All Souls Day just came and went. That's the day that the Catholic Church and some other denominations set aside to honor the dead. It's a day of prayer, reflection and it's not necessarily a day of remorse and sadness although it could be. All Souls Day, or the Day of the Dead as it's also known can actually be quite festive in a spooky halloweenish sort of way as it's honored in Latin America and some Latin neighborhoods here. Anyway All Souls Day spurred me on to think about what else? Death! Actually, my own death and what I could do to make it more enjoyable, and by that I mean more enjoyable for me!
First I'm going on the assumptions that I will sort of somehow sense when death is imminent and my soul will be allowed the traditional 4 1/2 minutes to hover over the room right after I pass on. That's when the fun begins!
I'll need a "death kit", and I'll have one ready. The "death kit" is the shoebox full of crap that I'll carefully litter my bed with. These are the things the nurse or unlucky family member will see when they discover my demise. Let's see......I'll want a penny whistle, maybe a farmers almanac, a pair of needle-nosed pliers, a topographical map of Bolivia, maybe a pack of firecrackers, a recipe for New England clam chowder and a ticket to the drag races. Oh, and I'll be clutching an American flag, preferably one with 48 stars although that might be asking a little too much. I've gotta be reasonable. A good added touch or two would be a pogo stick tucked away under the bed and some empty D-Con boxes in the garbage. Yes, I think all of that would do the trick, and by "trick" I mean it would make the explanation of how they found me pretty spectacular and frankly hard to believe. A damn big fat lie! But why?
Now next there has to be a note, or notes. I want to leave one at my bedside that basically says nothing or at least only address superficial problems that may occur tomorrow at latest, something like "There's a coupon for 50%-off a family-size bag of Doritos in my top dresser drawer" or "The air looked low in your front driver-side tire, but I could be wrong about that. I'm dead now, you know?" Also, I have to leave a more serious note somewhere to be found later. I'm thinking "The money is under the seat of the swiveling captain's chair in the back of my Dodge van. It should be plenty to sustain you for a long, long, time" Now the joke is that by now the long gone van has either been crushed for scrap metal or is hauling illegals across Baja Mexico . There would be no names and no dates. I would just finish it with "Who could have thought one night in Paducah could end like that?"
I'm not making plans for my funeral or my estate. I figure those things just have a way of working themselves out, right? I do want one thing in the announcement for the service: "In lieu of flowers please stock his pond" I'm laughing already as I picture a scene weeks down the road when a well meaning person says to my wife "I sure am sorry to hear about your husband" and through tear filled eyes my wife says to them "Did you stock his pond?" and they have to sheepishly reply "no".
Well anyway that's how I imagine it. Tomorrow is All Saints Day. Maybe then I'll think about something else.