Friday, October 17, 2008

Worst Obituary Ever

BOULDER, Colorado -- Perhaps the Denver Post should have thought a little bit more about this headline before they ran it on their website:

Man who said he was glued to toilet found dead

It should be noted that the toilet-gluing incident and his death were completely unconnected. In 2003, he sued The Home Depot, claiming that he was the victim of a prank in one of their stores when he had his behind glued to a restroom toilet. He also claimed that employees ignored his cries for help for 15 whole minutes, which was the foundation of his claim for $3 million in damages.

The case was thrown out of court, but this was, apparently, the most noteworthy thing he ever did in life. The man's name was Robert Dougherty, 60, and he died in his home in Nederland, Colorado. Police said he had suffered from a variety of medical conditions, and they don't suspect foul play (in his death, not in the butt-gluing).

Mr. Dougherty did manage to stay in the news for quite some time after this initial incident, and every headline seems to reference the toilet; for example, when he slipped into a diabetic coma. Perhaps his general ill health was linked to that terrible day in Home Depot, as he claimed to have developed PTSD as a result. According to his attorney Mark Cohen, in 2007:

"Our contention has been that his post-traumatic stress disorder brought about his diabetic condition," he said. "So you can say, 'Well, this would not have occurred but for (the toilet-seat incident.)'"

He has also managed to inspire some copycats. Earlier this year a St. Louis man fell victim to similar prank, also in a Home Depot. His lawsuit claims that the company should have been aware that
"there would be a strong possibility that instances of copycat behavior would occur."

I hope when I pass on, the headlines don't read something like, "Area man who threw up at middle school dance found dead." It's one thing to die an embarrassing death; it's another to die an inconspicuous death at home, yet still be remembered for a preposterous incident involving a toilet and some epoxy.

[The Denver Post: Man who said he was glued to toilet found dead]

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