Man, you gotta love the British press. If I lived in London, I’d spend all day reading the papers. How can you not love a paper that gives the world a headline like this:
Friend of presidents, defrauder of millions: Texas elite bids farewell to ‘Kenny boy’
The story’s not bad, either. It contains a detail I hadn’t yet heard: Even on his last night alive, Lay was reportedly heckled by diners at an Italian restaurant in Colorado, prompting him to finish his chicken parmesan and leave hurriedly with his wife, Linda.
Each man’s death diminishes me, blah blah blah. But still, that’s kinda funny. A guy with a bad ticker probably shouldn’t be eating chicken parmesan.
“Heckled.” I wonder what form that took. This was Aspen or its environs, after all, and presumably Kenny Boy and Linda weren’t eating at the Olive Garden, but among others of their class, at some place where they know how to pronounce “trattoria.” How do folks like that heckle? A hip check as they pass the table returning from the restroom? A thrown breadstick? A loud request of the waiter? (“Can we have a new table? There seems to be a BAD SMELL in this corner of the room.”) Or outright, classic-definition-of-the-word heckling, as in “Hey, Kenny, I lost my ass on your stock, you jerk.” Somehow I doubt any of the comments had anything to do with the workers deprived of their pensions and savings. Rich people may be people, too, but the keenest pain is always reserved for themselves. They’re like everyone else in that way, too.
A tiny bit o’ bloggage: Two guys walk into a bar in Irkutsk, a much better headline than what’s on this very entertaining essay about the jokes of Communism.
All I’ve done this week is work. So I have to go do some more. Maybe I’ll surface later today, but in the meantime, rattle Kenny Boy’s dead thievin’ bones in the comments!
brian stouder said on July 13, 2006 at 10:25 am
Kenny boy even had the Dickensonian name (the man who scewed millions – Kenny Lay) and the somewhat absurd ending –
tried, convicted, and 6 feet under before he served a day in the pen….which ironically enough deprives him of ever getting any sympathetic second looks (after serving, say, 10 years of his endless sentence, he would possibly have been ripe for a reconsideration and classic repentence narrative; even Nixon got that). Instead, dying when he did, he will always be the guy who pillaged a major corporation, stole everything in sight other than a red hot stove, and then cheated even the jailers – a whole life of sliding past accountability.
alex said on July 13, 2006 at 11:09 am
See why I think the death penalty’s too good for those who receive it? I think Kenny should have been somebody’s Lay in the penitentiary for the rest of his days and gotten screwed as painfully and humiliatingly as he screwed his own employees.
Dwight Brown said on July 13, 2006 at 11:44 am
““Heckled.�? I wonder what form that took.”
The *HouChron* ran this story on Sunday, which is where I think the chicken parmesan and other details came from:
It doesn’t go into detail about the nature of the heckling, though.
MarkH said on July 13, 2006 at 11:48 am
I’m not the type that goes looking for a conspiracy under every rock, but you gotta wonder. This is all just a bit too neat and tidy…
Since Enron blew up, not one mention of Lay’s “coronary heart disease”? Until the autopsy? They didn’t even go heavy on the “massive heart attack”, as was initially reported, which could presumably come from all the trial and publicity stress, and God forbid, a sudden attack of conscience, and would have seemed more logical. No, he’d had this a long time, folks, and it just happened to catch up with him! He looked pretty healthy to me in all those media appearances. And chicken parmesan for a final meal? Not on a heart-healthy diet for anyone I know who’s that far along on the clog-meter.
Not surprising that he would be heckled, even in a tony place such as the Little Nell, as the word is he had become pariah among the Aspen set.
Even though he was on record after the conviction that he was going to appeal to the end for vindication, which would mean that he would want to stick around for a while…
Nah, too many people would have to be on the payroll and counted on to shutup about a suicide cover-up…right?
John said on July 13, 2006 at 12:31 pm
Suicide? What about a spousal-cide?
Maryo said on July 13, 2006 at 1:45 pm
Wonderful British-eyes-view of the situation. But some U.S. papers stepped up to the job as well. My favorite U.S. headline was in the NY Post the day after he died:
“Before they put Cheato Lay’s coffin in the grave, CHECK HE’S IN IT”
I have that alongside the “BAD LAY” NY Post front page from his conviction. A matched set.
Susan Reynolds said on July 13, 2006 at 2:06 pm
Lay-acide is the kind of topic that piques my interest and the rest of the blog sold me. Count me as the latest peeping Tom waiting to peek into your mind
Dave B. said on July 13, 2006 at 3:36 pm
I think Kenny Boy sat at the head of the table in 2000 when Dick “Dead Eye” Cheney and friends established the new administration’s energy policy. I think that’s why the administration has worked so hard to keep those meetings secret. I think Kenny Boy also had a hand in the demise of the Califiornia power grid that eventually “did in” Governor Gray Davis.
ashley said on July 13, 2006 at 8:01 pm
Another communist era joke:
“We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us”.
brian stouder said on July 13, 2006 at 11:27 pm
Well, in a retreat from the troubling news from the middle east, I went googling for more details about the “reported” heckling, and this was the best thing I found
an excerpt –
At the Woody Creek Tavern, best known as the old watering hole of late gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, a jar was once put on the bar – and stayed there for years – a tongue-in-cheek gesture to raise money to help Lay with his mounting legal woes. It filled with unsavory items until, two summers ago, Lay and his wife came to claim it.
“I will say that they were very gracious when they accepted that jar full of muck,�? said Michael Cleverly, a tavern regular and curmudgeonly newspaper columnist who came up with the idea for the jar and often skewered Lay in his columns.
and this (presumeably referring to the heckling)
Basalt resident Jennifer Alter spotted Lay Monday night at the next table as she ate at the Bella Mia restaurant in El Jebel, a not-so-glitzy burg downvalley from Aspen. If the famous often go unnoticed in Aspen, his appearance caused a stir there, turning diners’ heads. One man, she said, chased him out in the street, not to chastise him but just to introduce himself.
Other diners could be heard grumbling about his role in Enron’s collapse. But Alter said she pitied him. After the trial, awaiting his sentencing, he looked worn and tired, she said, with deep bags sagging under his eyes. “I said to my husband … ‘He looks terrible,’�? Alter said. “I actually felt really sad. I just felt sorry for him.�?
Peter said on July 14, 2006 at 11:12 am
OK Komradz – try and top this Eastern Blok Jokeski!
Gorbachev decides to visit Poland. General Jaruzelski decides that the highlight of the trip should be the unveiling of a big portrait in the Polish Parliament. They get a painter and tell him to paint a big canvas about Lenin In Warsaw.
The painter spends all his time behind a curtain painting the portrait. Finally, the big day arrives, and everyone gathers in the Parliament to see the unveiling.
Gorbachev pulls the rope, the curtain goes down, and everyone sees the portrait – it’s a scene of a rather plump and ugly woman being banged by a familiar looking guy on a conference table; in the background windows you can see the Kremlin.
Everyone is stunned. Jaruzelski grabs the artist and yells at him – “Who is that man in the portrait!”
“Why,” the artist replies, “he is Stalin of course.”
“And the woman,” Jaruzelski screams “who is the woman?”
“The woman is Lenin’s wife.”
“And where is Lenin?”
“Lenin In Warsaw!”