Is Elvis Still Alive? The Controversy Continues

Could it be? Could it really, really be? Perhaps there is still hope for this troubled land for a miracle to happen. Yes, I dare to utter the words that all of us kindred souls have worn on our hearts for these last years. Yes: perhaps the king is still alive.

Oh, I don't mean King Edward. Obviously, I don't mean King John or Richard or Louis or some other long-long-long deceased member of royalty. Who cares about those powdered-wigged namby-pamby inbred creeps anyway; what did they ever accomplish that made any difference on our lives?

I mean Elvis! Elvis Presley, the man who single-handedly created rock and roll when there was nothing before him but snotty classical music and long-haired weirdos playing funny jazz instruments in 13¼/16 time. The man who contributed such a lasting legacy to English culture with such regarded works as Teddy bear and Don't be cruel. The man who re-energized an entire moribund genre of motion pictures with his legendary-quality acting roles, taking his rightful place alongside fellow thespians Sir Olivier and Chaplin.

And right away you protest like a parrot: it is now past the 30th year P.E. (Post Hoc Elvisio). Awrk! Awrk! Elvis is dead. The only ones earning a living off him now are microbes, and even they are scaling down operations lately. But you don't know for certain. There could have been some monumental mistake or scam going down which has unjustly deprived the world of our KING. Yes, I'm going to shatter the myth; perhaps Elvis is still alive and still rock and rolling. I'm not the only voice crying in the wilderness to this possibility; it said so in this week's newspaper at the supermarket checkout. You know the one; it said so right below the headline 'Space alien gives birth to reincarnation of Stalin.' And if it's in print, it has to be true, right? Just because we were all at the funeral and saw his cold, chemical-filled body being lowered into the grave in broad daylight and sixty shovelfuls of dirt thrown on him doesn't necessarily mean he's actually dead, silly.

But why? How could the forces of evil and disco music and international communism conspire to take our Elvis away? I happen to have been completing some studies at UASE [The University of Advanced Studies in Elvis] in Florida, and some interesting theories have been advanced on how this could have happened. I'm thankful to have been mentored by a top Elvisologist, who is presently working on a book called The Single Jelly-Donut Theory, soon to be published by Topp's Chewing Gum. Here are some of his findings.

At this point I'm going to ask that children and those with faint hearts leave the room. (Don't you always wonder, when you see such warnings, what intelligence level such notices are aimed at? 'Wow! This ride's called the Inverted Flip-Flop Stomach Pounder! Doesn't this one sound like fun, Grandma?') Anyway, here is a brief summary of the proposed reasons that Elvis disappeared from our lives on that bleak, black day in 1977. Not interested? You weren't even born in 1977? Well, I was, and it was a bleak, black day, dammit, alright? Now listen good. Everyone else - perhaps you should be seated for this.

Theory one: Elvis was abducted by the same aliens that abducted Marilyn Monroe. (Coincidence? I don't think so.) They waited longer with Elvis because they were fans of his movies with Annette Funicello. Elvis now lives on the planet Qrksfrg in the city named for him, Suspicious Minds. Government officials dress for state occasions in floral leis with huge foam microphones.

Theory two: Elvis contracted an extremely rare skin cancer brought about by seven years of wearing white polyester and escaped the world to recuperate in the Swiss Alps. He subsequently married a milkmaid named Umlaütia and became an accordion player in a nearby ski resort lounge.

Theory three: Elvis was about to be exposed as a fake by his wife during a marital crisis for not having sung any of his songs in the recording studio, which had actually been performed by Ethel Merman. Elvis went into hiding, had a gender change operation, underwent extensive plastic surgery, and resurfaced in the early 1980's as Cyndi Lauper.

Theory four: Elvis, in fact, will not be born until the year 2342. As a gift to their ancestors, the government of earth decides to enrich our grim lives by sending back in time a holographic projection of Elvis' life on national Blue Suede Shoe Day, 2393. Unfortunately, the projection suddenly ceased in 1977 due to a squashed bug in the time-transmitter computer which Radio Shack employees fail to notice.

Theory five: April fool! Elvis went into hiding at the time of his supposed death, just as Hitler did, as a publicity stunt. At an unknown time this summer, he will walk into a U.N. meeting in New York and announce the release of a double CD album of new songs he has been recording for the last 25 years. Engineers will blast the new albums for not being recorded in a 32-track 20-bit digital studio environment; record critics will give the album scathing reviews for not having any drum machines or rap music samples. The albums will fail to crack the Billboard Top 100 due to the lack of supporting rock videos. Elvis will end his career running a karaoke machine in a Codfish Sam's lounge in Duluth, playing 'My heart will go on' every fifteen minutes.

I'm not sure which one of these theories is the correct one, but I'm just hoping that THE KING is happy and that he will someday come back to revive our faded civilization and set in motion new musical and cultural achievements. But just to cover all the bases, I'm buying up old Cyndi Lauper albums. I know I can hear THE KING's voice in 'Girls just wanna have fun' if I listen closely.. very closely.