Death comes in threes, they say. Why they made the rule -- and who "they" are -- is besides the point. It's the Second Law of The Game of Mortality, neither new nor from Milton-Bradley, that chunk of steak wholly owned and currently residing in the intestines of Hasbro.
The First Law of The Game of Mortality, of course, is that everyone eventually plays.
Ed Bradley did. So did Jack Palance. Now the gang of playas -- MIT and Smitty, Mayor Dan and Brother Richard, Doc and JJ and Marmot -- can speculate on the identity of lucky number three. But now the game gets murky. Is it Basil Poledouris, composer, best known for scoring the Conan movies? Yes, we know, Arnold Schwarzenegger did a lot of scoring on the Conan movies, too. But Poledouris also scored "Robocop" and won an Emmy for his work on the miniseries "Lonesome Dove." And he was born in Kansas City.
Or does the prize go to Gerald Levert, the R&B singer? He will swear no more; he was 40 when he died Friday in Cleveland. Son of Eddie Levert Sr. of the O'Jays. Had a group in the 1980s, Levert, with his brother and a friend. Did LSG in the late 1990s with Johnny Gill and Keith Sweat.
We consult the Fourth Law of The Game of Mortality: When playing the home edition, the name of the departed, or the work they've done, must be immediately recognizable. "Robocop" was cool, but we can't hum the theme. Levert makes us think of that deodorant soap, Lever 2000. Which makes us think of André 3000 from Outkast, and now the space madness descends. No points.