(Lane Meyer was the title character in the 1985 comedy ‘Better Off Dead.’ The following is fictional, but you’ll need to have seen the movie to get all of the jokes/references…)
GREENDALE (AP) – Lane Meyer, an award winning food writer for the San Francisco Chronicle that spent his spare time skiing dangerous slopes throughout the Northern California area, died at his home in Greendale, CA on September 7. He was 39.
The cause was suicide, his brother Badger Meyer said. “I had told him the same tale often,” said lifelong friend Charles DeMar. “Suicide is never the answer. And dying when you’re not really sick is really sick, you know,” he added.
Meyer came to public notice in 1985 after successfully beating Greendale High School ski captain Roy Stalin in a K-12 ski race. In addition to forever altering the social hegemony of Greendale High School, the race resulted in a new record time for skiing the K-12, one that his not been beaten since. Meyer pushed any and all accolades aside, instead fleeing for Paris, France. In the time since, Meyer had been challenged numerous times to follow-up races by Stalin, but refused to participate, creating a legacy that Stalin would never retake.
Meyer was born June 28, 1968 in Greendale, California. He grew up alongside friends Charles DeMar and Ricky Smith in Greendale, where he developed a love for skiing and Q-Tip sculpture. In his teenage years, he chased love, but was often plagued by the effects of social stratification in Greendale. After his first girlfriend Beth Truss left him, Meyer often spoke about “Being more popular, better looking and driving a nicer car.” Following several suicide attempts, Meyer was diagnosed with depression, an illness he continued to battle throughout the remainder of his life.
After high school, Meyer traveled to Paris, France with high school sweetheart Monique Junot. Meyer pursued an English degree at home and abroad, writing for several food magazines along with a How-To manual on meeting women, co-authored by his younger brother Badger. In 1992, Meyer and Junot were married, and had since been dividing their time between Northern California and Paris before divorcing in 2006.
In 2000, Meyer was hired by the SF Chronicle as a food writer, a position he excelled at. Meyer often told the tale of his mother’s haphazard cooking skills during his formative years, how she created “monsters” in the kitchen and how his it was his lifelong obligation to write about “edible” food. His column, “Go That Way, If Something Gets In Your Way, Turn,” was syndicated nationally in 2004. In the weekly column, Meyer espoused upon his family dinners, his part-time fast food jobs as a teen-ager and an anonymous friend that snorted Jell-O from time to time. The column helped to transform the art of food writing from elite to bourgeois, garnering Meyer several awards during his tenure at the Chronicle.
Meyer was also known for his quirky imagination, once reasoning with a newspaper delivery boy that he couldn’t pay a delivery fee because of a family crisis that involved his brother getting his arm stuck in a microwave and his grandmother taking acid and then highjacking a busload of penguins. Additionally, Meyer was known for his unique construction of hamburger patties, shaping beef patties into rock groups that mimicked the David Lee Roth era of Van Halen at family barbecues. He spent his spare time restoring his beloved ’67 Camaro, or vacationing with his unique circle of friends (including DeMar, a biochemist that often experimented with snow, along with plush toy mogul Ricky Smith).
He is survived by his family; mother Jenny Meyer, father Al Meyer, brother Badger Meyer and sister-in-law Jenna Jameson. Funeral services are scheduled for this Friday.
Lane, I know this is gonna sound weird coming from your obituary writer, but would you mind if I asked out Beth?