a tontine, if anyone knows of one. The deal is, a group of people with more or less equal life expectancies pools some money, and then the last one to shuffle off this mortal coil bags all the loot. Lorenzo Tonti, Italian banker of the 17th century, came up with this idea. You have to wonder if he won one when it came his time.

And, I just went online to get Tonti's date of departure, and found an article about tontines that said they are illegal in the US and Great Britain. Oh, so NOW they tell me.

No comments: