Saturday, May 14, 2016
"I'm burning alive! I'm burning alive! Oh, Agony! For the Love of God, does no one have a moist towelette?"
I am heartened that Altouse keeps a fire burning for beloved father Andy Kaufman.
I have spent large swathes of my life studying his work, trying to learn ever more about the Dad I never met.
Much of his humor was turtles All the Way Down. On the surface was a joke, but the real joke was a turtle beneath it, except then it was under the next one, too. Then, everyone would respond to a different turtle in the joke. I always liked that.
Mom told me that when Dad staged his death that people would not get it, then get it, then not get it again. I always liked that, too.
Of course, the biggest Turtle in that story was that he died for real in a car accident three weeks later. Ran into a gas tanker truck south of Los Angeles, then was hit from behind by a Schoolbus for Blind Kids. Dad was burned beyond recognition, and buried as a John Doe.
Many of the Blind Kids say they can still feel the heat that came through the schoolbus glass, and that they can still smell the burning flesh and polyester, and hear the cries of "I'm burning alive! I'm burning alive! Oh, Agony! For the Love of God, does no one have a moist towelette?"
Dad's last words, those. Maybe not his funniest, but you have to consider the context, really.
Thank you, Althouse, for bringing these memories back to me this morning.
I miss you, Daddy I Never Knew. I hope you are proud of me.
I am Laslo.