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7/8/03

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Ardent Elvis Fan Achieves Ultimate Goal, Dies on Toilet


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (DPI) - Doug Freely talked like the King, walked like the King and, to the extent of his modest means would allow, lived like the King. On Wednesday morning, Freely's landlord discovered the 48-year-old bachelor had finally "left the building" just like the King. "Stone cold dead on the toilet," said Albert Huxley, owner of the dilapidated east-side duplex the former Department of Motor Vehicles clerk has called home for the last 23 years. Freely's few friends recalled the pathos that was his lifelong obsession with Elvis. Besides the requisite penchant for garage-sale memorabilia, his favorite pastime was cruising in his dilapidated 1967 Cadillac Coupe de Ville, 8-track blaring, while wearing one of his many homemade pleather jumpsuits. "He always said he would like to go out like Elvis, " said one co-worker who declined to be identified. "I always assumed he was talking metaphorically. Guess not. " Doctors say a life long diet of fried banana sandwiches and barbiturate-laced milkshakes had finally taken their toll. Gone, and inevitably soon to be forgotten, there is a small chance Freely's legacy will live on. "He did a pretty good job of making up the master bedroom to look just like the Jungle Room," said Huxley. "I imagine that might help me rent the place pretty fast. So long as I can get rid of the dead-guy stank."

(Reported by Brad Osberg)



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