I shudder to think

Where are the “thought police” of Orwell’s 1984 when you need them?

Milton Berle died yesterday, and I think I had something to do with it.

You see, earlier this week I asked someone, “Hey, is Uncle Miltie still alive or what?” Now, this may seem like sheer (or maybe just semi-sheer) coincidence, because America’s favorite dress-wearing uncle was, after all, in his nineties. But when you consider that I have made other comments that oddly manifested themselves as tragic reality shortly after my utterance, you may soon be pressing the authorities to “do something about her already, would you???”

Consider, if you will (and even if you won’t, I urge you to) these examples:

  • Princess Diana. I had a “feeling” that something bad was going to happen to her. And no, it wasn’t her marriage to that handsome prince. It was a feeling I had, long after her marriage dissolved, that she was going to die in an accident.
  • JFK, Jr. and Carolyn. This one was worse than just a “feeling”. This one was a “wish” I made after hearing about how fabulous and gorgeous and perfect this couple was just one too many times. I wished that something “horrible” would happen to them. OK, I wished that they would die.
  • World Trade Center. The Saturday or Sunday before September 11, Avedis and I decided to semi-sorta play “tourists” and went down to Century 21 and Battery Park. When I saw two tall monoliths across the street from Century 21, I asked him, “Is that the World Trade Center?” I had been there a few times before, but had never viewed the buildings from that vantage point. He said it was, and I said, “But they’re so ugly.” And later I commented that I thought that even though the towers were, of course, the most prominent features of the Manhattan skyline, they kind of ruined it, and I wished there was some way we could revert to “the old New York”. (Now the “old New York” I wish for is any New York pre-September 11 … but sadly, this is one wish or thought that will never come true.)

Just this morning, when I decided to write this piece, I found myself wondering about two other people.

And then, just 20 minutes ago, I heard about THIS. The only “comfort” I derive is in knowing that he died several hours before his name entered my mind. But still.

So now I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize, in advance, to Shelley Winters.

P.S. For the record, I had nothing to do with Dudley Moore.

P.S.S. I’m not even going to mention what I’ve thought about Tom Cruise lately. Just remember: I didn’t say anything here.