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Local Man Finally Dies of Parkinson's Complications

Posted Jul 01 2010 12:00am
Note: At a recent APDA-sponsored Parkinson's Disease seminar a speaker suggested that one way of coping with bad news is to realize that there are people who have it worse than you. Fair enough, but somewhere in this weary world there must be the ultimate loser, that last guy whom everyone else is fortunate not to be. As a public service, Off & On has dug up this hapless schlemiel, one Herb Sleeper of Fargo, North Dakota. The following is his obituary as it appeared in the Fargo FreePressArgusChronical Weekly Shopper.

Relatives of Herbert (Herb, Bert) Sleeper are pleased to announce the passing of their late father/husband/brother/cousin/uncle. Members of the family were universal in their sense that "A great weight has been lifted from our shoulders" as his brother Harold (Heavy) Sleeper was eager to tell this reporter. "For starters, he lived in Fargo" his brother continued "If you could call that living". Harold fondly recalled how when they were young they would roam the wide plains at will, getting bitten by ticks, stung by bees and assaulted by motorcycle gangs. "All God's creation seemed to be against us in those days" he said, his eyebrows dancing as he recalled how his brother had been struck 12 times by lightning."Not uncommon for those of us living in 'The lightning strike state' but a bit unusual for just one day" he said with a pimpish grin.

"Maybe it was the lightning that caused his Parkinson's" his wife Shelly said, "Or maybe it was the pesticides that he routinely drank after hearing a friend complain of a stomach bug. Whatever. Of Herb it can be truly said that he took his early-onset diagnosis lying down" She remembered with clear distaste how Herb would complain about his symptoms in a voice that grew softer and softer by the month. He wanted speech therapy", she laughed as she recalled, "But we were all against it".

Still she was unable to disguise a note of admiration as she looked back at Herb's fierce struggle to not do anything about his deteriorating condition. "He'd blow off taking his pills, missed Doctor appointments, and hey, forget exercise!" she smiled. "He said he'd die before he joined a support group which come to think of it, I guess he did. His one accomplished goal in life. His only goal now that I think of it. Pitiful".

Herb will be remembered as a great indoorsman, who liked nothing better than rising early to hunt for his remote. "He and that damn remote were inseparable" recalled his wife. "It was agony waiting for him to change channels what with his tremors and slowness. We used to watch infomercials for hours as he attempted to aim the thing at the TV. When there were no good infomercials on, he would lie endlessly on the couch moaning inarticulately to himself and any unfortunate soul who happened near. No matter how bad things got, Herb was willing to share the misery. He's better off now that he's dead. Hell we all are." No services will be held . In lieu of flowers the family asks that you simply send them money, unlike Herb, therapy ain't cheap.
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