Thursday, April 19, 2012

Postcard to Death: Stay Home, The Weather's Bad Here

Here's a riddle for you. What has all the time in the world, wears all black, and has no life? Put on your thinking face...

If you said "Twilight fans", you're definitely correct, but the answer I was looking for was "death".

Have you ever heard the sentiment, "At least he died doing what he loved"? It makes me wonder if this thought has ever gone through the mind of someone in the act of dying...

As the wind whipped Herb's curled hair and shone on his tempest of golden locks, he fell from the top of the bridge at an alarming rate. He looked up to see the now-severed bungee cord flailing away above him, like a headless snake that slithered aimlessly right off of a tall bridge. He waited for his life to flash before his eyes, but instead a warm sensation - let's call it peace - began to trickle down his pant leg, and all he could think about was that he was going to die doing what he loved - testing bungee cord durability.

It seems more like a coping mechanism used by the living to somehow justify or give meaning to an unexpected death.

Police officer: "Calm down miss, tell me what happened."
Woman: "We were playing ping-pong. I hit the ball, and he swung his paddle but missed, and the ball went right into his mouth. He started to choke, so I ran over to try and help, but I don't know how to do the Heimlich, so I, so I...did the best I could."
Police officer: "What did you do?"
Woman: "I got behind him, wrapped my arms around him, and pulled back with all my might, again and again, as hard as I could."
Police officer: "And did the ball get dislodged?"
Woman: "Well, not the one in his mouth. We'll see what the coroner says about the others."
Police officer: "What do you mean?"
Woman: "Well, he's a lot taller than I am, so, umm, let's just say my Heimlich aim was off. It was more of a Groinlich."
Police officer: "I see," he said, casually adjusting his belt. He cleared his throat. "So what happened?"
Woman: "He folded like a lawn chair with a bad poker hand. He hit the edge of the table, neck-first."
Police officer: "Well, that would explain the severed trachea. I'm sure this must be very hard for you."
Woman: "I'm distraught of course, but at least he died doing what he loved."

Along the same lines of well-intentioned yet poorly thought-out death-related sentiments, one of my favorites is "Whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger." I'm almost willing to bet money on that phrase originating in the smoke-filled room of a 1950's ad agency, proposed as the slogan for a cigarette company's new ad campaign. Later of course, it was adopted by the general public in order to justify engaging in dangerous activities, like marathon running or being in the military.

Of course, when someone actually dies, it's always a time of sadness, reflection, and frantic searching for the will. But sometimes it seems like heaven is going to be an awfully crowded place when you hear the post-death interviews with family members and/or neighbors of murderers.

Neighbor: "He always smiled at me and said 'Hi'. He was a nice family man, he played on the front lawn with his children every Saturday. He always drove at the speed limit, stopped at stop signs, and signaled before turning. His personal hygiene was commendable, and he had a pleasant stride - always putting one foot in front of the other. I just can't believe that he could have disemboweled that poor family with an olive spoon."

Seems like every murderer and psychopath is a candidate for outstanding citizen of the year. I mean, take the basketball player formerly known as Ron Artest. He won the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award last year, awarded to NBA players for their outstanding service and dedication to the community. So naturally, the elbow he recently planted into the back of an opposing player's head, giving said player a concussion, was merely an attempt at outreach in his community to raise awareness of concussions, as well as an effective demonstration of the correct way to administer a concussion. At this point, he is likely to be the front-runner for the Dennis Rodman Sportsmanship and Gentility Award...

He should also have no problem winning the coveted Karl Malone Kick-Me-In-The-Balls Award...

Of course, I'm completely confident that Ron Metta World Artest in Peace could never kill anyone, especially not with a gun. Not a chance. I've seen the way he shoots threes.

1 comment:

Fowl Ideas said...

My opinion of athletes is well documented.