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Thomas Magnum Dies While Driving Volkswagen

February 21, 2012


(Here is another installment from my series TV Character Obituaries.)

HONOLULU, HI – Former Navy Seal and intelligence officer and private investigator, Thomas Magnum, died yesterday when his ’74 Volkswagen Bug drove off a cliff and exploded in a nano-second after hitting a rocky beach. Police are saying that the accident may have been caused by the fact that his six-foot-four-inch frame was too big for a car designed with only enough leg-room to accommodate a seven-year-old child of Leprechaun parentage. This theory was proposed by T.C. Calvin, a longtime friend of the deceased going back to their POW days when they were locked in neighboring bamboo cages in the jungle in Vietnam.

“You see,” said Calvin, a commercial helicopter pilot, “in the cage, Thomas could handle getting jabbed with bayonets and the occasional electrode to the testicles, but what made him suffer were leg cramps from not being able to stretch out. That’s why he once almost strangled a Mormon seated in front of him on a flight to Detroit who put his seat all the way back to the point where Thomas could have picked lice from the hair of that rude son of a Brigham Young.”

Calvin added that he was in telephone contact with Magnum during the minutes leading up to the flight of the German-made death-box into the Hawaiian air and onto the Hawaiian rocks. Magnum told Calvin that his legs were “doing that paralysis thing again,” that he could no longer operate the pedals on the floor, that the only thing missing was their old nemesis, Ivan, the Russian Commie KGB agent, injecting him with the blood of a colobine monkey. “Good times,” sighed Magnum, while the car went airborne, and those were his last words.

There was a time when Thomas Magnum could be seen sporting around in a red Ferrari 308 GTS, with all of Hawaii familiar with his thick dark mustache and, in a calculated move to appear cute and loveable, wearing an old Detroit Tigers hat – strange because he made chump-change working as a private investigator – but not so strange when one considers that he lived on the estate of famed novelist, Robin Masters, who knew that someone had to make sure that such a tall, dashing and handsome man had an easy and expensive lifestyle – for even Masters admitted that had his mustachioed ward been five inches shorter, he would probably have ended up working the counter of a surf-board shop.

The irony is that, with the death of Robin Masters from a bad book review, the executor of the estate, Jonathan Higgins, whom Magnum had persecuted for years with total impunity, threw the graying and now paunch-bellied free-loader back into the dog-eat-dog world outside the gates of the palatial, ocean-front property – and Magnum did end up working customer service at Watch Out For the Sharks Surf Shop.

What has baffled police is why the car exploded at the moment of contact, since that only happens when bad guys are driving a vehicle, not known heroes like Magnum.

“Maybe,” said former Honolulu Police Lieutenant Tanaka, whose trust Magnum had abused over the years with the abandon of a philandering husband toward his Quaker wife, “the Explosion Gods were no longer buying into the whole cute beach bum act that had sustained him since nineteen-seventy-nine. Plus he slept with my daughter.”

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