An overwhelming majority of Americans are still unwilling to recognize that persons other than Michael Jackson died on Thursday. According to a nationwide poll, 83% of the populace completely disregarded all other passages into the hereafter in favor of focusing on Jackson's fate.
"Does anything else really matter?" snapped Julia Groening of Altoona, PA. "People need to get their priorities straight. My mom mentioned something about that Charlie's Angel lady dying too, but is that really an issue here? Ooh, she struggled so valiantly against her disease. MJ invented the friggin moonwalk!"
Nor is this lack of awareness limited to deaths of celebrities. Funeral directors around the country have reported decimated attendance at wakes and burials, even those held for beloved pillars of the community.
"I expected a full house at Agnes Frampton's service," said John Maudlin, director of the Eternal Rest Funeral Parlor in Silverton, OR. "Hours passed and no one arrived. Finally I rolled a TV in next to the casket, ate microwave popcorn and watched Family Matters reruns to pass the time. Two hours later I just gave up, closed up the old girl and went home."
Sadly unremarkable are stories like Maudlin's, some even more extreme. Edgar Hauptmann was married to his wife Lucille for over sixty years. She passed away mere hours after the Jackson story broke the news. Hauptmann, too despondent over the death of the King of Pop, was unable to make any of the necessary arrangements for Lucille. Family members eventually had to step in and take over.
"A damned inconvenience is what it was," said the couple's daughter, Marion Engles. "Mom could have waited a week or two so we would have time to grieve for poor Michael. She always had to be such an attention whore."
Engles added that she and the rest of the immediate family would be skipping Lucille's services to attend a candlelight vigil in Bel Air that will also include a prayer circle and re-enactment of Jackson's "Thriller" video.