Mitch Hedberg, 1998
Were she not snaffled by the trembling hand of death in 1943 – right in the middle of the raging war with the Nazis, when the trembling hand of death was enjoying a purple patch, BTW – Beatrix Potter would be turning a very impressive 143 today. Not only would that make her the oldest living author of books about rabbits and ducks that can speak and wear clothes, it would also make her the oldest person ever. At the moment that particular accolade belongs to a French lady called Jeanne Calment who made it to 122. Potter would have thrashed that by over twenty years. Damn that trembling hand. Damn it. Even so, we decided to buy her a present, so we crept into a neighbouring vegetable patch to steal carrots and whisper about gift ideas, until it boiled down to a toss up between a gun with a silencer, or a clip of the notoriously stage frightened but excellent comic Mitch Hedberg. In the end we got her both. Happy Birthday Beatrix Potter!