Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dead Thoughts

I don't have life insurance. To me, life insurance is a no-win wager. "I'll bet $50 that I will die this month." Nope, didn't die. "Okay, let's try another $5o on the next month." Of course, at some point I will win the bet. Unfortunately, I will not be available to reap the winnings. Too bad I can't wager on someone else's life. I'd put $50 every month on Jimmy Carter. Even if the payout is only $10,000 I am certain that at some point I would make my money back and then some.

What about funeral expenses, you may ask. I don't care what anybody does with my remains after I am gone. Use me for teaching medical students, or turn me into a ottoman, or just dig a hole in the back yard and plant me there. At least the following season's crop of veggies will be properly fertilized. Funerals are for people to say their last goodbyes. Hey! I'll be dead! Ears don't work no more! So what will I care if people talk to the shell that is no longer me. I do not want a funeral. Especially if I have to pay for it.

If I knew who I would be in the next life, then I would try to make that person the beneficiary. I imagine life insurance companies would be happy to accept my policy with the beneficiary yet to be born. I am not sure if I believe in reincarnation, but that is easier for me to accept than a heaven or hell. If there is a rebirth, then I hope it will be in human form. I'd hate to come back as a mosquito only to be swatted dead at my first meal. I wonder if time would be a factor. Could I be born into the middle ages, or a thousand years into the future? What if the next person I become is you? That would mean that you are now reading what you had wrote in a previous life. Do you recall being me?

Then there is the possibility of having to lead this life again. What a horror show that would be if this life kept recycling like an old 8 track tape. Although, I would love to see those close to me that have passed on, it would be bittersweet not to able to prevent their demise. I am certain of that. If this is a reliving of my life, then I have no recollection of living it before. Therefore, I am unable to knowingly alter the flow of events.

In the next paragraph I am going to use the words "celluloid collar." When I use "celluloid collar" in conversation, it is a rarity that the person knows to what I am referring. So I am going to tell you beforehand what a celluloid collar is. Have you seen Laurel and Hardy films? You should have no matter your age. They wear vests over celluloid collars. A celluloid collar is a shirt front that is made of the same substance as movie film. Can you picture Laurel or Hardy tucking a phony shirt front into their vests? It was popular apparel around World War I for those who could not afford a dress shirt. It was stiff and reacted like a window shade when not tucked in place.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr., one my favorite authors, said in one of his last books that when he dies he imagines the universe will roll up like a celluloid collar. I liked that imagery, but he was wrong. Vonnegut did indeed die and yet, the universe remained the same. Perhaps it is when I die the universe will roll up like a celluloid collar. I like that imagery more.

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