Upsetting to hear that P.J. O’Rourke has died. My copies of “Holidays in Hell” and the National Lampoon Sunday Newspaper Parody – which I had to repurchase on eBay years ago after a friend in high school never returned my first copy – are among my most treasured possessions. (Even if I somehow can’t find the latter here at the house.)
I know a lot of my friends probably hated his politics, but he was one of the few conservative libertarian types I knew of who was legitimately hilarious. Just a terrific writer and one of my favorite “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me” panelists. (I still miss hearing him and Charlie Pierce loudly crack jokes on NPR with those bellowing Irish guffaws of theirs.)
One of my early Chicago memories was seeing him on a panel at the Printer’s Row Book Fair not long after I moved here. I had had a crush on him for years, and the opportunity to see him speak was thrilling. There was something invigorating about the fact that I could simply cross the street from my condo and see one of my favorite writers live and in person.
But I digress. I don’t drink much these days, but I’ll need to knock back a shot of whiskey tonight in P.J.’s honor. Requiescat in pace, sir.