11/09/2011 02:35 pm ET Updated Jan 09, 2012

Man Dies Seizing the Day

Chicopee, MA - One of mankind's most popular proverbs is the two-word Latin expression, "Carpe diem," which translates to the three-word English phrase, "Seize the day," an encouragement to make the most out of every moment of life. Most people consider this to be a positive, life-affirming message. Dwight Putnam certainly did -- until following its message killed him.

Putnam, 57, a lifelong accountant and bachelor, was bored with his life and felt he had been in a rut for years. So when his best friend, Max Rubin, urged Putnam to seize the day, Putnam took it as a wake-up call and decided to follow Rubin's advice -- big-time.

"He started cashing in on some of the 97 weeks of vacation time he'd accumulated," Rubin recalled. Putnam also cashed in a portion of the hundreds of thousands of dollars he'd earned and hoarded, and proceeded to go on a spending spree.

Rubin remembered, "He bought a bright yellow Porsche Carerra GT convertible; a deluxe bachelor penthouse condo; membership in an exclusive exercise club; new, state-of-the-art computer, audio and video equipment; signed on to an upscale matchmaking company; and began taking dates on expensive foreign trips."

It was on one of these foreign trips that Putnam managed to seize a little too much of the day. Rubin stated, "He was staying at the Vigilius Mountain Resort in South Tyro, Italy, having just enjoyed a gourmet meal and drinks at the resort's world-class restaurant. He climbed into his rented Maserati with his sexy girlfriend, Tanya, and took off for the winding mountain journey for some dancing in the next town. That's when he called me on his cell phone to thank me for making him seize the day. I'd never heard him happier. Then, he said he'd have to hang up because Tanya was running her hand all the way up his thigh and it was hard for him to concentrate on speaking, much less driving. That's when he must have lost control of the Maserati. I heard them both scream, there was silence, and I heard the distant sounds of a car crashing several times and then bursting into flames. Poor Dwight."

After his friend's funeral, Rubin has completely stopped giving anyone advice about anything.