Revisited: No more eulogies

The last truly decent person who always had a kind word for everyone and would light up any room they entered, died yesterday.

Ernest Hebert was described by friends and family as someone you could always count on in a time of need. He never let hard times get him down, and children always flocked to hear him tell stories about his youth. He’d give you his last dime if you were short of money, and was always available to do whatever favor you needed him to.

“He was truly a very special man,” said long-time friend Ken Cash. “There won’t be another one like him for a long time.”

In fact, experts believe there may never be another one like him. It is likely that Hebert could be the last honest, hard-working, conscientious, caring human being on the planet. Virtually every individual who has died in the previous decade was described by surviving friends and family in glowing, positive eulogies following their passing. If mathematical models for good versus evil are correct, Hebert represented the last upstanding person alive. Everybody left is either a jerk-off or a lame-o.

“We’ve been aware of this trend for quite some time,” said Marie Andrews, chief demographer at the U.S. Census Bureau. “Whether it’s a celebrity or sweet old Mr. Johnson from the post office, people just can’t say an unkind word about the dead.”

Andrews pointed to two recent examples to illustrate her hypothesis. Pop star Michael Jackson, hounded for years as a washed-up singer, plastic surgery addict and probable sex offender, was instead found to be a loving father, loyal friend and brilliant artist during investigations begun immediately after his death last June. Also, Harriet Taylor, Andrews’ 78-year-old neighbor who constantly complained about kids making too much noise and the oak tree that wasn’t planted on her property but still dropped leaves and acorns on her side, turned out in death to be a kindly soul who left $10,000 to the local library.

“It’s pretty certain we’ve now reached the point that all the good people are gone,” said Andrews, who admitted that she herself was a shrewish harpy, a dangerous driver, a bad tipper and a full-on bitch. “You can expect obituaries to start taking an ugly turn as more awful, awful individuals begin passing away.”

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