The death of Richard M. Tater has been dramatically prematurely announced. In fact, I'm doing just fine thanks - just look at these pictures, this gorgeous hairline. I'm the picture of health, fit and ruddy with energy and enthusiasm. I'm a good looking son-of-a-bitch, too. Here, I'll do a couple of jumping jacks for you - see that? I'm not even winded.
Over to you, Fidel. According to the recent pics, you're looking good too, you sexy devil, you.
The New York Times looks into photos taken by Venezuelan former vice president Elias Jaua that purport to show Fidel Castro alive and well. Well, alive, anyway. He's looking a little worse for the wear, my revolutionary friend, and are those liver spots I see, or is it just the decades of cigar smoke bubbling up to the surface? Because the fact is, nobody has really seen Fidel Castro in public for a while now, and that gets the vultures circling. If you can imagine the political opposition and popular press with skinny, pink, hairless necks and heads and broad, bloody wings flapping around their television cameras, that's about right.
It's annoying that we strongmen have to do this jumping-jack jumping around routine for the press every so often, but we do. Nobody likes it when the father of the nation isn't at the podium, spilling out wisdom and venom. Recently, Eliais Efawerki had to do it, as did Hugo Chavez, and just about every time Vlad Putin is in front of the cameras is a chance to flex his ripping pectorals and point out how strong and healthy he is.
My question is: how come Angela Merkel doesn't have to do it? How come Francois Hollande isn't required to publish his latest cholesterol count? What about Barack Obama? Let's see a couple jumping jacks, eh? One - two - one - two. Romney, you can jump too, if you want. I want to see that hair bounce.