Monday, February 1, 2010

Haven't I read this before?

Zelda Rubinstein, who played the psychic in “Poltergeist” (“This house is clean!”) died last week.

Sir Clement Freud, grandson of Sigmund Freud and a noted broadcaster in his own right (I remember seeing him with Jack Paar many years ago), died last April.

You might be hard put to come up with two people who have less in common than these two, but there is one bond that they indubitably share.

When I saw each one’s obituary, I had the same reaction:

I thought they’d already died. I was sure I’d heard they’d died.

But nope. To paraphrase Mr. Twain (who must be getting sick of being paraphrased, especially because, as far as I know, he doesn’t get paid for being paraphrased), my memories of their deaths are premature.

But how to explain it?

Is it some subcategory of déjà vu?

(Hey, look, my word-processing software automatically added those accents – both up and down! How cool! And yes, I’m a sucker for card tricks, too.)

How about “deja deceased”?

(Hey, wait a minute. Where are the accents this time? Does this software give only one set of accents to a customer? Or does it happen only when you type “déjà vu”? Ah, yes, that’s the answer.)

It’s quite possible – and quite possibly more than possible – that I’m the only one who thought these two were dead. (And it’s happened to me with other celebs, too.)

But am I the only one who has ever prematurely buried a celeb? (Come to think of it, with some of the celebs around today, that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad idea.)

Has this ever happened to you?

Or, to pose an even scarier question:

Are there people out there who think I’m already dead?

And do they know something I don’t?

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