Saturday, October 9, 2010

My Expiration Date Has Arrived

This is probably my last blog entry. I am on my deathbed and probably will not last out the day. Well, not actually on my deathbed right at this moment. I was a few moments ago but I couldn't sleep and had to get up.

My head is filled with snot, and I have a headache, and my chest wheezes and whirs and makes gurgly sounds. I'm pretty sure I will expire in a few short hours.

It's the fault of that tree that fell on my house. Since I work in Project Management, I brought my intensive management skills to bear to resolving the issue. Yes, yes. My wife called in a tree expert to get rid of the damn tree. Except she, as well as anyone else, failed to realize that their efforts to demolish the tree pissed the tree off. It told the other trees and the ragweed, whatever the hell that is, to all spit pollen at me. That means that I am pollinated which I guess is sort-of like being pregnant except that biologically I'm inpregnable, so my body reacts as it only can -- violent allergic death throws. That is my expert medical opinion and my wife agrees with me. At least she rolled her eyes and walked away, which is the same thing. I think my expiration date is two hours from now.

Now that death is looming, I am having second thoughts about cremation. I mean, how do they really know that you don't feel anything after you die? Yeah, all the evidence suggests that you can't feel anything...but do they really know? Maybe I'll just have them bury me....with a long straw sticking out of the ground.

I don't fear death. If you imagine a muscular Spartacus standing strongly atop a hill with a sword in hand facing hordes of deadly things, that is me. Okay, maybe a pudgy Spartacus with a balding head with snot draining from his nose.....but otherwise, just like Spartacus. I've accomplished what I set out to do on this earth. I raised two kids to be better than me, so what more could one ask for? True, my plans to be an astronaut fell through and they never did answer my written application to be fighter pilot, but I've conducted an orchestra, taught school, climbed mountains, had a successful business career (just don't try to confirm this with my boss), and written one-half chapter of a thirty-two chapter book. I've studied music theory and have been a percussionist in jazz groups, bands, and orchestras. I've taken piano lessons but I admit I flunked Sight Singing. (It's not my fault. To be a Music Director, some idiot somewhere decided that you need to be able to sing music in front of you so that while standing in front of your orchestra you will be able to sing a passage of music to show how it is supposed to sound, which is the stupidest idea I ever heard. So you had to take a Sight Singing class and none of us knew exactly what that was and when we got into class, the teacher thrust a piece of sheet music in front of a young lass of delicate constitution and told her to sing what was on the page - right there in front of everyone. She looked at the music, looked at the instructor, her hands shook, tears welled up in her eyes, and she burst out crying. It was right then and there that I took matters into my own hands and refused to attend another class.)

All in all I've had a remarkable life and I am ready to depart. I've even flown over the North Atlantic bombing the ocean with sonobuoys to search out evil submarines destined to do harm to America - even though I wasn't supposed to do that because I was part of the NATO Band, but I had some good friends that flew anti-submarine patrol and they would slip me on board flights - which confirms everything. I went the extra mile to protect our shores on my own time! That image of Spartacus comes to mind, doesn't it?

So my friends, now is the time to stop investing in Puffs Tissue (with lanolin). As I fade away, their stock is going to plummet. I could probably hurry this whole thing up by simply going out in a field of pollen and letting death overtake me.

So my expiration date has arrived.

Eulogy (I'm saving you the trouble): Here lies the casket with the straw. He mostly didn't know what he was talking about and he got most things wrong but you could depend on him to empty the dishwasher each and every time that it needed it. We will remember Jerry - one or two will even remember him fondly. He sniffed himself to death.



  1. You scared the crap out of me for a moment!
    I also suffer from allergies and boy does that suck... you'll be better when it cools off, right?
    funny eulogy...

  2. This is an amazingly energetic post for a dying man...

  3. Poor, poor baby! You are in need of the holy trinity: A neti pot, a hot toddy, and sympathy.

  4. Add me to the list of one or two who will remember you fondly. And will definitely refrain from dropping anything down your straw (just in case). Stupid ragweed, I hate it too.

  5. Oh Jerry! How I will remember thee.....tis the ragweed that did him in.....

    Can we be buried side by side? Cause I'm suffering too....

  6. Call me Jerry I am a Hospice nurse. Ill make sure you are comfortable.......

    Great blog guy:)

  7. Will you rise from the dead? If you plan on rising from the dead I wouldn't get cremated.

    Your post reminded me of the old Indian in the film "Little Big Man." He went out to die, then it started to rain so he went home.

