Monthly Archives: September 2015
Close Encounters of the Furred Kind
Getting the Last Word
I’m thinking of making the following my last words:
My nose is cold
my toes got mold
Don’t be worried, or worse, jealous. If you want to say them, be my guest. I can always think of something else.
It’s actually quite difficult to carry out specific last words. If you try it, and then let me know how it went. Most of the time we’ve got no idea that moment has come. Just ask the late great poet Louisa May Alcott, who died March 6, 1888. She probably could have picked a couplet from any one of the thousands of poems she penned, and no doubt had a few of them in mind to say if given the chance. She was having the stroke that killed her, but evidently she wasn’t sure what was happening because she asked “Is it not meningitis?” I suppose she could have said a lot worse, but that’s what she said and that’s what it was. Louisa, if no one else has answered your question, let me say no, it wasn’t meningitis.
I’d love it if my last words could be heard by all my children around me: “There’s 30 million dollars hidden in the -” Oh, what joy to see the look on their faces as I fade away! When my kids were little and they were in the car with me (ask them, it’s true) I would tell them “If we’re about to be in a horrible accident, make a funny face!” I told them that face would live on in the memory of everyone that survived. “Officer, my brother Moab and I were jus’ going’ down the road and allasudden this car with a man and kids comes at us from the side like a rocket, and I SWEAR them kids had the goofiest faces I’d ever seen! It was kinda spooky, if you ask me.”
Last words are always remembered, even if it’s “B-b-b-b-UTTER!” Oscar Wilde made sure his last words would be immortalized when he said “My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go!” Way to go, Oscar!
There is a tradition, originally oriental, in which a literate person writes a poem on their deathbed. It’s called, appropriately, death poems. That’s why I penned that little ditty at the beginning of the article. Now, I use the word literate quite loosely. Look, if you’re kicking the bucket and all you can do is make an ‘X’, go ahead and X away, my friend.
Here are some pretty interesting last words spoken by folks who may or may not have been famous:
Louise-Marie-Therese de Saint Maurice, Comtesse de Vercellis let one rip while she was dying, and she said “Good. A Woman who can fart is not dead.” It’s a wonder she didn’t die every time she had to spell her name.
The late great Buddy Rich died after surgery in 1987. As he was being prepped for surgery, a nurse asked him, “Is there anything you can’t take?” Buddy replied, “Yeah, country music.”
Murderer James W. Rodgers was standing in front of a firing squad in Utah and was asked if he had a last request. He answered, “Bring me a bullet-proof vest.” He deserved at least another day for that one.
Groucho Marx was famous for his one-liners. His last words were “This is no way to live!”
If you happen to be reading this while you’re taking your last breath I feel sorry for you. I would have recommended the Bible. If I happen to be taking my last breath while writing this, I won’t be able to finish my sentence. Guess I’m still around.
If you could chose your last words, what would they be?
Filed under Beans on the Grill, death bed, Humor, last words