Monday, December 03, 2007


Blog d’Elisson mourns the passing of Robert Craig “Evel” Knievel, who succumbed November 30 at the age of 69 due to complications of diabetes and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Knievel was an American icon, famed for daredevil stunts consisting mostly of him jumping his motorcycle over ever more outlandish objects: pits containing rattlesnakes and mountain lions, rows of cars, the fountains at Caesar’s Palace. Despite many of his jumps ending disastrously, Knievel persisted, eventually attempting a jump over the Snake River canyon in a rocket-powered cycle.

Ya gotta hand it to Evel Knievel. How many people would jump spread-eagle over a speeding motorcycle, have it hit him in the crotch, and not seek an immediate career change? Such was the dogged, monomaniacal power of his will that he was back on the job in less than a month, hopping his bike over Yet More Shit.

Few people would have bet on his dying of natural causes, but such is the sweet irony of Life.

Knievel was somewhat of a recluse in his declining years, owing to his having broken, at one time or another, every single one of his 206 bones. “The stapes, that one really hurt,” Knievel once confided to an interviewer. “Hurt like a bitch.”

The family observed a quiet graveside service at which Knievel’s remains were interred in a size 10½ AAA shoebox.

Ave atque vale, Evel. We hardly knew ye.

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