Wednesday, February 21, 2007

When I Die

When I die, I don’t want some corny inscription on my tombstone, e.g., “Here lies Benjamin L. Schwalb, rest in peace, yadda yadda yadda.” I want my epitaph to be more terse, e.g., “So much for exercise and healthy eating.” Actually I don’t even want to be buried. I don’t think anyone should be buried. Why waste human corpses, not to mention land, by putting them into holes in the ground when they can be donated to medical schools, or made into food, or propped up in passenger seats so drivers can use HOV lanes?

I hope I don’t outlive my friends because I hate going to funerals. I’ve already had one friend die – he took an overdose of Viagra. The funeral was a bummer, and to make things worse, we couldn’t get the coffin closed. So I hope I go next. I’ve written a eulogy to be read at my funeral so no one else has to write one:

Whew! What died? Oh, sorry. We’re here to bury Ben Schwalb, a man who -- HOLD YOUR APPLAUSE UNTIL THE END, PLEASE -- a man who we will all remember for at least the next fifteen minutes while we try our best to find nice things to say about him without laughing. Ben was a generous man who never gave much thought to himself, which is why he never bathed. He was always helpful to others, supporting local brothels and offering candy to children at playgrounds if they’d get into the back of his van. He ate right and exercised, and a lot of good that did – we all outlived him. He produced lots of beer and books, which he gladly gave away, mainly because nobody thought they were worth paying for. Ben was a good person. The only time he was unpleasant was when he was sober, which fortunately was hardly ever. He became very inoffensive when he was drunk, because he was unconscious. Let us line up at the casket now in order to give him the sendoff he deserves. And please, only one hit per person with the mallet – we need to make this quick because he’s starting to spoil.