Thursday, July 19, 2012

Obituary Confession: Doing It Right

Val Patterson, a scientist from Salt Lake City, Utah, also confessed to a theft in the obit that he wrote himself.
"I AM the guy who stole the safe from the Motor View Drive Inn back in June 1971," he wrote.
He also told Disneyland and San Diego's SeaWorld they could throw away his "banned for life" file from their records.
Patterson said he lived by the philosophy of "anything for a laugh" and tried to have the last one with his obit which he wrote himself before he died July 10 from throat cancer. He was 59.
High on his list of things he confessed to -- or bragged he got away with -- was his educational resume.
He admitted he hadn't earned his Ph.D. and said it was mailed to him by the University of Utah in error. Patterson said that he hadn't even earned enough credits to graduate from the state university, and "never did even learn what the letters 'PhD' even stood for."
"For all the electronic engineers I have worked with, I'm sorry, but you have to admit my designs always worked very well, and were well engineered, and I always made you laugh at work," he wrote.

He does give his wife kudos for loving him through his illness, and expresses regret that he caused her so much pain, watching him die.   He cleared the air, for sure.  I'm not sure how successful his "anything for a laugh" truly was... how does one get banned for life from SeaWorld?  Whether he was funny or not, this guy was a character.  A talented liar who was able to live up to the expectations he created.  He picked a hell of a career to fudge on his education.  His stories would have been interesting, even if they were a tad bit scary.

I was just talking to my husband about this over the weekend, while I worked out a fictional character.  I decided I would leave a letter to be opened if I had murdered someone or stolen a fortune.  I'd clear those left behind, and set any records straight.  What about you guys?  Would you keep quiet or come clean?

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