If I die Monday, may my tombstone read,“Died doing what he loves.”

On Monday I go in for Jaw Surgery. If I die, I want my tombstone to read, “Died doing what he loves.[1]

I’ve never seen a footnote on a tombstone. Nor ellipses. I’m updating the medium. The joke makes it more palatable.

I joke because I’m afraid. I’m afraid because it’s frightening. I’ve never been closer to death than I will be on Monday.

I’ve always mused on death. I wrote my first auto-obituary at 13. The same way some people use the largesse of space to decrease their anxiety; I use death to accept depression. When I wake up late enough that I feel grumpy, the phrase “death and taxes” echoes in my mind. It reminds me of two crucial elements – timeliness and humor. One makes today matter and the other makes life worth living.

I’m spending tomorrow and Sunday advising a local high school youth group, and Saturday with my dad. If I die, let it be known I went out doing what I loved.

 

[1] Self improvement.

Okay, cocaine.

Sometimes I write in pictures.

You!
Yes, you!
Look at this guy:
A short, squat gnome
With a big paunched belly
And an erect penis
And neck
This text is here purely for formatting reasons
Born a dewdrop
That jiggled on a leaf,
Slurped up by a ladybug
That hums above the field.
Clouds billow, foretold shocks:
“Don’t hum begrudging agreement.
It’s not what you’ll want tomorrow-
Just what they demand today.”
This text is here purely for formatting reasons
He writes from a place southwest of my sternum
Aflame from rotting friends.
He wants to show you.
Take a look?
Or run.
“Please don’t run.”

One, Two Pizzas

Why did you buy two pizza pies?

You’re only one man, and you have thighs

That will grow fatter

If you eat all that batter.


“They were deep dish,

Which makes me its bitch

When combined with the heaven

Of ‘second pie costs $7.'”


Well, that explains

Your stretched-tummy pains.

Now go and count sheep

You should be asleep.


“I would be! I would!

But it’s hard to be good.

After crunching all week,

I feel so… uh, weak.”


That I can see!

It’s going to be

A much-needed weekend

Spent with a friend.

Quotent Quotables, Volume 2

I’ve curated a list of recent quotes from my life, along with a challenge: Who said each quote? Me or Not-Me? (Answers at the end; track your responses to see how well you fare!)

  1. “You know that Carly Simon song? It’s about me.”
  2. “Sometimes I feel like I’m always rushing. Then I get some free time and it’s just the worst.”
  3. “When you eliminate the extraneous, all that’s left is you. When you eliminate the you, all that’s left is the Tao.”
  4. “Pickling is so great. They take cucumbers and make them edible!”
  5. “Nexterday. I mean tomorrow.”
  6. “I like spending time with people with low self-esteem—whenever we arrive at a problem, they’re too busy blaming themselves to blame me.”
  7. “I’m a coffee drinker, so cups of tea aren’t my cup of tea.”
  8. “You’re nervous. That’s okay. Just don’t be nervous about being nervous.”
  9. “My computer just told me it has an upgrade it wants to run. Let me guess: it’s going to make the computer run more slowly and not affect how I use it at all.”
  10. “The more I learn about how things work, the more I learn they’re stupid and poorly done.”
  11. “Avocado would be a great Halloween costume for a pregnant woman.”
  12. “With T-Mobile, you get free tacos on Tuesdays, but with Verizon you can make phone calls.”

To protect you from accidentally seeing the answers, please enjoy this anecdote: (Real! Real true! Real true funny!)

Context: A highschool couple eats dinner at Chick-Fil-A. The Girl has painted her face with such vigor that it lacks pores. The guy sports spiky hair, diamond hoop earrings, and flip-flops.

Girl: I don’t find comedy funny.

Guy: You don’t find comedy funny?

Girl: I find it cringe-y. It’s not natural funny. It’s like forced funny. I don’t like comedy movies because they’re not funny. I feel like the only comedy that I actually find funny is, like, White Chicks. Oh my god! We should watch White Chicks together!

 

(Scroll down for the answers)

 

(Keep scrolling)

 

(Who’s a good scroller? You are! Yes, you are!)

 

Those answers you’ve been waiting for:

1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 12 are by Yours Truly

Your Score:

0: You know me incredibly well, but prefer self-sabotage.

1-3: Next time, try flipping a coin.

4-6: You did flip a coin.

7-9: Let’s be friends.

10-11: So close and yet so far. Was it the pickling? I bet it was the pickling.

12: Self… is that you? I mean me? Are you… me?

I hope he realizes he’s a Little Shit

“Fuck you!” yells the boy-child biking past. He pauses a moment, then adds, “And your mom!”

His comment fills me with Righteous Joy in these final moments completing my cycle home. See, I was once a Little Shit too:

  • In 4th grade, I fist-fought over a chair.
  • In 6th, I bit a 3rd grader. I did, however, apologize to him! (… this year.)
  • The summer after 9th, I realized my loneliness wasn’t the world’s fault. I lacked friends due to that aforementioned Shittiness. (That same summer, I discovered women. Coincidence? I think not.)

As a reformed Shit, I now carry the mantle of informing Shits when they’re being Shitty.

In advising a youth group, I once explained to a high school senior the reasons it’s inadvisable to urinate in a public school trashcan. To get through to him, I employed the phrase “sex offender registry.”

I yell “Yo!” when it becomes first apparent this boy-child biker is being Shitty. He hurtles down the two-lane path at a rapid pace, clearly intent on swerving around the woman-with-dog and into my lane of the tight, dark tunnel. Upon hearing my yell, he slows, so I relax… but then the Shit passes her anyway! At the same moment as me! Dangerous? Yes! And also stupid as fuck! Maybe wait for half-a-second, Dumbass?

After passing into safety, I holler, “Don’t do that!” (admittedly as a schoolmarm would chide a child), so he delivers the epithet invoking my mum.

I was a Little Shit once, but now recognize my Shitness. One day, I hope this Little Shit does too. ‘Til then, fuck him! And his mom!

Ode to Xfinity

Xfinity, you tease

In the unlikeliest of places

By stoking my hopes with the promise of bars

Then dashing them all with a “cannot connect!”

 

I must say I’d rather

Have no WiFi at all—

Be forced ‘pon my phone’s hotspot

Than hear your wispy false claims.

 

But sometimes, my dear,

You appease this old soul—

Like this ‘forenoon, when I video called

My boss from the street.

Though your robustness did waver

So we switched to “just audio,”

You did remain connected! Aye, you stood strong throughout,

Leaving boss none the wiser

That I’m a van-confined hobo.

 

Why do you toy so, dear Xfinity,

With me, of all people—loyal lover of your service

As I try to log in

With my dad’s friend’s account?

An Ex texts, “Marry me?”

An Ex texts, “Marry me?”

I say “You must be reading my blog.” She says no. She says she’s serious. Phrases include, “Clearly soul mates”, “White picket fence”, and “Multiracial adopted kids”.

How the hell does someone respond to that? After sufficient bewilderment, I settle on: “No thanks. Not really interested”. Later, I add, “But I suppose I appreciate the sentiment”.

After an hour of confusion, including texting a mutual friend to ask if Ex is okay, Ex tells me it was a joke. She has, in fact, been reading my blog. A joke, you say? Ha…

Ha…

I guess.

I suppose I deserve this. And I did ask for more pranks. It’s also eye-opening: this must be what friendship with me is like.