Earworm number 347, courtesy of QUEEN and last night's entertainment on TLC.
The show was called "The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off." I had no idea that I was soon to become a blubbering blob of jello on the couch.
As the show opened, a rather high-pitched voice began introducing the pictures, of a stange-looking boy in a wheelchair. He wore bandages all the way down his arms, covering oddly-shaped stumps at the ends, a constant hat, and a bemused expression on his face. His little voice sounded so sweet. Pre-pubescent even. Then I listened as it was revealed that this sweet little boy was 36 years old, and had been suffering since before birth with a disease I haven't checked the spelling on yet, called EB, which caused his current terminal skin cancer, and he was planning his own funeral.
This show was more than one of those "look at poor me who suffers while you smug innocents look on" types. He narrated his own death. This man suffered, really really suffered, his entire life, from a genetic skin disorder that kept his skin from ' binding' to his body properly. The first tears came while his mum talked about how difficult emotionally it was to try to cuddle him as a newborn, knowing that EVERY TIME she TOUCHED him, his skin would blister horribly, and painfully. Nearly every day, his body was 75% covered in bandages. Horrendous, constant pain. He was born with NO SKIN covering one of his legs from the knee down, presumably from friction in utero.
And Yet, no pity party for Mr Kennedy. All of Alnwick, England, was invited to celebrate life with him. The sense of humor was immense. I laughed mightily as an English Starlet, spokesperson for the UK Charity, DEbRA, started crying whilst talking to him, and after she left to get him his autographed picture, he turned to the camera, grinned mischeviously, made a 'chalk one up for me' sign in the air, and chuckled. He also mentioned, as an aside, that he could see right down her shirt as she had leant down to hug him.
The earworm came, and WILL.NOT. LEAVE. His funeral was completely planned out. He chose his coffin carefully, made sure it was carved with tigers on the side, and an image of a can of Heinz57 beans. Why? So people would look at each other at the funeral and wonder "Why the beans?" He figured they would have something to talk about then.
Near the end, I began sobbing as the camera closed in on his mum, as she was mouthing the words to his chosen funereal soundtrack: Don't Stop Me Now by Queen. His favorite song. She lip-synched along through her tears. And then I could no longer see the screen.
I'm having such a good time. I'm havin' a ball.