Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Jody Powell And the Zinger
We've already learned that zingers can be added to somoene's obituary to poke fun at the deceased, or in some cases get the writer's point across about the deceased's true character.
Then we can have the zinger that comes from the deceased themselves about something in their life that they might have been famous for saying, or implying, that the writer feels a quote of will reveal some of their character. These can be considered positive zingers and show how the deceased weathered their times.
Take today's obituary of Jody Powell, by David Stout in today's Times. There are actually two Jody Powell zingers.
The first involves how mad he'd get at the columnists Evans and Novak. And since Robert Novak just passed away himself, we know he gave as good as he got, and he got often. Jody Powell is said to have described the columnists "as two bombastic rascals whose only redeeming virtue is their lack of pretension to be anything else." A great hissy fit line.
Of course, we must remember that Jody Powell was president Jimmy Carter's staunch defender, and Carter could get monuments mad at him.
The last one is better. And in keeping with The Final Word it closes the obituary, and is so good I've even added to it I like it so much.
When Carter was governor of Georgia and Jody was a press secretary he responded to someone's letter he didn't like that "one of the governor's burdens was having to read 'barely legible letters from morons.
'I respectfully suggest that you take two running jumps and go straight to hell.'" He certainly could have made it on talk radio.
But here's what I'd love to add: "But if you can get there in one running jump, then by all means do so. You'll get there quicker."
Mr. Powell passed away from a heart attack. I wonder if there's an opening.