If You Are Reading This, I Am Dead
If you are reading this, I am dead. I have prepared this document to settle my affairs in the case of my death, and I’m sure glad I did, because it is now apparent that I have died. In the event that I have died and this document can’t be found, please refer to Appendix A of this document, “What to Do if This Document Can’t Be Found.” Otherwise, read on, and follow these directions carefully or risk shaming my memory or awakening my curse. For details of my curse, please refer to Appendix B, “My Curse,” or to the film “Thinner,” which is about a fat man who becomes really thin. It’s worse than it sounds (the curse, not the movie).
Section One: Disposing of my Body
If my body is in any undesirable or unsavory position, such a nude on swingset or cowardly fetal pose plus grotesque rictus of terror, please dress me as necessary and snap me into a pose that will reflect well upon me. Maybe you can make it look like I died working the fruitless, red clay earth with my scarred and calloused hands, because then my family will think that I worked myself to death and they’ll feel bad that they made me get a job. Or, if I’ve recently done something pretty bad, you could pose me on my knees and make it look like I died praying, because that will probably score me some points. Actually, you know what? Let’s go for a Conan The Barbarian thing, with me on a throne, brooding, maybe a sword in my hand. If any girls died with me, put them up against my leg so it looks like they’re adoring me.
However, if my body has expired in a peaceful, dignified state of repose, just leave it that way, because I guess I’ll settle for that. I wouldn’t be mad if you still did the Conan thing, though. Far from it. Actually, just do the Conan thing either way.
Section Two: Arranging my Funeral
When my body is prepared to my satisfaction, gather my people around it to weep and mourn and say their farewells. In the unlikely event that by the time of my death I have not become the leader of a people, please find those who love me best. Maybe they’re my disciples, or my kinfolk, or perhaps just hangers-on. Please shoo away any who are eyeing my rings and baubles, because I will not tolerate grave robbery among my disciples, and I thereby expel them from my order.
Anyway, allow anyone who wants to see my body a good fond look at it, and then shuffle them out of the room to a room filled with snacks, so that they can chat and eat and remember the good times. Please do not allow any snacks near my body, because if I should awaken in death before my ancestors to be judged, I don’t want to be covered with crumbs and chocolate fingerprints.
Among my people, find someone willing to do a eulogy. I don’t need anything fancy, but make sure you hit the following basic points:
- “A certain quiet dignity.”
- “Winner of bronze medal in 1992 Californiadonis Bodacious Beach Bod Contest, sponsored by El Tropicoco brand cocoa butter.”
- Tell everyone that my nickname was “Hammerhead,” but think of a good reason for it, because I don’t want them to think it’s because my eyes were too far apart.
- “Ruthless, but not unreasonable.”
- Throw in that bit from the Kipling poem, “The female of the species must be deadlier than the male,” even though I don’t really know what it means in my context unless a girl killed me, but you have to throw one in for the guys (they’re all going to elbow each other and go “right, fellas?”)
Section Three: On the Non-revelation of My Terrible Secret
If you know my terrible secret, please don’t tell anybody my terrible secret, and make every attempt to conceal my terrible secret. If you are aware of the fact that I have a terrible secret but don’t know what my terrible secret is, please make no attempt to discover my terrible secret, and if you do discover it, please don’t tell anybody about it. If you didn’t know I even had a terrible secret, please ignore that last passage, because I don’t have a terrible secret and I was joking, but on an unrelated note, you should rent a cement mixer and fill up my house entirely full to the top with cement.
Section Four: Distributing my Possessions.
First, I want to make it clear that if you skipped to this section without reading the other ones, you’re a real ghoul and you should drop dead. But here’s what I’m giving away:
- My brother Russell gets my pants, which would probably mostly fit him. Not the pants that I died in, though, because I don’t want his grief to be furthered by the burden of washing my final pants.
- I was about to say that you should give all my money to the best looking girl you can find so it would impress her, but that seems pretty frivolous (because what if I’m broke?), so I’ll leave it to Russell and he can just see what he can do with it in terms of girls.
- Uh oh, Russell is older than me. What if he’s dead too? In that case, see if that good looking girl is still around.
- Either way, Russell also gets my stuff, which I define as anything that I own which has no real value to women, such as my turquoise sweat pants (but I guess Russell already got my pants, unless I died in my turquoise sweats, in which case paradox from beyond the grave!).
Section Five: Special Amendments and Circumstances
A) If you killed me…
If you killed me, just calm down and don’t panic. I am not going to pass judgment on you, but you’re going to need to sort this one out on your own. Did I deserve it? Was it legal? Were your motives just or unjust? Are you wanted by the police? Are you a police officer yourself? If so, what did I do? Was killing me maybe just a little bit excessive? Oh, really? I did that?Well I guess that is pretty bad.
B) If I was terribly mutilated…
Please take me to a mortician who will use all his powers of reconstruction to make an open-casket funeral possible, because weeping at a box is way too abstract for my liking. If my mutilation is too severe to make an open casket tasteful, please flip me over so that only my legs and feet show through the open part.
C) If I died far too young of an incurable disease…
Please cryogenically freeze me until such a time as the disease has been cured, or until people lower their Popsicle standards far enough that I would be more useful as a confection.
D) If I died in a really stupid or embarrassing way…
Please confuse me with Bob Hope, so that I will always be remembered as a billionaire comedy entertainer to the stars & presidents, and Bob Hope will always be remembered as the guy who took his lawnmower swimming.
Thank you, and may I rest in peace.