Area Man's Death / by C.T. McGaha

The author hopes to write a book of "found obituaries." And this would be the first entry.


Jon MacRandall, 56, passed away this Labor Day weekend, leaving behind a wife, Cheryl, 54, and twin daughters, Rachel and Amber, 27.

MacRandall was traveling north on the lengthy stretch of US 29 between Greensboro and Danville on Saturday when he began to feel an intense thirst, possibly a side effect of a popular blue-pilled medication he was prescribed in preparation for his 25th wedding anniversary. He set his Hyundai Elantra on cruise control, stood, and reached back to the chest of light beer he was bringing for the occasion. Finding one, he returned to the wheel and began to imbibe the small can—a firm faux pas that we even regret being forced to write into this account of Jon's precious, final moments. The alcohol impaired his vision and general motor skills at a time when his trek into the Blue Ridge Mountains became treacherous.

This would have been fine, however, (MacRandall's ability to drive proficiently under the influence being a talent known to several of our surrounding counties) if not for the interference of an amateur skydiving instructor. Anna Stygil, 26, was on a routine dive when her chute delayed in opening, sending her miles off course and squarely onto that very same stretch of US 29 that MacRandall was traveling. Stygil passed through the open passenger side window of MacRandall's Elantra and continued on through the open driver side window, leaving not a single scratch on the interior. The chute, though, did turn the steering wheel just enough to run the silver coupe off the road. Stygil's recounting:

"I mean, really, he would've been fine," said the teary eyed young instructor, "if it wasn't for those gosh darn wildcats on the side of the highway. These public zoos just have no standards. They'll let pretty much anyone transport the animals to and from the zoo.”

“So when Dale Johnson (38, unconfirmed) put 'em in the back of his F-250, we were all a little wary. But after he let 'em out and said ‘[screw] it’, the wildcats had free rein on the highway shoulder. When that poor man ran off the road and crashed into the pack, the mama got real angry. Pretty much over from there."

Pretty much over, yes, but not over yet. MacRandall, a renowned recorder player, turned to his plastic instrument (one that gathered him much scorn from fellow townspeople) to soothe the mother wildcat. And soothe her he did. The mother wildcat, which MacRandall named "Linda" shortly before his passing, laid with him next to the cold, sweet bodies of her young as they both wept (unconfirmed) at the loss of such beautiful life. Consumed with such mourning, the two had little time to notice a large, eastern-looking man, clothed only in white robes, approaching.

"Probably God, yeah. Or Jesus. I don't know." Stygil recounts, pausing to recompose herself. "Beautiful, though. And straight up."

Straight up. An intriguing fact to mention. Unless, of course, you've read the biblical account of Enoch: a classic tale in which God takes Enoch, a faithful man, directly up to the heavens in lieu of the man’s death. According to Stygil, MacRandall's experience was "not like that at all. That man screamed all the way past the clouds. Even tried to hold on to that poor mama wildcat's tale. Too bad he was a real butter fingers." Here, Stygil wiggled her fingers. "Just got taken up somewhere, I guess.”

But where could that “somewhere” be? Well, in a strange display of cosmic irony, or the cosmos’s cold, dead apathy, MacRandall ended up in the plush green grass of his own front yard at the exact moment that the local USPS driver was making his final stop at the family's home: 776 Joyce Street.

"He just looked at me, his mouth all drooling, and said 'angel? i just wanted to get laid.' and that was it." MacRandall died at his home from an apparent heart attack due to a medication he was taking.


C.T. McGaha is a writer from Charlotte, NC, whose work has appeared in Word Riot, Potluck, 90s Meg Ryan, and others. His hobbies include: lying to customers. He has HBO so Curb Your Enthusiasm & Chill is always an option. Please don't repeat that.