Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Making a Graceful Exit

Just a thought -- it's going to happen to all of us.  But dying can be done with panache; or it can be done in a manner that is calculated to gross out people; or even worse, to resulting in titters.

From the start: location, location, location is, like in real estate, very important.  No one exits gracefully while using the toilet.  Think of Elvis Presley in that regard.  And it's not seemly to die while having sex.  Even in the missionary position with someone really amazing!  Actually, the people who are most at risk for that are adulterous old guys with heart conditions.  President Félix Faure comes to mind.  Or maybe it was his coming with Mme. Steinheil that does!  And, in all likelihood, being in a disreputable establishment like an opium den or the Legislature will do nothing to serve your postumous reputation.

Timing is essential.  Plan to die so that your funeral will be on a weekday, and co-workers have an excuse to get off of work.

Years ago, some Indian tyrant executed malefactors or other people he didn't like very much by using an elephant.  You see, this fan of King Babar had the victim's head placed on a block of wood, to be stepped on by an elephant.  Maybe he could have had them dressed in peanut or pecan costumes!

The British could think of some devilish means of execution, like hanging in chains and drawing and quartering.  They might be civilized eventually, if they ever give up soccer.

And the careful planner of Final Departures should not go out in a way that is likely to make You Tube, if possible.  On the other hand, I'm ambivalent on this.  I try to make people laugh or smile in my writing this blog; why not be amusing to all in the way I go?  It is said that the playwright Aeschylus died from being beaned by a bird dropping a turtle on his head, thinking his bald head was a rock.  Jean-Baptiste Lully, a French composer, died of gangrene from striking himself in the foot with his conducting staff, and King Edward II of England died from a red-hot poker being inserted netherward. 

Choose your good-bye clothing well.  Yes, dress for postumous success, and wear fresh, untattered underwear.  And, if female, a bra and stockings (not mesh)!  The absence of which will certainly be noticed and commented on if you have any modicum of celebrity.  Don't be buried in sweat pants, although yoga pants might be chic.  And, to demonstrate your essential adherence to custom, don't wear white shoes after Labor Day!

Prepare beforehand some quotable exit line.  The unprepared might go out and be remembered for such parting shots as "Oh shit!," "This is the damnest thing that ever happened to me!," or "My butt itches, for some reason."  Dorothy Parker had a zinger, "Excuse my dust."

And the same can be said for an epitaph.  Now in New Orleans several graves have epitaphs, like "Un soldat de Napoléon Premier (A soldier of Napoleon I)," "Mort sur le champs d'honneur (Died on the field of honor)," and "A lawyer and an honest man" (unlikely, unless the grave is shared by two).  Family tombs, not so much.  After all, it is understood that one will only have a temporary occupation.

[Maybe F. Faure should have rated a "Mort sur le lit d'amour!"]

Of course, it would be the ultimate in coolness to be sent out with a funeral with music, also called a jazz funeral.  In addition to "A Closer Walk With Thee" and "The Saints Come Marching In," throw in "Hold that Tiger" like a die-hard LSU fan!

In general, prepare for your exit so that it will be as cheerful and entertaining as possible for those left behind.  Leave them implicitly a message: Life's to be enjoyed; let the good times continue to roll!


The Bastard King of England said...

If you die while on the toilet, no one will ever forget how you went.

Mrs. Stienheil must have given great sex!

Grand Crapaud said...

The wikipedia article on Faure implied that she was giving him head.

Big Sky Heidi said...

Those were great ideas on how to go, Angel.

I like the Irish wakes myself. There's a classic one in The Wire.

TexWisGirl said...

i wish to go quietly so no one will hardly notice.

Kristen Drittsekkdatter said...

I wish to go quietly in an unassuming Lutheran Minnesotan fashion.

Don't put a cheese hat on my head like they did for a cousin. I'll come back to haunt all.

Bilbo said...

I'm reminded of the classic line from the movie "Private Benjamin." Goldie Hawn's character (the titular Private Benjamin) joins the army after her new husband dies on their wedding night during the Opening Night Special. His mother tearfully asks Goldie what her son's last words were, to which she replied, "I"M COMING!!"

Mike said...

I don't think this will happen in the US but one day we're going to see executions live on the internet. There have been some show up on Youtube but they don't stay there very long.

Brandi said...

Dying after great sex would not be a bad way to go.

Cloudia said...

You are full of fun, invention, and wonderful phrases! May we both have good deaths-

ALOHA, Friend
from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

Cloudia said...

In my sleep, just ascending to a really good dream!