Tuesday, January 25, 2005

she really liked coffee

Day three after Johnny Carson passed away, and the segments continue.

I'm not going to go on a diatribe about how soft and sensationalistic the media is. Jon Stewart did a good enough job of that on Crossfire. We all know why this kind of thing happens. Johnny was sick, so in their free time media types had put all kinds of specials together waiting for the inevitable. Nothing is easier than editing together a bunch of old footage that will most definitely get good ratings. Why do you think VH1 keeps pumping out more and more of the "I love the (blank)" shows? Production costs nil.

You know that there are more segments waiting for Dick Clark to bite it.

A couple of years ago I was on a cemetery kick. If I wasn't pressed for times and was passing a cemetery, I would stop in. I loved looking at gravestones, especially really old ones or really unique ones.

My favorite unique headstone was a family set. The family marker was made out of concrete, in the form of a life sized tree trunk, about seven foot tall but with all the branches cut off just past the main fork. Like when you cut off the ends of a stalk of broccoli. The family headstones were also concrete, in the fashion of wood chopped from the tree. Bark indentations and all.

My favorite epitaph was from a woman named Elizabeth Parker, who died in 1927. It simply read, "She did the best she could." How ambiguous. Is it hopeful? Is it tragic? It all depends on how good her best was, I suppose.

When people consider the ends of their lives, I think they tend to think about what will happen up to the last moment as opposed to what will happen after. I, on the other hand, want to make sure that my last party leaves a lasting impression.

Some of my friends feel the same way. One friend in particular has requested a Viking funeral - being sent off in a burning boat. I have promised to fulfill her wishes, but am vaguely concerned with how many laws I will have to break. Hopefully I'll be very old and can get off by claiming senility.

There are some things I know will happen when I go. There will be drinking at my wake, and a lot of toasts. They will have a gospel choir, and they will sing the Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want." (What can I say; I loved "The Big Chill") People will laugh and tell the stories they heard me tell a thousand times. They will say I was fun, that I was neat and stuff. And that I really really liked drinking coffee.

With that, I am content that I have made the world a better place. No need to splice together my clips. Just spill some of your next Starbucks - you know, one for your homies.

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