P.J. O’Rourke, Dead at 74

P.J. O’Rourke pulled the croak chain this week. He was 74, and died of lung cancer. By my count, this was his second battle with Cancer, having ass cancer once before. I didn’t make that up. He wrote about it. That was a funny piece, I tell you what.

Of course, as they lionize him they are rattling off lists of his work – Parliament of Whores, Give War a Chance. All good books.

I also liked “Eat the Rich”, where he goes to all kinds of different countries with different economies to compare them to us. “All the Trouble in the World” was another great one, where he went to all sorts of different countries with real issues that we complain about here.

And the quotes…

The man was nothing if not quotable. Hell, they are so ingrained in my psyche, their part of my lexicon now. I’d struggle to separate them from mine, as I use so many of them.

  • On one of his trips to Russia, he was commenting on the craftsmanship of the building he was in: “It looks like it was built by apes. Apes on the take.” I’ve used that on contractors.
  • On Fish sauce in Vietnam: “It’s an acquired taste. But one you had better acquire quickly [when over there], if you don’t want to vomit.”
  • One I just heard this morning when they replayed an interview. On the internet: “Who’s great idea was it to allow idiots to connect with any other idiot?”

One of the things no one, not one person, has mentioned so far is he also wrote for Car and Driver. His car articles are great. A must read. I belly laughed at his take on a Rolls, saying his family had a Buick dealership and he was intimately familiar with that squish floaty ride. Brought him down memory lane. He has a compilation book called “Driving Like Crazy…”. A MUST read.

I won’t mourn his passing.

I’m weird that way.

First, 74 year old dudes die all the time, especially when they have Cancer. It’s part of life.

And being Catholic, from my perspective, he’s been called home. He’s in a better place.

And with what’s going down, he got off lucky, far as I can see.

That said, he’s a homeboy. An Irish Bro. I’ll score some Jameson, maybe a cigar, and enjoy a drink and smoke with one of his books in his honor.