(Originally written February 13, 2013)
Call it fate, call it kismet, cue the Alanis Morisette if you must, but in any case, this heart-rupturing incident clearly had to occur a couple days before V-Day. The Las Vegas Sun is reporting that “The second unofficial spokesman for the Heart Attack Grill in downtown Las Vegas has died from an apparent heart attack.” Upon hearing the news, the management was understandably heart-broken.
“He lived a very full life,” owner Jon Basso told the Sun. Considering that his beloved burger joint has a menu item containing 9,982 calories, that’s probably an understatement. While not an employee of the Grill, 52-year-old John Alleman, aka Patient John, had his face plastered on everything from the menu to t-shirts and other merchandise. But while he had been occasionally offered a free meal for his services, he always paid his tab. “He never wanted a handout from anyone. He always insisted on paying,” Basso said. “He lived, ate and breathed the Heart Attack Grill.” Until he suddenly stopped breathing at the bus stop outside the place, that is.
Although funeral arrangements for Patient John have yet to be made, the Grill will reportedly be closed in his memory on the day of the service. And while he’ll need to find a new spokesman, the owner says he doesn’t plan on changing the name. “(Alleman’s death) isn’t going to stop us from what we’re doing,” Basso told the Sun. “People have got to live their lives.” Lives which will surely be shortened after a couple Quadruple Bypass Burgers, mind you…