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Do Not Resuscitate

May 9, 2011

I think about death with fair frequency. Not in the Sylvia Plath head in the oven while wearing a twin-set and pearls way, but more about the practicalities of the thing. Having the odd semi-truck barrelling past you on a bike tends to make your life flash by your eyes and remind you to sign up for life insurance.

A few years back an imaginary friend posted her El Cheapo Living Will, and at the time I remember thinking “I gotta get me one of those.” Alas, snarking, sex toy shopping, and cycling have diverted me from that task. It would seem it’s time to get crackin’.

The first thing we should probably go over is about the blaze of glory with which I would like to go out. I’m claustrophobic, so I’d prefer it if you didn’t lock me up in a little box lined with satin and embroidered with biblical sayings intended to guide me into the light, and then bury me in a vault under several tons of dirt. That would just be mean spirited on your part, and I’d like to think better of you. Now, while I like the ocean, I really don’t fancy being gnawed on as a buffet for sea creatures large and small, so burial at sea is out as well. I’d like to be noble and donate my parts to science, but the idea of someone lopping off body parts I’ve spent a lifetime trying to keep fit and trim has too much of a “What was it all for?” air to it. I think it would really be best for all if you set the oven on broil and cooked my ass like a holiday turkey. Spread my remains somewhere warm, like off the coast of the Seychelles, if you’d be so kind. If you want to turn some of my ashes into diamonds so I can sparkle in the afterlife, I’m good with that.

Now, should I not go quietly having overdosed on box wine and Cheetos, there are a few things about my final hours you should keep in mind.

  1. I like pain killers. Do not be stingy with the morphine drip. I won’t mind the hallucinations, constipation and the dry mouth. I won’t care if you draw a moustache on my face with a Sharpie. I will only care that I don’t feel whatever pain I’m in.
  2. I do not want life support. I do not want to be a member of the Borg collective. Please do not attach machines to me just to prolong the inevitable. I will not be happy to find out I’ve been Karen Quinlan‘d.
  3. Do not take heroic measures. I don't want to be a survivor. I'm not that kind of person, adversity will not improve me. There are any number of circumstances in which I will not rise above the condition you leave me in, and I will be a miserable bitch who takes it out on you with an unrelenting passion.
  4. If the doctors will not help, you will need to find some street smack and overdose my ass or smother me with a pillow for the following conditions:
    • I am burned over a significant portion of my body. I’m not up for any kind of salt scrub other than the kind they offer at the Korean bath house. And that comes with a happy finish, not scar tissue.
    • My face is disfigured. Come on, you’ve met me. We both know my looks are all I really have going for me.
    • I require a colostomy bag for the rest of my life. I carry enough baggage around with me, I’m so not carrying my shit with me too.
    • I require a catheter for the rest of my life. Ouch. No.
    • I need to be fed through a tube and cannot enjoy the bliss that is an Oreo Cookie baked in a chocolate chip cookie.
    • I am paralysed from the neck down. So long as I have the use of my arms and can bitch slap you or give Dave a hand job, I’m all good.
    • It takes a crane and a flat-bed truck to get me out of the house. Likewise if the CDC wants to study the fungi growing between the tires of flab around my belly cause I can’t reach it to clean it.
    • My underwear comes in “quilted softness” rather than silk and lace.
    • Donald Trump becomes President.
    • I am in a vegetative state induced by anything other than a Real Housewives marathon.

As time goes on and time and age makes assaults on my dignity, I’m sure there will be other what I like to call Death Caveats added to the list. But you get the gist of it.

Some of you well-meaning do gooders may be thinkin’ “Well heck Surly, you shouldn’t talk like this. Life is always worth living.” For you, maybe. For me, I like my life simple, easy and softened by perpetual haze from being buzzed on cheap wine. I don’t want complications or adversity. I don’t want to have to be a better person. That’s your job.

Oh, and when Dave’s on trial for doing my ass in, please be so kind as to refer to prosecution to this post to back up his claims that “Surly made me do it!.”

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2011 10:24 am

    Your surliness shines through, even in death.

  2. June 1, 2011 11:11 pm

    I never get jealous of other people’s writing since it’s all whimsy and adjectives and shit they saw on a ferry or some such. But I am seething. You rule.

  3. Verbal Remedy permalink
    January 15, 2013 3:19 am

    Surly my love, I shall be making this the first addendum to mine.

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