Though there are many, many embarrassing ways to die, none seems to catch you more off-guard than dying on the toilet. Don’t get me wrong, dying on the toilet isn’t the most embarrassing way to plunge into death (trust me, I’ve read stories far worse that make me wonder how people go to the funeral without laughing), but I believe that it plays a bigger head trip on the person dying than any normal death. Picture it – sitting on your porcelain comfort seat, feeling safe and secure as you always do in this scenario when an assassin rams a spear through the inside of your toilet. All feelings of invulnerability are gone. Not to mention that it ensures a greater likelihood of tabloid photos shot at your death and wide spread rumors to circulate about what caused you to expire in the first place. “But that would only happen if you’re famous,” you say. Well you know what? Here are some of history’s best toilet travesties:
King Edmund “Ironside” II: The king of England from April 23 to November 30, 1016 who was mostly known for his efforts to fight off the Danes died on the toilet. Soldiers who were acting in favor of Edmund’s rival, King Canute, hid inside the lavatory and stabbed through his anus and into his bowels. Some regard this as merely a story, however, since no other explanation of his death has surfaced, this ‘story’ has been taken as fact by many. Given his death, I wonder if it would have been more appropriate to dub him “Ironslide. ”
King George II: The last king of Britain born outside of Britain had little control over anything in his life. The policies of his kingship had been made by the first de facto Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole. The only thing he seemed to be able to achieve during his kingship was a useless war with Spain, not being dethroned and petty squabbles between his father and son. His heart apparently had no control either, since he died of aortic dissection on the toilet. It happened after drinking chocolate for breakfast.
Evelyn Waugh: Another Brit! It seems at least somewhat ironic that the high society satirist who poked so much fun at England’s aristocracy died while on the toilet. Born October 28, 1903 he was the son of noted English publisher Arthur Waugh. Though his early works were dark and satirical (‘Decline and Fall’, ‘Vile Bodies’, ‘Black Mischief’, ect.), he also produced works of broader interest such as the ‘Sword of Honor’ trilogy. During the later years of his life, Waugh ballooned himself to a rounder physique which caused a decline and fall in his health. On April 10, 1966 Waugh went to Easter Mass. Afterward, he suffered a heart attack on the toilet of a priest. I wish I could’ve seen the face on the priest when he found Waugh.
Elvis Presley: Before you ask – no. There is no way I could have done this article without bringing up Elvis. We all know what he did in his life. His spectacular early career and his not so eloquent later career have been widely publicized. On August 16, 1977 Presley was found dead on his toilet in Graceland by his fiancée Ginger Alden. Though he was believed to have died from a heart attack assisted by gastrointestinal problems, many speculate that the amount of drugs he was taking might have aided his departure. Or maybe it was those peanut butter and banana sandwiches he ate.
Lenny Bruce: The comic known for his ‘sick humor’ was also known by the court system. In more ways than one, he managed to get banned from performing in major cities and was arrested on obscenity several times. To be fair, the only thing ‘sick’ in his humor was the lack of structure in his jokes, though at the time, I guess someone saying the dreaded F-word was just too much for some people and could easily be seen as ‘sick’. On August 3, 1966 Bruce was found dead on his toilet at age 40. The death was ruled as an accidental morphine overdose. In tabloid photos, you can see a syringe and a burned bottle cap. In the spirit of ‘sick humor’ I believe Bruce’s corpse should have been put on puppeteer strings and brought on stage for one last show.
Remember: always be completely aware of yourself at all times and if necessary, work up the courage to fight the Grim Reaper for enough time to die in a dignified fashion.