Colleen McCullough, a favorite writer of mine whose Masters of Rome series I’ve read at least five times, died January 29 at the age of 77.
Her obituary in the Australian put some strange things in the lede: “Colleen McCullough, Australia’s best selling author, was a charmer. Plain of feature, and certainly overweight, she was, nevertheless, a woman of wit and warmth.”
Social media responded to this insensitive and bizarre take on one of the world’s most popular writers with an outbreak of parodies on Twitter under the hashtag #myozobituary. Some of them are from writers and fans in the sf and fantasy field, and others are just too funny to leave out….
Neil Gaiman —
Although his beard looked like someone had glued it on & his hair would have been unconvincing as a wig, he married a rockstar #MyOzObituary
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) January 30, 2015
Nicholas Kaufmann of Dying Is My Business, Die and Stay Dead, and Chasing The Dragon —
Big of stomach, and almost constantly flatulent, he somehow managed to reach the keyboard to write some things, too. #myozobituary
— Nicholas Kaufmann (@TheKaufmann) January 31, 2015
Nicholas Pegg, “probably the only Equity member to have played Hamlet, a Dalek and an otter.”
I just popped into the future and came back with this. #myozobituary pic.twitter.com/M4i5PrIwr4
— Nicholas Pegg (@NicholasPegg) January 31, 2015
And others —
Although a shouty malodorous vulgarian he nevertheless enjoyed most episodes of house hunters international. #MyOzObituary
— Craig Ferguson (@CraigyFerg) January 30, 2015
Despite a forehead like a solar panel and hair mown by the blind, Benjamin Law had basic literacy and dabbled in social media. #myozobituary
— Benjamin Law (@mrbenjaminlaw) January 30, 2015
#MyOzObituary A loud mouthed douchecanoe who rose to fleeting prominence speaking on equal rights, he was nevertheless an eloquent swearer.
— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) January 30, 2015
#myozobituary Persistently homosexual and freakishly tall, he was never the less, Anne Rice's son.
— Christopher Rice (@chrisricewriter) January 30, 2015
Having never really recovered from carrying twins, she hoisted her breasts in ropes and pulleys for the remainder of her days #myozobituary
— Caroline Overington (@overingtonc) January 30, 2015
Solid arsed &w a face undeniably slablike in later years, nevertheless Lanagan amassed a shelfload of literary&genre trophies. #myozobituary
— Margo Lanagan (@margolanagan) January 30, 2015
Despite being fat and nerdy, he managed to distract people from his general misanthropy by being unable to drive very well. #myozobituary
— James Cowling (@scrabblegeek) January 31, 2015
Alexandra Petri, the Washington Post humorist, has also contributed a column full of Obituaries for Men.
Thank you. These came from a part of the internet I do not frequent (for antiquity-of-browser reasons) and are delightful.
I note that someone on the interned has stated that the obit. has been in the files so long that the writer is now dead. The Editor who ordered/allowed it to be printed, however, really deserves to be named prominently & frequently in this context, and I’m not aware of who he is. (I assume the male pronoun is correct, but actually it might have been a woman … I’m sure there are incompetent female editors, but both seem unlikely on The Australian staff.)
With writers, it might almost be more usual to comment, “thought NOT overweight… “
Thank you — haven’t guffawed so sincerely in many a day.