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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How do I make compelling last words?

I think that cats would make cute butlers. And if you died right after reading that sentence out loud, those would be your last words. Ever. Does that make you feel complete? The summation of your entire life could have been defined by an aside about cat butlers. Imagine if there was someone around you. What would they think of the life you lived?

The moment you think you are about to die, have a mantra prepared for those around you to say. You don't have to be famous to have famous last words. I mean, look at President Mallard Fillmore. He said "My only regret is that the Whig party dies with me," and that's common knowledge, even though know one actually knows who Mallard Fillmore was, outside of his post-mortem cartoon biographies.

In order to research this entry, Mr. Jones and I would get into compromising positions or act on ill-planned thoughts. Then, we would yell a new mantra every time we threw ourselves into possible death (i.e. fences, marriage, dune buggies, etc.) We documented what made compelling last words and taped a lot of stupid shit we did. What you are about to read is the less entertaining of the two.

A dash of mystery
In the start of the sci-fi film, Citizen Kane, a newspaper man dies with the last words of "Rosebud." The movie revolves around the mystery of his last words, in between sweeping space battles and allegories for the media. What you can take from is that your loved ones will be willing to unravel the mystery of your last words. If you and your surviving family are fans of scavenger hunts, then you should mull over some of our favorites like "Damn you, Tito," "Movie Phone was right," and "It all belongs to Jessica, now."

Powerfully dead
If your corpse does not leave a crater in the earth, you can at least hope that your words will resonate throughout centuries and hopefully cause some earthquakes*. Make some poignant observation about life and how fleeting it is. Starting by talking about the wind is always good, and maybe throw in something about laughter and friends. I saw that on a plaque at a Famous Dave's, and it's been with me ever since.

*"Hopefully?" You monster!

On second thought
Just describe things from the walls of Famous Dave's. It might be poignant observations on life or some kooky road sign that would not be street legal in a million years. I decided that it's all fair game and thought I'd throw that in.

Taking them with you
This is much darker than I wanted it to sound, but it is the best way to be a constant reminder to those who mourn you. Instead of having them reminisce over things you use to do, have your last words be something they say or hear everyday. This is what psychologists call classical condition crying. Instead of last words, sing "All-Star" by Smash Mouth. Then, whenever a loved one goes to a kids movie or turns on the radio, there is a good chance they will cry over their little dead All-Star. This is the best way, because it guarantees your manipulation of them from BEYOND THE GRAVE!

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