I am increasingly heartbroken about the death of Ryan Dunn. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.
Of course, with each new detail about the precise circumstances of his fatal car wreck—which also killed his passenger, Zach Hartwell—it can be harder and harder for some of us to sympathize, especially for those who have lost a loved one to somebody else’s senselessness. That’s real; those angry feelings are valid.
Still, when I see headlines like Bam Margera Collapses at Scene of Crash, I can’t help but feel just a tiny, tiny part of somebody else’s grief.
On Monday, Emily showed you Johnny Knoxville’s moving eulogy to Ryan Dunn. Now, Bam Margera—who had a mini-meltdown on Twitter when Roger Ebert insinuated Dunn could’ve picked better friends—has some words for E! Online:
What astonishes Margera even more was that this wasn’t the first time something like this had happened.
“He flipped me in a car eight times at the same exact spot in 1996. Thank God I had my seat belt on, because Chris Raab put one on me, but my brother didn’t have one on. He flew 40 feet. Thank God he’s alive. But like, Dunn was always a maniac at driving,” he said.
Bam pulled out his cell phone and read aloud the last conversation he had with Dunn via text messages.
“Stopping for a beer, be there when I can,” was the last message sent from Dunn the night his accident occurred.
This exchange didn’t make it into E!’s transcript of the interview, but it’s in the video:
Interviewer: If there was a way to go back to the morning of that night, what would you say to Ryan?
Margera: I’d say, “Give me your Goddamn keys, you idiot.”
Interviewer: If you were at the bar that night?
Margera: Yeah, I’d say “Gimme your Goddamn keys.” …He probably wouldn’t have listened to me.
In the video, Bam Margera sounds awful. I mean, like, obviously not all-there, and also in a lot of denial, which is as natural a reaction to death as any, I guess.
Look. I know it’s tiresome to get preached at by some weird lady with a laptop and eyeglasses, and I know turning tragedy into a pulpit is tacky, and I know you’ve heard all this backward and sideways, but feel me on this: Be as stupid as you want. I don’t care. Wear your beer in a holster. Smoke a cigarette with your ear. Go planking. Hook your nipple piercings to a battery. Set your farts on fire. Bellyflop into a kiddie pool full of splooge. Hammer nails into your nostril, and be the big, bold circus freak that you are.
But be choosy with Stupid. The instant you manage to off yourself, or worse, somebody else—that is, if you lay waste to so many people and leave this kind of emotional wreckage—you have fucked up, royally and undeniably, and you have fucked up your loved ones forever in a way no one can undo.