While normally we gather to bury the underachieved, the pathetic, and the downtrodden, today we bury a legend. Today we mourn the loss of the patron saint of sassy old ladies everywhere, the delectable, amazing Bea Arthur.
Miss Beatrice Frankel was born in New York just before the Great Depression. She lived a bunch of years then got into acting. She was good at it.
In the great year of 1971, Miss Bea showed her mettle against the immortal Archie Bunker. Bea's "Maude" character was the bane of the conservative, bigoted, pre-Sarah Palin sect. If her character was around today, she would have been called a heretic and crucified by the disciples of Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck.
But still Bea marched on, matching George and Weezy as the most successful spin-off of Archie and Edith. After "Maude", Bea helped usher in the debut of the baddest bounty hunter the galaxy has ever seen. Then she moved to Miami to live with her mother, a ditzy loon, and the world's oldest slut.
Like many of my generation, Bea Arthur stands on the pantheon among the most awesome old babes. She was cool without having to be cool. The old lady you wouldn't mind having a beer with and maybe even smoking a doob with (I have no idea if Bea Arthur actually smoked weed, but it would be cooler if she did). Also, to top it off, she is the only woman over 65 I ever imagined naked, thank you Brendan Fraser.
On a related note, the Golden Girls now join the Beatles and the Who as amazing quartets who only have two surviving members as Estelle Getty left us last year.
So here's to you, Bea Arthur. Thank you for pissing off the Right, introducing Boba Fett, being a voice of reason in a house of dopey Dade County dames, being the sexual fantasy of wannabe rockers everywhere, and giving me 3 points in the Thunder Matt Fantasy Death League.
Rest in peace, Bea. You will be missed.