  8. You are so funny for a dying man and definitely all male when ill.
    You really have fulfilled most peoples bucket list. I'd keep trying for astronaut though if I were you. Maybe they will take your ashes next trip.
    Sniffling also here, this too shall pass.

  9. Can you find a job for my son Bob (the unknown musician)......before you go??? I'll be forever obligated to you if you do!

    I like the picture at the end....who are those girls mourning you??

  10. I've been rethinking that cremation thing, too. It seems so...permanent!

    This was great fun! And somebody has been playing with either Photoshop or!

  11. If you post again, can you tell me if there's an afterlife? These things are important and inquiring minds need to know.

  12. Hope you feel better! I just got over a nasty cold where I thought many times it was a wonder how productive my sinuses amazed me that no matter how many times I blew my nose within seconds the whole thing was full again. Hmmm....if I could only say this about my bank account...we would call that a miracle!!!

  13. Death cannot come swiftly enough when I am ill, or so think the people around me who have to suffer in kind. I am a vile and contemptible monster when I am sick and poking and prodding only makes me worse. Fortunately Nancy finds the secret to taming and comforting the beast. Plied with foods and liquids of my liking and soothing voice and touch, the illness and contemptibility is beaten from my battered body and I again ascend with the angels on earth.

    Have you tried Nyquil?? I recommend a double-shot.

  14. Well at least your ready! LOL! It is a comforting thought that we have lived a life that was good and did plenty, enough to go in peace.

    Hope ya don't die, cause I know how it feels, it feels like death is knocking!

  15. Hope you set over this soon Jerry, the straw is a good idea and I agree with you on the cremation, but until you get over this stuff get a milk shake straw for the bigger opening.

  16. Try Scotties. A dermatologist says they have fewer little paper thingies to float around and irritate your allergies. (I don't know what the rest of the dermatologists say--that's just what my mother-in-law's doctor says. So we buy Scotties.

    Be careful not to whine too much or you may expire for sure. I'll bet your wife's aim is nothing to sniff at.

  17. As I sit here, with no tree to blame, with my eyes streaming and my nose running, I feel your pain. And I live in the desert... where allergens are supposed to flee.

    How about John Carter's burial in Edgar Rice Burroughs' series - on a marble slab in a mausoleum with a handle on the inside only.

  18. I've heard a shot of whiskey cures everything, I'll be right over. If you are still on your death bed and not getting over this nonsense I'll just have a toast to you and steal your tissues. Damn allergies!

  19. oh no, Jerry! allergies are worse than death, or at least I choose to believe that. I wish I had a cure for you, but I don't, and can only hope you're feeling better and have cast the death bed aside for now.
    until spring, that is

  20. Did you ever try Claritin? I HATE allergies. It also plagues me. I must agree, you do sound totally like a sick male. I would miss you terribly if your expiration date has sincerely arrived. Cremation does sound very permanent, but I am claustrophobic, so burial is out of the question. I guess I will refrain from dying until I can figure it out.

    Thanks for the smiles and laughter...hope you feel much better very soon!

  21. The Allery-Death-Nell has struck here as well. We gave up on the kleenex barring approval for a loan on a tractor-trailor-truck load..... It's "Please Pass The Roll," here, and I'm not talk'n Grandma's sweet rolls.

    I like the straw concept, much easier than the bell encased in my tombstone with a string attached to a finger I imagined as a kid.

  22. Oh, poor Snotty Spartacus. It was so kind of you to write out your whole, entire life history for us to use in The NY Times, The Post and the San Francisco Whatever.

    Have you considered some Sudafed? You've gotta get the stuff behind the counter...and you need your license, a blood sample and proof that you haven't eaten in the last 14 hours but it's the only way they'll give it to you.

    If I die tomorrow, my stone would have to say, "Here lies Kathryn. She took the Sudafed. It didn't work."

    You forgot to add to your life story that you regularly cracked people up that you've never even met. Probably THOUSANDS of people....'cause, ya know, most don't bother to comment.

  23. May he rest in peace, buried with his swords, armor, spare sonobuoys and a few extra boxes of Puffs.

    In all seriousness, you've added yet another lyrical and wittily-written article to your name, good sir. Well done. Not bad for a dying achievement.