Letter from the Edge:
On the DL
Dear John Henry Williams: you’re dead.
Gazette File Photo
I’D LOSE MY HEAD IF IT WASN’T ATTACHED. John Henry
Williams (above) — the son of Boston Red Sox great Ted
Williams — recites Simon Phoenix’s Demolition
Man credo. Luckily for Ted, his head is stored safely in
a cryonic jar.
This is not just an idle threat; rather, it’s a statement
of fact. You died recently from leukemia. Usually I let the dead
rest in peace. However, since you stated in your will that you
wanted to be cryonically frozen at the same facility as your father — the
late Ted Williams of Boston Red Sox fame — I decided to send
you this letter, hoping one day you’ll read it with a
grin on your half-frozen face.
This letter is a bit late — you died nearly three weeks
ago. I guess it won’t really matter in the long run, but
I thought I’d tell you anyways. Sorry I didn’t write
earlier; I’ve been too busy with living my non-cryogenic
Never mind the whole debacle of your family’s in-fighting
about your dad’s corpse. I’d rather write about your
own baseball career, cut short by injury. It’s easy to point
to nagging injuries as an excuse (see: Kelly Gruber), but it takes
a real person to admit he’ll never be the player his dad
was. It’s obvious you respected Ted’s knowledge — you
had his head frozen in the hopes that one day that knowledge could
If that ever happens, it’s likely to make a big splash for
baseball. Suddenly everyone will be hitting .400 and the game will
enter a period of offensive glory not seen since today’s
widespread steroid usage.
But that just begs another question: why you didn’t want
your body stored near your dad’s head? Ted Williams was one
of the all-time greats, and I’m sure you could have learned
a lot about hitting through osmosis. Or the lab techies could have
hooked your cryo-vats together, facilitating cryo-chats.
Did you ever see Vanilla Sky with Tom Cruise? He was cryogenically
frozen, too, though the character’s reasons were more shallow
than yours. He was frozen because his face was messed up worse
than Mike Tyson’s, whereas you wanted to be frozen because...
well, who knows.
Cryogenics can be fun — Demolition Man showed us that, if
nothing else — and I guess if you do end up reading this,
you’ll have had the last laugh. But it’s likely it’ll
be some sort of robot laugh emanating from your robot body. At
least there’s something cool about you and your dad potentially
returning to life: any fist fights that ensue could see your respective
heads pop off like a real-life version of “Rock ’em
Sock ’em Robots.”
Unholy abomination or otherwise, I’d pay to see that.