9 Hilarious Ironic Deaths
by Rene Volpi via Robert Evans
According to Wikipedia, “all senses of irony revolve around the perceived notion of an incongruity between what is expressed and what is intended, or between an understanding or expectation of a reality and what actually happens.”
Basically, you say one thing and another thing happens. You expect something, and then the opposite occurs. With that in mind, let’s go on and mock the tragic deaths of other human beings because we find the circumstances around them mildly amusing.
1. Felix Powell
Who: Felix Powell, songwriter and Staff Sergeant in the Royal Army.
How He Died: He shot himself in the heart using his duty rifle while wearing his uniform.
What Made It Ironic: Powell wrote the music behind the famous marching song, “Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile”. His song became world-famous and was noted as “perhaps the most optimistic song ever written”.
Smile, smile, smile all the way to hell
2. Jim Fixx
Who: Fixx was a major health nut, and author of the 1977 bestseller “The Complete Book of Running.” He was a member of Mensa, wrote a book of puzzles for geniuses, and was generally the most infuriatingly perfect person in the public spotlight. When he died, stand-up comedians everywhere rejoiced at having a year’s worth of material handed to them on a silver platter.
How He Died: A heart attack, while running. It was like a gift from God.
Jim Fixx, patron saint of the easy joke
Screw healthy living, pass me the Cheetos and a big ole bottle of Old English.
Who: Anderson was convicted of murder and sentenced to death by electric chair in 1983.
An artist’s representation of the condemned
Why It’s Ironic: Electrocution is just what you would expect to happen…if Anderson hadn’t had his sentence reversed shortly thereafter. He managed to convince a jury that he didn’t deserve to die for his crimes. Unfortunately for Anderson, the Gods of Irony have a finely-tuned sense of comedic synchronicity.
What a shitty way to die
4. Marcus Licinius Crassus
Who: Crassus was a Roman general and statesman. He was one of the wealthiest men in the history of the human race. If Bill Gates’ daughter gay-married Oprah and they had a child who inherited all of their money after a tragic skiing accident, that kid still wouldn’t come close to being as rich as Crassus was.
The truly wealthy don’t need bling
How He Died: He either choked to death or burned to death. It’s not entirely clear which came first.
Why It’s Ironic: After being defeated in battle by the Parthian army, Crassus was captured and put to death by the Parthian king. Eastern potentates back then were a whimsically cruel little bastards, and Crassus was executed by having molten gold siphoned down his throat.
5. Hans Steininger
Who: The man with history’s longest beard, measuring an astounding 4.5 feet. Steininger’s beard was, perhaps, the single most glorious expression of facial hair in human history. Artists didn’t just draw the damn thing, they immortalized it in stone.
This sculpture proves that, 1. Hans Steininger was a stone-cold badass and, 2. He always packed a blade. He knew what was up.
Why It’s Ironic: By all accounts, Hans’ beard was his life. The crowning achievement around which his pride revolved. To be fair, if you looked this hot;
ZZ Top Take Heed
6. Clement Vallandigham
Who: Clement was a famous lawyer in the late 1800s. He also had a beard, but it was way less badass than Steininger’s.
The proto-neckbeard! We’ve found it!
Why It’s Ironic: In this case, circumstances are everything. Simply getting shot in the face isn’t funny, it’s just what happens sometimes when you wander into the wrong neighborhood or bring a keg to Gun Cleaning Night.
College taught us well, anything worth doing is worth doing drunk
Apparently, he did it a little too well. Vallandigham accidentally shot himself. He died of his injuries but, appropriately enough, the court acquitted his client on the grounds that, yes, you can accidentally shoot yourself to death, providing you are either retarded, or an extremely dedicated lawyer.
Above: Great idea
Who: Bobby was a world-famous daredevil, and the second person in history to go over Niagara Falls. Astonishingly, falling off of an enormous waterfall in a metal barrel isn’t what killed him.
This here was a well-balanced man
Why It’s Ironic: Bobby Leach injured his leg after tripping on a banana peel. Reports at the time were inconclusive, but Bugs Bunny may or may not have been sighted in the vicinity during the accident. In the end, even Bobby Leach couldn’t defeat the forces of gravity.
Niagara Falls: Less deadly than slapstick comedy
Who: Some 31 year old dude in New Orleans.
Protecting your children while wearing douchey sunglasses
Why It’s Ironic: Jerome Moody drowned during a party for New Orleans lifeguards. Many of the people in attendance were professional lifeguards, and four guards were on duty. To make matters worse, the party was in celebration of the New Orleans Recreational Department’s first drowning-free swimming season in recorded history.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; New Orleans just can’t win.
I found Waldo
Who: One of the founders of the organic food revolution. Rodale was a ‘back to the earth’ naturalist hippy who supported clean living without the use of stimulants like sugar or caffeine. He would not have approved of eating Hot Pockets shirtless while watching Animaniacs re-runs.
How He Died: Heart attack at 72, right after an interview on the Dick Cavett show.