Born: 3/4/61. Died: Hopefully soon
The world was recently saddened by the loss of George Harrison.
There were television specials about his life. And you couldn't turn on the radio without hearing some sort of Beatles retrospective.
I found myself particularly touched by the countless eulogies written in his honor. Tens of thousands of words were penned to pay tribute to the man who brought so many of us so many wonderful memories.
Some called him "the quiet Beatle."
Some referred to him as "a guitar master."
Others just said he was "simply brilliant."
The way they each talked about his life…it was so touching…so warm…so heroic.
They all made him sound so perfect, I'm now thinking that at this point in my life, I need to die.
I mean, christ, my life sucks. But that doesn't mean it couldn't sound really good in death.
Why can't I kick off in some sort of miserable, tortured way and then let people make all nice nice about me, too?
Without question, what my life needs right now is death.
Why should I have to continue to live my rotten existence, while dead people like George have other people sitting around mourning them, crying that they're gone, thinking about all of those wonderful memories of the dearly departed that maybe weren't really that wonderful but they sure do seem that way now, don't they, because they're memories of a corpse.
I want that.
I think me being dead is the only thing that would make my life worth living.
It's the only shot I've got at being remembered as something other than nothing.
If I died, people would think happy thoughts about me. Even though chances are, I couldn't stand them.
If I died, people would look back and cherish their memories of being with me. Even though I hated being with them.
If I died, people would say only nice things about me. Even though this would be their one chance to say something bad about me and not have to worry about me saying anything mean about them behind their backs. Because I'd be dead.
Dying has a funny way of making people forget the bad you've done in your life and letting them only remember the good. Even if their was a minimal amount of good and you were a total prick-bastard- moron, like say…oh, I don't know, me…death can transform even the most heinous of human traits into cherished memories.
"Y'know, that guy was a total prick-bastard-moron. I still can't believe he embezzled from his Temple. But still, you've gotta respect a total-prick bastard moron like that, y'know? God, I miss the total prick-bastard-moron already!"
Mind you, I'm not morbid. I'm realistic.
I know that death can bring the respect to my life that life never could.
The thing is, I've spent 40 years screwing up.
Now I don't have the time or the energy to retrace my life and right all the wrongs of my existence.
The cheating on tests.
That one time with the neighbor's dog.
Truth is, I've only got one shot at coming out of this smelling like a rose.
And it's me in a big pine box.
Death is the only way that I can walk out of this whole life thing and fool people into thinking that I was a worthwhile human being.
Hey, it's not like I'm George Harrison. People don't have records or cassettes to remind them of the great accomplishments of my life.
Come to think of it, there aren't even any sticky notes.
The one thing I've realized with the death of George Harrison is that dying makes the great seem greater. And it makes the average seem pretty damn good.
In my case, it can hopefully make a big shmuck seem like just a shmuck.
I'll take that.
Dying could be the best thing to happen to my life. And the more painful, the better.
See, the thing is, I've also noticed that a tragic death may help my cause as well.
I mean, it worked for Elvis.
The guy was a drug addict hooked on HoHo's. But he shit his brains and people call him The King.
That's the kind of successful death I'm looking for.
I'm not too ashamed to admit that I'd be happy to accept any additional sympathy I can gain through a sudden, horrific illness that would take my life in weeks. Like the Bubonic Plague, or something really nasty that made me all scabby and shriveled me away to nothing.
That would be perfect.
The other thing is, if I were lucky enough to die right now, I wouldn't be old anymore, would I? I'd be 40 forever.
The way things stand right now, I'm a half a beat away from senility. But if I died right now, people would say, "What a shame. He was so young!"
Hmmm. I could be an eternally young guy covered with nasty scabs? Where do I sign up?
Frankly, this is the only shot I've got. Otherwise, I'm going to spend the next 40 years continuing to make an ass out of myself. Then by the time I die when I'm like 80, everybody I know will be dying. So I'll just be another old dead guy.
There's no honor in that.
I say die young and make a name for myself.
The more I think about this, my life can only be complete with my death.
Of course, the only wildcard in this whole thing is my obituary.
It's the key critical last message. It's the Final Stanza. It's the Cliff Notes of my life.
Truthfully, I'm a bit worried that there isn't anyone capable of leaving that lasting impression of my worthless life better than me. Only because I've lived it.
Jeez, maybe for my own sake, I'd better write my own.
After all, I want my obituary to be poetic. I want my obituary to paint a glorious picture of my life and demonstrate how I enriched society. I want my obituary to show how I made a difference to those in need. And I want it to leave people feeling that the world will be a little less special without me.
In other words, I want my obituary to be a pack of lies.
I mean, if I'm going to make my life better by dying, the least I should do is make sure that people remember me in the fabulous way I want them to remember me.
As a kind man. As a loving father. And as a man with an extremely large penis.
Strauss, 40, dies of complications due to rare, really painful disease. Kind Man, loving father, had large penis.
TWINSBURG, OH. Lane Strauss died today due to a super bad mysterious illness which doctors have never seen before. Nevertheless, in spite of the pain, doctors want it to be noted that he exhibited remarkable dignity through the pain, and his enduring suffering never stopped him from reading to the elderly and spending countless hours telling sex jokes to the candystripers. Despite the sadness of not seeing his 41st birthday, Strauss led a rich and fulfilling life, performing a host of charitable acts to leave a lasting legacy for those that knew him. For example, on October 16, 1988, Strauss DID NOT hit an old lady who was only half way across the street when the light turned green. This, despite the fact that he was late for his monthly poker game. On September 14, 1976, 15-year old Strauss found a Playboy magazine in a garbage can and hid it in his room, not telling anyone, and ensuring that other young men's eyes would not be forced to witness such decadence. On Bastille Day in 1984, Strauss took a candy bar from a drugstore without paying for it, fearful that an obese woman in the store would buy it and get even more disgustingly fat. In 1997, because of his concern for the environment and his many, many years of selfless involvement, he was thrilled to be able to witness the opening of the Lane Strauss Bio-Hazardous Waste Sewage Serenity Center. Strauss is survived by two children and his wife, who mentioned that she will miss his love-making skills and his remarkable endurance in bed. She also said that she knows that she could never find another man to replace him, otherwise Strauss would totally kill the guy and he wouldn't talk to her for like even a second when she got to heaven. Services will be held next Thursday through Sunday because this man was far too remarkable to memorialize in one day. It's a sad, sad day for the world. We must gather our spirits and attempt to move on. If that's possible. Thank you, oh great man, for leaving us all with such spectacular memories, and inspiring us all to do more and better things in our lives. None of which will ever compare to what you did with yours. Farewell.
I don't know. I kinda like it. I think it says, sweet, compassionate guy without being too melodramatic.
I'll take it.
With any luck, I'll die soon, and even people who never really knew me will read the obituary and say things like, "Jeez, he sounded like a great guy." And "I wish I knew him." And "Honey, you can put this newspaper in the litter box. I'm done with it."
That's what I want. Being kaput is the only shot I've got.
George, I'm said you're gone. Really sad. But you've taught me that sometimes, the most important part of life is death.
Especially if the highlight of your life is getting a college midterm handed back to you with a note at the top reading, "I don't see how you can possibly pass this course."
It was nice not knowing you. I sincerely hope you'll say the same.